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The Real Cause of Overtime (And How To Avoid It)

Devs @ 7pace
Account for the devs at 7pace because we all write but don't want to deal with multiple accounts. Check out 7pace Timetracker for Azure DevOps (and soon GitHub)
Updated on ・2 min read

There are a few different reasons overtime is still so prevalent, and especially in the tech industry.

The biggest one is that we have a culture that glorifies working long hours. In tech, we call it “crunch time,” and it’s the pervasive hackathon mentality that programmers can work around the clock to meet tight deadlines.

Overtime can also happen because of management mistakes.
One of the most common management problems that leads to required overtime is not having an effective way to measure employee output. If you don’t have a way to measure what your team is actually producing, time they spend in the office is the best way you have to determine whether they’re being productive.

Avoid this by establishing a results-based way to evaluate programmer output.

This may seem like an odd directive coming from a time tracking company. But time tracking measurements can actually help your company mitigate or even eliminate the need for overtime, because you can use time-tracking data to better manage project timelines.

The time your programmers spend “clocked in” should never be how you measure their productivity. Instead, you should be properly managing their projects to give them enough time to create the output you need — without working crazy overtime.

If project management isn’t properly keyed in, teams could be stuck trying to complete a project that should take six weeks on a four-week timeline. Combat this by hiring qualified project managers to ensure deadlines can be met within sensible work hours.

No matter the problem, working overtime is not the answer. It takes a culture shift and a solid understanding of the consequences of overtime, but eliminating it from your organization will only help your business—and your people—thrive.

7pace Timetracker is the only integrated, professional time management solution for teams using Azure DevOps.

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