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Most Tech Workers Would Ignore a Call From Their Boss Outside Work Hours (zdnet.com) 184

In this age of instant communication, there is pressure on employees to be "switched on" all hours of the day. But do we really have the mental attitude to totally disconnect from work? From a report: A new study by UK-based HandsetExpert has revealed that almost two out of three tech workers would ignore an out-of-hours call from the boss. It surveyed 1,850 mobile device users in the UK to find out how we deal with the pressures of being an "always-on" society. This number might be the roll-up of various reasons -- from being on the toilet, in the bath, or in other compromising situations. The survey showed different behaviours from different job roles. Healthcare professionals seem to be most connected to their place of work. They were the least likely to cancel any calls from their boss, with only 42.5 percent stating they would not pick up the call. At the other end of the scale, real estate agents -- who already work some of the longest hours in the industry -- are least likely to respond. Almost three out of four workers (72.6 percent) in that industry sector would not respond to calls from their boss.
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Most Tech Workers Would Ignore a Call From Their Boss Outside Work Hours

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  • pfft. (Score:5, Funny)

    by grub ( 11606 ) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday March 28, 2018 @05:05PM (#56343529) Homepage Journal
    I ignore calls from my boss during work hours.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I do too, but it's because he'll leave a message. If it was urgent, he'd be in my office.

      Now a call outside of office hours? Definitely I'll pick it up, something's critical is down (but the service monitor called me before it called him).

    • i tried that. got fired. got a new job. tried it again. retired.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Hell if my boss needs something from me during work hours, all he has to do is call the bar down the street and have the bartender hand the phone yo me.

  • I would pick up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 28, 2018 @05:08PM (#56343541)

    I know my boss respects my private life and work balance, so if he's calling me then it must be something dire.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I've had both types of bosses. The good ones I would happily take out-of-hours calls from - and it almost never happened. The bad ones called semi-regularly until I simply stopped answering. They weren't happy about the situation but by that stage I was usually actively seeking work elsewhere, so meh.

    • Re:I would pick up (Score:5, Interesting)

      by war4peace ( 1628283 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2018 @06:00PM (#56343807)

      Same here but there's another reason. If he calls me during off-hours, it means the situation is indeed dire (be it technically or politically) AND he will make sure that I get double pay for that day.

      • Re:I would pick up (Score:4, Insightful)

        by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Thursday March 29, 2018 @12:25AM (#56345163) Homepage

        Don't care, capitalism, contracts, don't work for free. They get a few calls, just a few in the entire contract life, no matter how many years, any more than that, want that call answered and reacted to, the fucking pay for it. Want standby responce, then fucking pay for standby response on a roster, and you pay for each and every hour of standby and when called, straight up double time, from the second the call starts until after I return home to standby pay, if I am rostered, not rostered fuck off. Fuck working for free, I ain't no fucking slave, what is it with you people. Standby is not for free, it is something that is contracted and bloody paid for, sitting at home, sober waiting, something a company has to pay for, not a bloody freebie. You people either need backbones or a union.

    • Re:I would pick up (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Jhon ( 241832 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2018 @06:01PM (#56343819) Homepage Journal

      "I know my boss respects my private life and work balance, so if he's calling me then it must be something dire"

      This.

      If it's important, I get an email. If it's VERY important I get a "HIGH IMPORTANCE" flagged email. If it's something really REALLY important (like needs to be fixed/addressed NOW rather than Monday or next morning I get a phone call. Then usually comp time in the very near future.

    • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2018 @06:05PM (#56343835) Journal

      Same here. My boss wouldn't call without a darn good reason. In addition, if the shit hits the fan I'd MUCH rather fix it than have someone else TRY to fix it and leave me with a much bigger mess to clean up in the morning.

      I've told my boss PLEASE call (or message) me because it's much easier for me to spend 10 minutes properly diagnosing a problem and fixing it, rather than try to figure out wtf all a co-worker did while randomly trying this and that at random hoping to make the problem go away.

      ===

      Heck, even my FORMER my boss, as I was leaving that job, I told them several times - you'll probably run into one or two situations where you have this choice:
      A) you spend five hours trying to figure out what Ray did
      B) I spend five minutes answering their email, answering their question
      I'd much rather me spend 5 minutes answering their question than they spend 5 hours trying to figure it out without asking me.

      Of course the old employer left me on as a "hourly employee" at a high rate of $xxx/hour, just in case they needed a couple hours of my time. At well over $100/hour, I'm happy to leave open the possibility of doing a little work for them. Even giving them a few minutes of my time for free.

      As it turned out, I think they had one five-minute question for me, and once I asked them to send me a copy of a bit of code I'd written for them because it was a good example of a concept I wanted to demonstrate.

      • Same here. My boss wouldn't call without a darn good reason. In addition, if the shit hits the fan I'd MUCH rather fix it than have someone else TRY to fix it and leave me with a much bigger mess to clean up in the morning.

        I've told my boss PLEASE call (or message) me because it's much easier for me to spend 10 minutes properly diagnosing a problem and fixing it, rather than try to figure out wtf all a co-worker did while randomly trying this and that at random hoping to make the problem go away.

        ===

        Heck, even my FORMER my boss, as I was leaving that job, I told them several times - you'll probably run into one or two situations where you have this choice:
        A) you spend five hours trying to figure out what Ray did
        B) I spend five minutes answering their email, answering their question
        I'd much rather me spend 5 minutes answering their question than they spend 5 hours trying to figure it out without asking me.

        Of course the old employer left me on as a "hourly employee" at a high rate of $xxx/hour, just in case they needed a couple hours of my time. At well over $100/hour, I'm happy to leave open the possibility of doing a little work for them. Even giving them a few minutes of my time for free.

        As it turned out, I think they had one five-minute question for me, and once I asked them to send me a copy of a bit of code I'd written for them because it was a good example of a concept I wanted to demonstrate.

        Now, THIS ^^^ is how a boss/employee professional relationship should work.

        I, too, am privileged to work for a fair, knowledgeable boss, and we respect each other's skills and abilities. If he calls me on the weekend, it's important, and I don't mind taking a little time to straighten out whatever it is. In earlier times, this kind of responsibility was taken into account at salary review time, but in the past 15 years, the MBAs have infiltrated themselves into management and the review process so thoroug

    • Re:I would pick up (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2018 @08:09PM (#56344453)

      What exactly is a "tech worker" defined as? Obviously, this answer really depends on the job.

      I program videogames for a living. No matter how important an issue at work is, there's absolutely nothing that would be so important that it can't be handled tomorrow.

      If I was a tech ensuring Amazon.com stayed online and operational, I'd expect that being available 24/7/365 would be part of the job.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        If you were responsible for a billion dollar a day in revenue website, I'd expect you to have at least five people to have 24/7/365 coverage at all times without needing overtime. Six even, to handle people who quit, die, move, etc.

        • If you were responsible for a billion dollar a day in revenue website, I'd expect you to have at least five people to have 24/7/365 coverage at all times without needing overtime. Six even, to handle people who quit, die, move, etc.

          People here on slashdot love to believe that they are unique special geniuses who are single-handedly responsible for keeping their organisations running. Must be a dream for cynical managers who get 40 hours+ free overtime a week out of them and can churn the savings back into their own bonus pot.

      • by houghi ( 78078 )

        In the second part, you would expect them to have a team doing that. If nothing else than for the 'under the bus' issue'. I always tried to have 3 people with knowledge of a task and it has happened that I needed the backup of the backup. That was just for a day time job. For 24 hour shifts it is not just the opening hours. You need to calculate the holidays, sick days, training days and even breaks and the talk at the water dispenser.

        Now if you are part of a small IT team, having a 24 hour availability mig

  • This is obvious (Score:4, Insightful)

    by klingens ( 147173 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2018 @05:10PM (#56343551)

    With healthcare, there are literally lives on the line. "Did you give Mrs. Abernathy her heart medication or is the lack of entry in the chart an oversight? I'm calling cause I need to give it to her in the next 2 minutes if you forgot"
    With real estate people: it's not the boss who buys the property and it takes quite a long time for a sale with all the bureaucracy. There is just no real urgency.
    IT worker: for some it can be important cause the server might fall down and the downtime might be very expensive. E.g. some Amazon AWS downtime or maybe a nuclear power plant. But most IT workers work cupholder replacements or such, there it doesn't really matter.

    • A lot of tech jobs are working on products that are going to be released and delays mean product is not released on time.
      There is a kind of an urgency and excitement and if you stop when the clock stops you are basically a Wally type (See Dilbert.)

      Try doing that when working for Steve Jobs at apple, you will be fired. So it depends on your Boss.
      I have had the boss ask me at about 6pm at night, can you be on the flight tomorrow leaving at 8:20am to China. My answer was yes, went to china for a week to
      • Re:This is obvious (Score:5, Insightful)

        by youngone ( 975102 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2018 @06:01PM (#56343817)

        Try doing that when working for Steve Jobs at apple, you will be fired.

        Fortunately for me, I live in a country where everyone has rights, not just the extremely wealthy, so if my boss sacked me because I went home when he stopped paying me, it would cost him a lot of money.
        I am also not prepared to act like some sort of servile lackey.

        • Genuinely curious because it's damn sure not the US. Most of us are "At Will" employees in "Right to Work" states (I bet you're English so you can appreciate our Orwellian double speak). At least that's how it works in the Bible Belt wasteland.

          I.e. you can be fired for any reason that isn't EoE protected (LGBTQ/race/religion/sex) which is extremely hard to prove. Oh, and if you get fired you get no unemployment benefits because the state will invariably side with the employer and you have no choice but to l

          • Definitely not the US, I am sometimes appalled at what you have to put up with in the US. I understand your employers don't even have to give you annual leave.
        • by houghi ( 78078 )

          I hate living in such a country. I was once called into the office because I did not yet take my two hours extra time I was entitled to. (Yeah, that was sarcasm)

          A story in the newspaper was about a manager in a supermarket who was fired because he came early in to put everything in place, so his staff would not need to do it. For the company that was reason enough to fire him. If you know the way people get fired in Belgium, you will know he was warned to stop doing it.

          I also know of a case where a higher

          • I was once called into the office because I did not yet take my two hours extra time I was entitled to.

            No offence, but you're a fucking idiot then.

      • A lot of tech jobs are working on products that are going to be released and delays mean product is not released on time.

        This is solved in the planning phase. That is when you decide that a timeframe is unreasonable. If at that point, I'm expected to stick to an unreasonable schedule that's when I'm out the door.

        • Sometimes schedules are set by when it is believed a competitor is going to release a product. Recruitment and bringing staff up to speed takes time. Ideally, even after release, you would still recruit more staff for next time, but that's not always done, or financially possible.
        • > This is solved in the planning phase.

          That is a _Very_ optimistic view. It can be very, very expensive to pre-plan and pre-allocate resources for all contingencies, and it can delay release by months if not years. when planning a release, all predictable factors may not be known or even knowable. One can spend many times as much money and time on QA, more money than the cost of an entire new project, and _still_ have an unexpected problem when a system goes to production

        • I work in a design company. I have yet to work on a project where the planning phase accurately described the work required. Since we're always working on something that's never been done before, "stuff" comes up during the design process, and quite often, the customer's anticipated requirements need to change. Ideally, this would be a scope change, and we'd modify the dates accordingly. This sometimes happens, but as often as not, there's some kind of hard deadline: a trade show, investor meeting, or t

    • With real estate people: it's not the boss who buys the property

      Indeed. RE agents work AT a brokerage, not FOR a brokerage. The broker they work with is not really their "boss" in any meaningful sense, and more a provider of administrative services. The agents are a source of income for the broker, not the other way around. Agents can easily leave for another brokerage and take their clients with them.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The healthcare sector I worked in was software development for medical devices. There was nothing I worked on that had immediate consequences with day to day patient information. I worked supporting the global engineering group the created the hardware and software used in the devices. Yes, the software engineering environment was global, EU, USA, Israel, India and Australia. If the software support server environment went down, it would cost a lot of money but no one would die.
      The devices that were in the

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      If the life of people is on the line, calling somebody is not the best thing to do. Clearly we are talking about people who are not 'on call' but people in their free time. Even the doctors themselves will need some free time for sleep, family and vacation.

      If you are in a situation where you need to call somebody who is not on duty or on call it should happen so rare that it should be expected that the person is not available.

      If that is not the case (e.g. in a nuclear power plant) and they do not have thou

  • Healthcare vs tech (Score:5, Insightful)

    by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2018 @05:12PM (#56343561)

    Healthcare: if you ignore a call, people can actually be harmed or die.

    I.T. outside of nuclear power plants and healthcare: if you ignore a call, people might not be able to use the latest fart app for two hours.

    In one instance, selfless dedication is appropriate, in the other, less so. Also, was the 2 out of 3 number for techies for the US or the UK?

    • "I.T. outside of nuclear power plants and healthcare: if you ignore a call, people might not be able to use the latest fart app for two hours."

      Lol, yeah, no. See, there's this thing called feature creep. And IT has it. So the people who are only supposed to be in charge of the computers end up running the elevators, electrical systems, plumbing, etc.

    • Hire extra workers for the night shift then. You can't legally force people to work 24 hours a day in the US, and being on call is essentially working for 24 hours. The companies are abusing the workers here and they need to stand up for their rights.

      Also, as the article mentions UK workers, they already have lots of workers rights. Often you'll get a security guard upset if you are staying at the office late as it can annoy the unions. If they asked the same question in the US, I suspect there would be

    • >blockquote> Healthcare: if you ignore a call, people can actually be harmed or die.

      In which case, people can actually be harmed or die for a variety of reasons.

      I might be seriously ill or injured. I might not have transportation. I might be far away. I might have connectivity problems or a dead battery.

      If you, as a manager, put me in a position where someone's life depends on me, specifically, receiving a call and coming in, you should be fired.

  • I Answer (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 28, 2018 @05:12PM (#56343563)

    Half the time it's because he wants to hang out and have a beer.

  • by alaskana98 ( 1509139 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2018 @05:18PM (#56343585)
    I think a great determiner of whether or not one would pick up the call is if you are salaried or hourly. If salaried, the temptation may be greater to ignore the call as once you do start answering that may indicate to the boss that it's OK to call anytime outside of work hours. If hourly, then go ahead and pick up the call and then claim the time on your time card. It will get real expensive real quick if that's the case and that would naturally solve the problem. Also, it depends on the expectations and line of work. Are you the only one that can fix a critical business service/process/piece of equipment, etc? If so then ignoring a call could be dire for your career (but if that was the case then any self respecting organization would have an on-call plan set up anyways, so that may be a moot point). If not I would definitely ignore the call as it can always wait till the morning (or whenever you start your shift).
    • I don't even know who's calling me anyway, I don't know the boss' phone number and he's not in my contacts. There is sooooo much spam and robot calling now that I don't answer the phone anymore. If they leave a voice message that isn't spam then I'll call back. The modern telephone is now useless for phone calls because of this.

      And even if I did have my boss's number show up on caller ID, I could still just claim I didn't know who it was. Time outside of work is MY time.

  • If it's done judiciously, it's reasonable to respond. Bleep happens. However, if the causes of after-hour problems are preventable but org resources are not devoted to prevention, then the org is dumping the results of their sloth into you.

    If they are playing those games, it's time to fight back. Tell them you are too drunk to drive to the office, for example. If they keep it up, it's time to either ask for a raise to compensate, or move on to a different gig.

  • by ruddk ( 5153113 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2018 @05:21PM (#56343603) Homepage

    If I am available, I will answer the phone if my colleagues call outside work hours. But when I am out on my bike in the forest I put it on silent and place the phone in my backpack, if I feel stressed I'll put it on silent when I go to bed. If they want a guarantee that I answer, sober and ready to help, I want to get paid to be on standby because it is so bloody taxing, even if the phone doesn't ring, I once were on 45 minutes standby for a year 24/7(45 minutes to start problem solving/login remote)

    My boss knows this and agrees. The same goes for my other colleagues. :) In other words, we answer if we can, but there are no guarantees and that is accepted.

    • by l810c ( 551591 )

      I've spent 10 years providing 24/7 365 support for multiple clients. All night, All weekend if needed.

      Wife/kids/dogs and I go to the beach or mountains, I have my laptop. And have had to frequently tackle issues while on vacation.

      I bought a mini Asus laptop when we last went to Disney World, Sea World and water park. I thankfully didn't have any issues during that week, but I was prepared.

      • I hope you got paid extra for that silliness. Seriously, a laptop while you're in a park?? I'm all for proving your worth to your employer, but that seems a bit far. I could see a cellphone and that's as far as I would go.
    • If someone does come in to fix a problem, they should get an extra day off without it coming out of their vacation.

      Sometimes I do come in, rarely, but that's usually because if I don't there will be giant headaches and extra work when I do show up. It's very very rare because everyone knows that it pisses people off to call them in at night or on the weekend, and if you piss off workers then you lose workers.

    • if I feel stressed I'll put it on silent when I go to bed

      You don't have your phone on silent when you go to bed anyway? How do you sleep?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So you don't get any of my time outside of business hours.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I wonder how many Chinese high-tech workers would ignore a call from their boss after hours? Assuming they have any off-hours to begin with. I don't think the results would be the same in America (I hope anyway). In a globalized economy a country's competitiveness is really important to its long-term financial stability and viability. Europe has been a laggard in this regard for 200+ years so the results are not surprising.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      In China past a set level of skills your in mil uniform for your productive decades of "work".
      You are ready to work 24/7 in China.
      The mil controls your life and grants good housing, education, international education, wage and advancement.
      Not doing what your told in China results in every granted part of a good city workplace getting removed.
  • Seriously, do you actually leave your cell phone on during events?

    If it's that important, it's Monday.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I worked in a 24/7 high-stress environment where I was one of 3 people on call all the time. We had trouble with a vendor's system and were only authorized to reboot it when it failed. Anything further resulted in a suspension or getting fired. Most of the stress was from political B.S. (Surprise!)

    One night, I got called at 11:00pm, 2:30am, 4:00am, and at 6:00am by the same people to reboot the same shitty system. I was written up because I wasn't cheerful and happy on the 6:00am call. After that, I s

  • by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2018 @05:39PM (#56343717) Homepage Journal

    I was 2 hours out of town on a Sunday at a friend's birthday party and my boss calls. He demands I come in and work on an issue that he believes I caused. And berates me for 5 minutes on the phone after I refused with the reason being that I'm out of town.
    When I get into work Monday, I get reamed out further and put on a PIP (performance improvement plan). I was never told I was "on-call" for that weekend. And later on Monday, once I finally got to look at the problem. I discovered someone committed changes without running it through the mandatory integration process.
    Those changes conflicted with my weeks old change and causes numerous test failures. In short, not my fault. Not even my responsibility to diagnose what went wrong. Needless to say I was out there quickly due to the PIP and my total dickishness with telling everyone at work I've been wrongly accused of such bullshit and how poorly the management handled it.

    (not posting as AC, because you know who you are)

    • I've been in similar situations at work.... in my experience, it's better to just pretend like you want to help people that you have no ability to (or interest in) than it is to just flatly refuse.

      Had I been in that situation, I would said that because I was out of town, there was no way for me to get in to work right now, but I'd tell them in the most assuring voice I could muster that I'd look into the matter on Monday.

      At the very least, if people believe that you want to help them but have no ability to, they are more willing to be forgiving of things that they think are your fault.

      • Had I been in that situation, I would said that because I was out of town, there was no way for me to get in to work right now, but I'd tell them in the most assuring voice I could muster that I'd look into the matter on Monday.

        Almost exactly what I said. Then i got reamed out for 5 minutes for "leaving town right after breaking the build" and being "a blocker to for the entire team". Waiting until Monday was "totally unacceptable".

        The kicker was it was after 4pm, and it would take about 2 hours to get there. He didn't want to hold the two people after 6pm to wait for me. So rather than flatly refusing I was curt with him and told him that "since I can't get there in less than 2 hours, and you won't wait. then I won't be able to c

        • by mark-t ( 151149 )

          The kicker was it was after 4pm, and it would take about 2 hours to get there. He didn't want to hold the two people after 6pm to wait for me. So rather than flatly refusing I was curt with him and told him that "since I can't get there in less than 2 hours, and you won't wait. then I won't be able to come in today."

          The mistake I think that you made here was trying to reason with someone who was clearly being unreasonable.

          I don't blame you for a second here... but in my experience the best thing to do w

  • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2018 @05:41PM (#56343721)

    When I was a sysadmin, my systems were set up to page/text me when a problem occurred. If it was ultimately something that had a business impact (like having to keep a system down outside a maintenance window), I was the one calling my boss at 2 am... He always took those calls from me as he knew I wouldn't be calling if it wasn't important and I needed input or had to give him a heads up.

    In the best of situations, it works both ways and the boss doesn't call you unless it's important and you're really needed. You both know the other will answer and you can count on each other to do what's needed to get the job done and also not abuse that trust or relationship. Less optimal situations may require that you find another job.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Re "boss doesn't call you unless it's important and you're really needed."
      The problem is the USA is not hiring every shift on merit. Then workers doing the next shift would be skilled to do the work.
      People not at work could relax.
      Thanks to political correctness hiring on merit is now much more difficult. Every shift has a lot of workers. Who cannot work on any given task and always need support.
      A few of the very best workers have to work very hard to support their company and all the other workers
  • by viperidaenz ( 2515578 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2018 @05:41PM (#56343723)

    I'd also charge a minimum of 2 hours for answering the phone too.

    • I'd also charge a minimum of 2 hours for answering the phone too.

      If you can charge for your time, you don't have a boss, you have a client.

  • I tell anyone who needs to call me after hours to facetime me. Because i'll be nude. If they can handle that, it must be important.

    • I would love to read the arrest report after the boss's 13 year old daughter rings the phone for him and you pick up.

  • by tgrigsby ( 164308 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2018 @06:09PM (#56343857) Homepage Journal

    I'm self-employed, and after hours, unless I'm expecting a call, if I'm in the middle of something, chances are very good I'll let the call go to voicemail. Part of the reason I'm self-employed was to wrest control of my professional and personal life from employers that would take advantage of me at any opportunity.

    I've been that guy on-call, and that's a different story. You know what you're signing on for when you take on that responsibility. I'm talking about situations where I'm expected to answer the call for "all hands on deck" without any additional compensation or consideration. Now, if I spend time on your system, you get billed, as it should be.

  • My manager often called me to come in on my day off. There were 5 people to cover 5 different schedules. Sometimes I would work because the time and a half pay or comp time was good. Other times I'd unplug my phone because the ring or answering device would wake me. There are times when people need that mental health break or to be able to have time with family and friends, to goto a movie or to dinner.
    • There are times when people need that mental health break or to be able to have time with family and friends, to goto a movie or to dinner.

      This is *why* I go to work. It's not the occasional thing, it's what I do and work finances it.

  • I've been part of an on-call rotation, and I got ISDN (back when that was a big deal) and some pay differential... in addition to home access to the 9 net. And that entitled them to route calls to my house. Perhaps for some intermediate amount of compensation, managers could convince employees to take their calls.

  • by p51d007 ( 656414 )
    I have my phone (MY phone), work email set to be on only from 6:30am, to 5:00pm M-F, and from 5pm Friday, to 6:30am Monday. Before the advent of smartphones, the internet, email and the like, when you left at the end of the day, that was it until the next business day. If my boss needs something on the weekend, I expect to be paid, he knows it, and has paid me if needed. THAT is the way it should be, but, some people are "scared" to say no, think they are "on call" 24/7...when a boss knows that, you will e
  • If I trusted my boss to only call me if it was really important. I would answer at any hour, on any day

    If I observed that my boss interrupted my free time with stupid stuff.. I would block his number

  • That's their responses to a survey. Let's check their phone records to find out what they're actually doing.
  • by hoofie ( 201045 ) <graeme@g[ ]meandkim.com ['rae' in gap]> on Wednesday March 28, 2018 @09:54PM (#56344831)
    Note that in the UK, if your boss phones you late at night regarding work, you are well within your rights to tell them to poke it.

    UK Employment law contains lots of protections for employees and you cannot fire people for fun and giggles. Also people consider that if you are going to phone me out of hours, it had better be really earth-shatteringly important. The only time I can remember getting such a call it was because the mains cable into the building had exploded and damaged a lot of infrastructure through a power surge. It was a request if I could come in early the next morning to help sort out the mess which was fine as it was an extremely rare event.
  • If you want me to reply outside of work hours, you better be paying me outside of work hours.

  • by evil_aaronm ( 671521 ) on Thursday March 29, 2018 @01:19AM (#56345275)
    I worked at a place where there were four of us on the admin team, and I was expected to be on-call for one week out of four. As sometimes happened, the Network Operations Center people would muff an "emergency," or just call out of an overabundance of caution, and we'd quickly determine it was no big deal, close the call. Then, there were other times where it would start with me, then snowball to my go-to guy - though I hated bugging him if I could avoid it - if it was over my head or costing us big bucks per minute of downtime. More than once - New Years Eve of 2017, for instance - it escalated to all-hands. Every one of us got roped into it for a good three or four hours that evening. We never did figure that one out, but it eventually went away. The good part of our group was that we all had each others' backs; it was a solid team of good guys, even the manager, who took regular weekly on-call shifts. The bad part was that we didn't get paid extra for it. I missed a number of family events - even had to take a call while in the hospital as my mother was dying, but I didn't mind so much because I needed to take a break from the sadness - and I won't deny I got pissed off more than once about being on-call, but I understood the job requirements going in. The lack of extra pay also kinda motivated us to get shit fixed quick-like.
  • Funny story:

    In my old company (smaller), the company modified the IT policy to make it easier for employees to access email and company data on personal devices. This made it more likely that I would check email off hours, and possibly respond if necessary (which was not uncommon).

    In my new (bigger) company, the IT policy is more rigid, and you cannot access company info (including email) without jumping through several hoops (corporate device, multi-factor auth, etc.). So I no longer check email/phone off

    • by ledow ( 319597 )

      "The morale, I suppose, is that if you want to encourage good employee work/life balance, you should implement more security policies. Or not, I guess, depending on your corporate goals."

      If you want to encourage employee work/life balance, then do so. It's really easy. Say "Hey, John, it's 6pm, you should be at home enjoying your family. It's not an emergency, we'll sort it out tomorrow. Have a good one."

      I have had several bosses that do exactly that.
         

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm not on call, I'm not being paid to be on call, if you wish to have me on call you will need to pay me.

    When I leave the office for the day, my work phone goes into my backpack, and stays there. I don't walk around after hours with it. I don't obsessively check it. I don't care about it.

    Do not for a minute think you have 24x7 access to me, and don't expect that I feel I owe you that.

    Every now and then my company takes on a client, and says "yes, we'll give you 24x7 coverage in case of a disaster". But

  • It is very easy to decide whether you should take a call from your boss outside of work hours. If the answer to those questions is no, then don't answer the phone:

    1. Do you have a personal relationship with your boss outside of the workplace?

    2. Are you on-call or part of a backup rotation in accordance with a written company policy?

    3. Is there a policy applicable to your positions which provides compensation for work requested during off-duty hours?

    You could have been watching a movie, swimming in a pool, o

  • There once was a time that I had no real frame of reference to differentiate contracted hours of employment from private time. I had no boundaries, was pretty much always on call, and thought I was lucky to have the employers that I allowed to (and were happy to) treat me like that. I pretty much always took the call. Several employers did pretty well out of me during those years.

    Then I grew up and developed a modicum of self-esteem.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle

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