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  • FIRST POST
    • livewire_82
    • By livewire_82 18th Apr 17, 10:03 AM
    • 117Posts
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    livewire_82
    How do I stop job control my life?
    • #1
    • 18th Apr 17, 10:03 AM
    How do I stop job control my life? 18th Apr 17 at 10:03 AM
    I work for a fast paced office based company, doing long hours which include unpaid overtime. On a typical week, I'd do 50 hours a week but it is sometimes more than this.
    Recently, I've been diagnosed with stress and also suffer with anxiety. I feel like my body has put up with what I've been putting it through as long as it can but it's now reached its limit and I've crashed.
    It's given me a big wake up call that I need to re-evaluate the priorities in my life. I have a DW and a 15 month old boy who I care for both so much - but don't show enough as my job takes everything out of me. I just want to get some balance back in my life. This has been affecting my marriage and I've also been neglecting the goodness in my life too.
    As far as I am concerned, there should be no requirement or obligation to regularly work overtime (for free) if a project is managed correctly by all persons involved. The trouble is, everyone else on my department does not seem as concerned about the hold the job has on them so they stay back and I feel guilty if I'm the first one to get my coat to go home. I'm struggling to find ways of convincing myself that this is ok and worried that I'm going to be seen as someone who is not a team-player. If I speak to my boss, I'm worried I'll be seen as a weak link who can't take the pace. But at the same time I don't want to leave the company as I really enjoy the work I do and the people I work with.
    Job searching since 1st August 2014

    Number of days unemployed: 3

    It's never too late to start living!
Page 1
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 18th Apr 17, 10:15 AM
    • 3,352 Posts
    • 5,570 Thanks
    sangie595
    • #2
    • 18th Apr 17, 10:15 AM
    • #2
    • 18th Apr 17, 10:15 AM
    Well something has got to give! You either continue doing this, or you stop. There isn't a compromise situation on this one. So I don't think there's any other option than speaking to your line manager. Before you do that, you might want to think through some strategies though.

    For example, it's all very well saying that well run projects shouldn't need that much overtime. Easy to say - what's your solution? Really, that is the key to this - offer solutions to the issues and you won't be the weak link, you'll be the strategic thinker!

    I'd also suggest that you are honest. There are decades of research and evidence of the detrimental impacts of poor work- life balance and stress. You need to explain that you recognise that this is becoming an issue, and you want to do something about it BEFORE it becomes a problem or you end up sick. This is about how you work as partners to achieve what you both need - you won't be the first and you won't be the last, and burning out your workers is a poor way of operating. It's in everyone's interests to work on solutions.

    Finally, in these environments, there sometimes are times when it is all hands to the deck. If that happens, the employer needs to be confident they can still rely on you. Making it clear that this is about the generality of the work loaf, not the occasional pushers, will help to reassure the employer, as will telling them flat out toy don't want to have tho choose between your life and your job because you love both!
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 18th Apr 17, 11:58 AM
    • 3,626 Posts
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    TELLIT01
    • #3
    • 18th Apr 17, 11:58 AM
    • #3
    • 18th Apr 17, 11:58 AM
    As far as I am concerned, there should be no requirement or obligation to regularly work overtime (for free) if a project is managed correctly by all persons involved.
    If I speak to my boss, I'm worried I'll be seen as a weak link who can't take the pace. But at the same time I don't want to leave the company as I really enjoy the work I do and the people I work with.
    Originally posted by livewire_82
    Your absolutely right that there shouldn't be a requirement for regular overtime if a project is managed properly. Unfortunately very few are, and you are suffering the consequences. I saw the same problem a lot over the latter part of my working life. More and more expected, with less and less in return.
    The truth is that you can't take the pace, but that doesn't make you a weak link in my opinion. You have recognised the problem and realised that something has to change. You must speak to your boss in the first instance and tell them clearly that you can't continue working excessive hours. Even being able to cut back for a few weeks may help to recharge your batteries. If the company is not supportive you have to make the choice between your family and your health, or the job. I know which I would pick.
    • Sncjw
    • By Sncjw 18th Apr 17, 12:15 PM
    • 1,367 Posts
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    Sncjw
    • #4
    • 18th Apr 17, 12:15 PM
    • #4
    • 18th Apr 17, 12:15 PM
    Why are you working for free. Does it take you under minimum wage all these hours your working
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 18th Apr 17, 12:24 PM
    • 15,015 Posts
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    pinkshoes
    • #5
    • 18th Apr 17, 12:24 PM
    • #5
    • 18th Apr 17, 12:24 PM
    Tell them that three nights a week your wife has an evening commitment so you need at leave at 5pm.

    Could you come in a bit to work earlier, then tell people you started early so leaving on time?
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 18th Apr 17, 12:45 PM
    • 3,352 Posts
    • 5,570 Thanks
    sangie595
    • #6
    • 18th Apr 17, 12:45 PM
    • #6
    • 18th Apr 17, 12:45 PM
    Why are you working for free. Does it take you under minimum wage all these hours your working
    Originally posted by Sncjw
    In these situations this doesn't apply. Nobody is forcing them to work - it's classed as voluntary overtime and not included in the wage calculation.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 18th Apr 17, 1:19 PM
    • 29,157 Posts
    • 17,438 Thanks
    getmore4less
    • #7
    • 18th Apr 17, 1:19 PM
    • #7
    • 18th Apr 17, 1:19 PM
    Sometimes this sort of environment becomes a self fulfilling spiral of fear.

    People start staying even when they have nothing really important to do because it is (seen to be) expected.

    Managers start inventing important stuff
    Stuff starts becoming important of handed over later and later in the day and needs to be done NOW.

    one trick is identify the really important stuff that create value and the stuff that no one would notice if it did not get done till the next day(some will never be needed or used anyway).

    if you can get the stuff done you can wean yourself off the cycle starting with a bit earlier odd days someone has to be first to leave some days it can be you

    The next part of the time management cycle is managing future workloads and expectation by getting those giving/creating work to prioritize in your workload and set realistic deadline within the workload framework.
    Once the timeline is full any new stuff has to bump out something else or go to the end, the everything is important and has to be done response if the sign of bad management when it happens all the time.

    One of my previous managers highlighted an important part of their job was to stop the !!!! before it got to their team and not just pass it on.

    Takes a team effort to make the change but can be done with a move to a focus on the important stuff.

    Another thing that can happen when overloaded is everyone loses the will to invest in productivity tools and process improvements go by the wayside because they are seen as time wasters when there is important(NOT) stuff to get done.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 18th Apr 17, 1:27 PM
    • 3,626 Posts
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    TELLIT01
    • #8
    • 18th Apr 17, 1:27 PM
    • #8
    • 18th Apr 17, 1:27 PM
    Why are you working for free. Does it take you under minimum wage all these hours your working
    Originally posted by Sncjw
    From the OPs mention of project work, I'm surmising that it is a salaries role where a reasonable amount of overtime is expected to be undertaken. The problem is that what one person considered 'reasonable' is considered by another to be 'excessive' or 'taking the proverbial'.
    I worked as a team manager in a previous job, I was one of 9 regional managers, and one one occasion our boss said to me that I wasn't putting in anything like as many hours as some of the others. My response was to ask if there was any problem with the work my team and myself were producing, to which the answer was 'No'. I then suggested that maybe he should be looking at the managers who were having to work long hours to complete what we did within the normal working day!
    Last edited by TELLIT01; 18-04-2017 at 1:31 PM.
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 18th Apr 17, 2:47 PM
    • 2,042 Posts
    • 2,829 Thanks
    trailingspouse
    • #9
    • 18th Apr 17, 2:47 PM
    • #9
    • 18th Apr 17, 2:47 PM
    When you are the first one to leave, don't sneak out hoping no-one will notice. Stand up straight, say to no-one in particular 'Well, that's me done for today. See you all tomorrow.' And walk out with you head held high.
    • Scorpio33
    • By Scorpio33 18th Apr 17, 3:15 PM
    • 441 Posts
    • 638 Thanks
    Scorpio33
    My opinion on this is that this kind of working (expecting overtime every day) is part of the firms culture. The only way that this can be solved is by switching jobs to another firm. It is usually not an official policy and is very much driven by the boss of the team/department. However, that boss is only in his position because he fits in with the vision of the firms culture from up top.

    Yes, you can leave on time when you work is done everyday, but then you will (a) not be seen as a team player or (b) be criticised for not helping others that are staying late with their work.

    I often find that most employees in firms like this are just like the OP and do not want to stay late, but do so out of fear.

    So my advice for the OP?

    Stay if you are willing to fight to change the firms culture. However, be prepared for a HUGE resistance to that, and you won't be able to do that on your own.

    Look for better options elsewhere and if one comes up (and you don't really want to leave your current job), use that as leverage with your boss so you can have an honest conversation with him about the culture..


    In my experience, as soon as you complain about consistent excessive hours, most bosses and firms like this only hear that you don't want to do any overtime and don't want your job. If the boss and firm were genuinely concerned about this, they would be doing something about it already.
    • Scorpio33
    • By Scorpio33 18th Apr 17, 3:17 PM
    • 441 Posts
    • 638 Thanks
    Scorpio33
    Just one question for the OP:

    If you were recently diagnosed with stress and anxiety, I assume you had time off work?

    If so, what did your work say to you when you returned? Surely they would have asked as to the cause of the stress and you had an opportunity to bring up this issue then? If so, what did they say?
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 18th Apr 17, 5:18 PM
    • 3,626 Posts
    • 3,702 Thanks
    TELLIT01
    Just one question for the OP:

    If you were recently diagnosed with stress and anxiety, I assume you had time off work?

    If so, what did your work say to you when you returned? Surely they would have asked as to the cause of the stress and you had an opportunity to bring up this issue then? If so, what did they say?
    Originally posted by Scorpio33
    A former colleague of mine was recently in exactly that situation. The medical certificate stated 'Work Related Stress'. What happened on the day they returned to work? They were handed a letter informing them that the disciplinary process had been started because they had exceeded the permitted absence level!
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 18th Apr 17, 5:18 PM
    • 1,032 Posts
    • 1,038 Thanks
    Fireflyaway
    I know some cultures just expect long hours and free overtime and you either accept it or not. IT is one of them. If something happens its expected you that you stay behind but often such places have good development programmes or better pay to make it worth your while.
    It doesn't sound like your work place are very flexible. You could speak to your manager and explain you have caring responsibilities ( your child) and need to leave at a certain time. See how its received.
    If they won't accommodate then I'd look elsewhere. What's the point if your health and marriage are suffering and chances are your little one will pick up the vibes too. Life is too short.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 18th Apr 17, 5:36 PM
    • 1,397 Posts
    • 1,383 Thanks
    steampowered
    As someone who started their career in a city environment where the demands were endless - and like many others I often worked 80 - 100 hour weeks - I completely sympathise with your position.

    While I enjoy my work, the demands are not fun. There are lots of people in the same boat.

    I think the key is to try and take back some form of control by managing people's expectations. This means refusing unreasonable or unnecessary requests which impact on your home life. It also means you have to be very organised so that everyone knows exactly where they stand.

    For example if you have to leave at a certain time to get home to your child - I think that is fine as long as people are aware of it. It may mean you have to work remotely to finish something in the evening, but only if truly necessary.

    Realistically, in some jobs the demands are always going to be high. But you do have to manage it into something sustainable. You do have to stand up for yourself, or you find that more and more work ends up on your desk rather than going to somebody else.

    I do not think you can blame project managers for this. The reality is that large projects are never going to be managed perfectly, and there will always be people who hold up the project regardless of what the project manager does. You just have to be responsible for organising your bit properly - and properly communicating what is achievable or not achievable - do not agree to take on responsibility for the entire project as that is not within your control.

    If others want you to do things in the context of a broader project, they can organise themselves properly so you can do it within the reasonable timescales you communicate to the project manager - if they fail to do that, that is on them, not on you.

    When I observe the people who juggle a demanding workload best (often mums with young children), they tend to insist on all meetings/calls/deadlines are in the diary so that they can manage their worklife properly - and notify people immediately if a request is not achievable.

    I also think it is a good idea to have an open conversation about this with your boss. I'm sure he/she would want to know there an issue so that it can be dealt with, rather than be faced with a sudden resignation.
    • Sncjw
    • By Sncjw 18th Apr 17, 6:08 PM
    • 1,367 Posts
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    Sncjw
    I'm salaried and if I am ask to volunteer for overtime I still get paid for the overtime.
    • premevolve
    • By premevolve 19th Apr 17, 10:16 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    premevolve
    New here
    Than go for sucide .

    i am just kidding friends. be responsible for your work .i'm also an employee in a online dissertation writing services providing company.
    Last edited by premevolve; 19-04-2017 at 10:21 AM. Reason: including useful info.
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