Author Topic: Corporate Overtime Policy Update  (Read 9620 times)

GuitarStv

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Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« on: May 22, 2015, 11:43:46 AM »
Our company updated us to a particularly stupid set of policies regarding overtime late last year.

- First I have to fill out an online form . . . name, cubicle number, date of overtime, reason for overtime, charge code, cost centre, name of manager, name of team lead, name of director of engineering.
- Then my supervisor needs to digitally OK the form.
- Then I need to print the form out and get it signed by me, my manager, my team lead, the director of engineering.
- The printed and signed document must be digitally scanned and placed in a directory on the network.

At this point I am authorized to work the overtime, so I do. At the end of the following week:

- I have to fill out my time sheet, indicating that I worked overtime.
- My time sheet must be digitally signed by my manager.
- Then, the time sheet must be printed out and physically signed by me, my manager, my team lead, the director of engineering.
- The printed and signed time sheet must be digitally scanned and placed in a directory on the network.
- They physical copies of both the time sheet and overtime authorization request must be given to an administrative assistant.
- The administrative assistant collates all the documents and takes them down to payroll, who make a note about it and pay out the overtime a week or two later.

I'd estimate the whole process takes about 40 minutes of my time (due to printing stuff, chasing down people for signatures, scanning, etc) every time that I work overtime. Checking the online directory where we have to put the digital files I notice that there are 385 approved overtime requests for this year . . . so if it takes everyone else about as long as me, that works out to 256 hours so far this year spent just requesting overtime.

The beauty of the new policy is . . . if you work from home at any point during a week, according to corporate policy you are not allowed to do more than 4 hours of overtime in that week.  (Kinda dumb in it's own right . . . either you trust me to work from home, or you think I'm going to abuse the system and ban me from working from home.  What is this half assed trust?)  But you still have to go through the whole policy for requesting overtime.  Most people in our company work from home occasionally.

We're losing about 25% of our overtime time to overtime requests.

frugledoc

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Re: Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2015, 11:48:22 AM »
so ridiculous.  What kind of idiotic management team agreed on this?  It's almost as if they want to reduce productivity and waste company time.

dandarc

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Re: Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2015, 11:52:11 AM »
I'm guessing someone decided "we're paying too much overtime" and this is the "fix".  Stupidly inefficient, but provides a lot of CYA for everyone involved.  "Yes that overtime was properly approved, Mr. CEO."

ingrownstudentloans

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Re: Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2015, 11:53:01 AM »
Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.  At least they don't make you put a cover sheet on the TPS reports, THAT would be a waste of time.

zephyr911

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Re: Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2015, 11:58:22 AM »
Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.  At least they don't make you put a cover sheet on the TPS reports, THAT would be a waste of time.
Oh, are we putting cover sheets on TPS reports now?

frugalnacho

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Re: Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2015, 12:00:04 PM »
Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.  At least they don't make you put a cover sheet on the TPS reports, THAT would be a waste of time.
Oh, are we putting cover sheets on TPS reports now?

You didn't get the memo?

Psychstache

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Re: Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2015, 12:06:22 PM »
Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.  At least they don't make you put a cover sheet on the TPS reports, THAT would be a waste of time.
Oh, are we putting cover sheets on TPS reports now?

You didn't get the memo?

Hey, zephyr911.....I don't know if you saw the memo....but we are having everyone put cover sheets on their TPS reports now......so if you could start using the cover sheet that would be great...yeah.

I send you another copy of the memo.

GuitarStv

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Re: Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2015, 12:12:23 PM »


Ahhh . . . Office Space.  The most realistic documentary about working at my company that has ever been produced.

golden1

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Re: Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2015, 12:41:50 PM »
Quote
We're losing about 25% of our overtime time to overtime requests.

That is......beautiful.   

Shane

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Re: Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2015, 12:52:15 PM »
Our company updated us to a particularly stupid set of policies regarding overtime late last year.

I'd estimate the whole process takes about 40 minutes of my time (due to printing stuff, chasing down people for signatures, scanning, etc) every time that I work overtime. Checking the online directory where we have to put the digital files I notice that there are 385 approved overtime requests for this year . . . so if it takes everyone else about as long as me, that works out to 256 hours so far this year spent just requesting overtime.


Just be sure you build the 40 minutes it takes you to jump through their hoops into the overtime you are requesting they pay you for. For example, if you work one hour of overtime, just put down 1 hour and 40 minutes when you fill out the paperwork. If they're going to require you to do all that stupid paperwork, the least they can do is pay you time and a half for it, right?

Hunny156

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Re: Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2015, 02:23:01 PM »
Quote
We're losing about 25% of our overtime time to overtime requests.

That is......beautiful.   

I've worked for a few micro-managers who requested that I track everything I do & the time it takes in a spreadsheet before.  They were always surprised at just how much work I was doing, but I made damn sure to include a line item for the time it was taking me to track the work I was doing!  (Yes, I get passive/aggressive sometimes).

CommonCents

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Re: Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2015, 02:37:01 PM »
Don't work overtime and let stuff go undone?  Explain to your manager that you don't have the time in your regular work week to do it.

GuitarStv

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Re: Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2015, 09:22:08 AM »
While I don't think they can fire you for not working overtime, you will absolutely get hammered on performance reviews if you refuse to do it when your supervisor asks.  I have in the past.  I kinda like the new policy because I previously did all my OT from home . . . And now they have limited my OT each week to a maximum of 4 hrs.

psinguine

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Re: Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2015, 01:15:58 PM »
Quote
We're losing about 25% of our overtime time to overtime requests.

That is......beautiful.   

I've worked for a few micro-managers who requested that I track everything I do & the time it takes in a spreadsheet before.  They were always surprised at just how much work I was doing, but I made damn sure to include a line item for the time it was taking me to track the work I was doing!  (Yes, I get passive/aggressive sometimes).

I recently left an employer who had similar demands, but the waste of time was enormous. I work in the trades, ans every day we were required to:

- Spend a minimum of one hour on setup and planning to start the day.
- Spend a minimum of one hour on cleanup to end the day.
- Stop work every hour to log all activities performed during that hour.

It was also made clear even if we worked through lunch our pay would still be docked a half hour per day for it. And, illegal or not, no over time had been "built into the budget" so it would not be paid. Therefore days were to start at nine and all employees had to be off the property by 5:30.

As you can imagine nothing really ever got done. You're there for 8.5 hours. You lose an hour at the start to silliness. You lose an hour at the end. You lose an hour to breaks. You lose a good hour when you have to shut it down every hour to log about the last hour. At the end of the day you're only getting 4 hours worth of work done, and even at that nobody really wants to start anything new after 3:30 - 4:00 because we had to be cleaning up soon.

I shudder to remember it.

TheDude

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Re: Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2015, 12:44:52 PM »
4 hrs a day that seems like a lot.

"I'd say in a given week, I probably only do about 15 minutes of real, actual work."

okits

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Re: Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2015, 09:53:58 PM »
The process does sound thoroughly ridiculous...   OTOH, you get paid for overtime?!  Is your company hiring?

When overtime is required do several people have to do it?  Could one person for your team do the running around to collect signatures, print, scan, etc. (take turns?)

GuitarStv

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Re: Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2015, 06:33:08 AM »
The process does sound thoroughly ridiculous...   OTOH, you get paid for overtime?!  Is your company hiring?

When overtime is required do several people have to do it?  Could one person for your team do the running around to collect signatures, print, scan, etc. (take turns?)

Several years ago our company implemented a new budgeting policy.  It had a fun corporate buzzword name, but for this thread I'll just call the policy 'proboscis'.  This policy involved taking all the estimates that upper management had been given and cutting them by 10%, across the board . . . no matter what.  It was accompanied by a hiring freeze.  That year we posted some great numbers for this cost savings.  Big bonuses for all senior execs.

Then as the years ticked by it turned out that we were missing milestones and delivering projects consistently over budget.  About 10% over budget for some reason.  Big upper management level panic ensued.  Required overtime became the norm.  Work environment sucked, we lost a some key people due to stress . . . suddenly we didn't have enough people to deliver the projects we were working on.  Project budgets started to spiral out of control due to the increased cost of paying for overtime.  Proboscis had been in effect for long enough that all departments were understaffed though, so it wasn't possible for management to stop paying for overtime without losing a lot of people.

We're now five years on, and the hiring freeze has been lifted . . . but still badly shortstaffed.  It turns out you can't just hire someone off the street and expect them to understand your code base instantly.  (Big shock to management on that point.)  Every member of my team is working on stuff.  We don't have resources for someone to stop working as a full time engineer and start handling bullshit policy make work half of the week.

dcheesi

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Re: Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2015, 07:09:26 AM »
I'm guessing someone decided "we're paying too much overtime" and this is the "fix".  Stupidly inefficient, but provides a lot of CYA for everyone involved.  "Yes that overtime was properly approved, Mr. CEO."
Yep, they did something similar to this in my company, only it was business travel they were  worried about. So they changed policy so that every travel request had to get approval from the VP level(!). Presumably the idea was to make the process a big enough PITA that people wouldn't bother trying. Of course it turned out to be even more of a PITA for VPs themselves...

okits

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Re: Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2015, 09:34:45 PM »
The process does sound thoroughly ridiculous...   OTOH, you get paid for overtime?!  Is your company hiring?

When overtime is required do several people have to do it?  Could one person for your team do the running around to collect signatures, print, scan, etc. (take turns?)

Several years ago our company implemented a new budgeting policy.  It had a fun corporate buzzword name, but for this thread I'll just call the policy 'proboscis'.  This policy involved taking all the estimates that upper management had been given and cutting them by 10%, across the board . . . no matter what.  It was accompanied by a hiring freeze.  That year we posted some great numbers for this cost savings.  Big bonuses for all senior execs.

Then as the years ticked by it turned out that we were missing milestones and delivering projects consistently over budget.  About 10% over budget for some reason.  Big upper management level panic ensued.  Required overtime became the norm.  Work environment sucked, we lost a some key people due to stress . . . suddenly we didn't have enough people to deliver the projects we were working on.  Project budgets started to spiral out of control due to the increased cost of paying for overtime.  Proboscis had been in effect for long enough that all departments were understaffed though, so it wasn't possible for management to stop paying for overtime without losing a lot of people.

We're now five years on, and the hiring freeze has been lifted . . . but still badly shortstaffed.  It turns out you can't just hire someone off the street and expect them to understand your code base instantly.  (Big shock to management on that point.)  Every member of my team is working on stuff.  We don't have resources for someone to stop working as a full time engineer and start handling bullshit policy make work half of the week.

If the senior execs who pocketed the bonus quit for more fertile pastures after that first year, this is a win for them. In all other ways, what you've described is sheer idiocy.

GuitarStv

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Re: Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2015, 06:31:25 AM »
Oddly enough, within two years of implementing 'proboscis' all the responsible senior management were gone.

CheapskateWife

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Re: Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2015, 07:28:29 AM »
It had a fun corporate buzzword name, but for this thread I'll just call the policy 'proboscis'. 

Was it "Jabberwocky?"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spyJ5yxTfas
 

mlipps

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Re: Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2015, 08:38:25 AM »
Jesus christ. It reminds me of the travel policy in my old department (not company, this was just my control freak manager's bullshit). It went: Submit form w/estimated plane, hotel, etc. costs. (Form is wonky because she made me build it & I had never used Adobe Acrobat Pro before this). She takes for freaking ever to return it to you but when she does one of two things happen: she has somehow found the time to scour the internet and find some obscure, terrible flight that saves the department $10, OR she has not done this & approved it but it took her so long to return it the original flight is no longer available.

Next, you go on the trip. Do not exceed the per diem, no exceptions. If you skip lunch, no spending a little more on dinner. If your colleagues invite you somewhere that exceeds per diem for that meal, no going over, even if your lunch was $5 from Subway. Come back, fill out the form AGAIN with your new numbers. Also fill out either the CC reconciliation form if you have a corporate card, or the accounting departments expense reimbursement form (yes, this has all the same info on it, but it's not in her format!!). Then wait to be reimbursed. The woman is nuts.

Oh, and the company is NOT broke, and this department least of all. She's just a cheap ass bastard with no concept of how to retain her staff. And now I am aggravated just thinking about the whole thing even though it's been 6 months since I quit...

solon

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Re: Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2015, 08:53:07 AM »
This is such a strange thread to me. You guys request your own overtime and travel?

Doesn't the boss say, "I need you to work overtime" and "I need you in Memphis"? At that point, isn't it the boss's job to handle the paperwork?

mlipps

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Re: Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2015, 08:55:31 AM »
This is such a strange thread to me. You guys request your own overtime and travel?

Doesn't the boss say, "I need you to work overtime" and "I need you in Memphis"? At that point, isn't it the boss's job to handle the paperwork?


Hahaha good point! No, the form is required for both company requested travel & professional development requests. Idiotic.

GuitarStv

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Re: Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2015, 09:02:52 AM »
This is such a strange thread to me. You guys request your own overtime and travel?

Doesn't the boss say, "I need you to work overtime" and "I need you in Memphis"? At that point, isn't it the boss's job to handle the paperwork?

My supervisor tells me I should work overtime or travel.  Then I have to do the request and paperwork.  That way if a mistake is made doing either, I can be reprimanded.

Hunny156

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Re: Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« Reply #25 on: May 28, 2015, 03:02:30 PM »
Our T&E reporting system is getting more and more convoluted.  I recently had a report bounced back to me b/c I didn't specify which meal was breakfast, lunch & dinner.  The combined total was well under the daily limits, and really, what difference does it make?  Not to mention, if you expect people to detail that, then why not add a required drop down box for that selection?

I recently paid for a lunch meeting where 1 person was external.  My options were Meals personal, meals per diem, and meals employee only.  After much guessing, I discovered that selecting Entertainment would yield a magical sub option box to appear, for Meals.  I don't know about you, but eating takeout during a work meeting with people I don't know is NOT entertainment!

hownowbrowncow

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Re: Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2015, 08:46:44 PM »
Here's another overtime story that can be filed under penny-wise, pound foolish.  Despite working a white collar "professional" job, I am classified as an hourly employee.  I actually feel like the team slacker because all my exempt colleagues (who essentially do the same thing as me under a different title and higher base pay) work in the 50-60/week range.  I generally stop working around 48-50 hours because as an hourly employee my hours are much more visible and subject to scrutiny.   

Story: international business trip coming up in a few weeks on the opposite side of the globe - one stop at in-country office, 2 onsite client visits.  Client 2 is in a different city than country office/client 1 so will need an in-country flight while there.  I had mapped out an agenda of 6 business days.  1 day at office, 2 days at each client, 1 day of buffer.  Manager signed off on it.

Well then the director (his boss) said no, make your trip Monday-Friday in-country to save money.  Obviously 6 business days would have meant a weekend abroad but I would pay for my own food and lodging costs those two days as I was planning to take a quick side trip.   

Our policy states when hourly employees go on business trip the clock starts when you're picked up for the airport and includes all airport waiting time, all flight time, any time in customs once arrived, and transport time to hotel.  So before I open my laptop, set foot in an office, sit down at a business meal, etc., I will log ~ 30 hours each way - no direct flights from hometown to destination. 

Her new itinerary will save 1-2 nights of lodging (USD 129/night) and 1-2 days of food costs (max allowance is USD 100/day, in all honesty I'll be logging less than the max) depending on what flight arrival/departure times would have been. 

The irony?  Her change also moved portions of both international flights into one week - we track hours from 12:00 am Sunday - 11:59 pm Saturday so now both the Sunday and Saturday of trip week have 12+ hours of travel time.  The change also means the in-country travel hours are in the same week as two flights instead of one and I will likely log additional work hours as well.  I am staying one additional night at my expense but my 2:00 am Sunday departure will be Saturday in home time zone so still counts for that week.   

Using the most conservative scenario, the cost of the incremental overtime I will now incur during that week is over $2k.  So her directive will cost the company somewhere from $1500-2000. Well done.

jinga nation

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Re: Corporate Overtime Policy Update
« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2015, 12:57:39 PM »
Here's another overtime story that can be filed under penny-wise, pound foolish.  Despite working a white collar "professional" job, I am classified as an hourly employee.  I actually feel like the team slacker because all my exempt colleagues (who essentially do the same thing as me under a different title and higher base pay) work in the 50-60/week range.  I generally stop working around 48-50 hours because as an hourly employee my hours are much more visible and subject to scrutiny.   

Story: international business trip coming up in a few weeks on the opposite side of the globe - one stop at in-country office, 2 onsite client visits.  Client 2 is in a different city than country office/client 1 so will need an in-country flight while there.  I had mapped out an agenda of 6 business days.  1 day at office, 2 days at each client, 1 day of buffer.  Manager signed off on it.

Well then the director (his boss) said no, make your trip Monday-Friday in-country to save money.  Obviously 6 business days would have meant a weekend abroad but I would pay for my own food and lodging costs those two days as I was planning to take a quick side trip.   

Our policy states when hourly employees go on business trip the clock starts when you're picked up for the airport and includes all airport waiting time, all flight time, any time in customs once arrived, and transport time to hotel.  So before I open my laptop, set foot in an office, sit down at a business meal, etc., I will log ~ 30 hours each way - no direct flights from hometown to destination. 

Her new itinerary will save 1-2 nights of lodging (USD 129/night) and 1-2 days of food costs (max allowance is USD 100/day, in all honesty I'll be logging less than the max) depending on what flight arrival/departure times would have been. 

The irony?  Her change also moved portions of both international flights into one week - we track hours from 12:00 am Sunday - 11:59 pm Saturday so now both the Sunday and Saturday of trip week have 12+ hours of travel time.  The change also means the in-country travel hours are in the same week as two flights instead of one and I will likely log additional work hours as well.  I am staying one additional night at my expense but my 2:00 am Sunday departure will be Saturday in home time zone so still counts for that week.   

Using the most conservative scenario, the cost of the incremental overtime I will now incur during that week is over $2k.  So her directive will cost the company somewhere from $1500-2000. Well done.

Yes, but she'll present it as a ~$450 cost savings per employee (2 nights and 2 days of meals). I had a manager that did the same. It was part of his annual goals and objectives to show reduce costs. Spin, baby, spin!