Friday, 24 February 2006

Work Your Proper Hours Day

Today is Work Your Proper Hours Day. In the UK we work longer hours than in the rest of Europe, yet productivity doesn't always follow. In lots of companies (and this is certainly true in my field of IT) there is a certain amount of pressure to work beyond contracted hours despite not being paid for doing so. Sometimes there is pressure from 'on high', but oddly it seems that in most cases the pressure comes from the fact that other people do it. This results in a sort of peer pressure in that people don't want to be seen as slackers, so they stay late too. The company gets used to this and reduces estimates for work based on this free overtime, thus making it impossible to reach targets unless everyone works late.

I don't think that it is reasonable to refuse to work long hours in a professional workplace, but these long hours should be the exception. Employers need reminding of this occassionally, so events like this Work Your Proper Hours Day are important. Make sure you take part! Note that there's also an 'anonymous email' generator on the site where you can send an email to your boss telling him about the day (it doesn't reveal your name!). Make sure you use it!

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