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Ben Halpern for CodeNewbie

Posted on with Erin A Olinick

Tight Deadlines & Long Hours or Relaxed Timelines & Lower Pay?

How do you prioritize between a project with tight deadlines and long work hours versus one with more relaxed timelines but lower pay? Meeting deadlines and putting in long hours can be a challenge, but the financial reward can be worth it. On the other hand, taking on a project with more relaxed timelines may mean a lower paycheck, but it can allow for a healthier work-life balance.

Are you willing to sacrifice your free time for a higher payout, or is work-life balance more important to you? And if you chose the first option, how long can you last?

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Top comments (8)

jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy 🎖️ • Edited

My boss at my first 100% web development role (back in the early 2000s) always made a big thing out of us always working no more than the hours we were contracted to work. She believed firmly in a good work-life balance. I've stuck to that ever since - pay has never come into it.

In my experience, hard deadlines rarely actually exist (and you'd be crazy to set them) - but when they do, the consequences of missing them are generally minor. If you achieve them, great! If not, life goes on.

Just do the best you can, without:

  • Burning yourself out
  • Working longer than normal hours
  • Cutting corners to meet arbitrary targets
tracygjg profile image
Tracy Gilmore

I could not agree more.
There is another problem with working all the hours you can - you have nothing more to give. I have worked with colleagues who regularly worked 60+hrs a week and when the project required a sprint to the finish they could offer nothing more. Invariable such behaviour has other negative side effects.: Failed marriages, declining health, compromises in quality, etc.
Regards, Tracy

amananandrai profile image

Totally agree with your thoughts.

dvddpl profile image
Davide de Paolis

why lower pay?

in general anyway i think that tight deadlines are bad for the project and for the people. would not call the other option "relaxed" though, rather reasonable / properly buffered.

moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

I feel the "lower pay" is part of a different discussion - whether people prefer working to deadlines or flexible hours shouldn't relate to how much they get paid!

rachelfazio profile image
Rachel Fazio

Wow, this question is always a hard one. I think after working more odd jobs, I am appreciative and flexible with the type of structure as long as I love the work I am doing. I have worked tight deadlines and long hours for little to no pay and still loved what I have been doing, though that being said I realize I thrive off of a structured deadline! I think what makes it most worth it is the perspective, if I, at the time speaking, am not stressed about money as much! Depends on the circumstance.

clericcoder profile image
Abdulsalaam Noibi

I really value my mental health, so I prefer to work on a relaxed timeline

syeo66 profile image
Red Ochsenbein (he/him) • Edited

Well, I never worked for a company which would pay more for more hours. And if the project management, sales or whoever can't communicate with the client in a way that putting in long hours can be avoided, I don't think it's worth making up for that from the developers side.