I haven't been working for that long, but I have been in several projects already, I have been moved and traded and whatnot.

It's the second time I am assigned to a project where people sitting next to me are working overtime on a regular basis where I am not, and I would like to know if I can do something better than simply:

-stating my condolences

-saying how hard it would be to me (which is true),

-and what I think about the issue (I believe they are being abused by the circumstances and our relatively young age).

I am the new guy, I have been told by them I can not help since they cant teach me the specifics of the project right now. Also, I am assigned to a similar project that happens to have less workload.

  • What are you hoping to accomplish by interacting with them?
    – Erik
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 11:12
  • Personally, overtime is a philosophy of work that we are free to decide if we are not tied to the job. I would not justified myself to not do overtime because we usually made a deal with our employer that we are expected to accomplished X hours per week for an expected salary of Y dollars, everybody respect their side and everything will be good. Why I would justified doing something that is outside of the scope of my contract? I will do overtime for a fun project, to get a training or to acquire new skills, but I will not do overtime because people are doing overtime.
    – Tom Sawyer
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 11:29
  • What part of interacting is difficult, e.g. do they need to meet/discuss things with you outside of your working hours?
    – Brandin
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 12:15
  • @Erik well they are my colleagues, we go to eat breakfast and lunch together, so it's about being empathetic with their situation, pretty much. I am left wondering if/when I am going to be dragged by the enviroment, though Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 14:01
  • It is not difficult per se @Brandin, but I am acting on instinct alone and I want to stablish a good working relationship with people that have accepted the fact that mandatory overtime is the norm, when I have not, nor I am required. Yet. So it's me wondering whether or not the approach can be improved Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 14:04

3 Answers 3


Don't worry about it and carry on with your assigned tasks.

You could try and make their days go a little easier in helping them out in ways that could help. Make them coffee, do other mundane tasks so they don't have to...


How to interact with a team that is working overtime?

You interact with them the same as you would any other team. The amount of hours they work, or the current work load of the team is not your concern.

You are not responsible for their situation, the team's manager is. Its up to the folks on that team to change the situation, not you.

You may want to suggest that the team discuss the situation with their manager, but beyond that there is really nothing more for you to do.


Over the years with several employers and seeing several of my friends dealing with those problems, I have come to on one assertion:

You can´t help people who let themselves be abused. You can on only lead the way by not participating in this behavior yourself.

For most comes the time when, after working their asses off, the see they gained nothing for themselves. Then is the time when, often with a change of employer, they will start being responsible with their time-investment.

Bottom line, just do your job and let them do theirs as they see fit.

  • 1
    Yeah, what you say is 100% how I feel, but since I am always surrounded by this practices, I end up wondering if I am just a lazy dude who pretends to know a thing. On the other hand, 26 hours on two days seems a bit much. But indeed, I feel like I am "right" and they will end up regretting this period. But I am as junior as them so what do I know Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 13:57
  • 1
    I work in the IT-Industry for 20 years now, with my first 5 years or so accepting the culture of overtime. I was young and naive and thought some time, somebody will come to me and say "Hey, we noticed you doing a lot more than anyone around here, here is your big reward!" Never happened. The sad thing is, people get really frustrated when they feel underappreciated and that can even lead to them doing less than minimum in the end. So in the long run it is really in both the employers and the employees interest to keep a healthy balance. Unfortunately not too many people seem to realize...
    – Daniel
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 16:53
  • 1
    It's inspiring to me listen to this stories but I fear that, as you say, not many people realize this, and working in this enviroment leads to being the odd one. I wonder if you have any experience in that case? I don't want people to think I am not doing my job because I am "only" doing 9 hours of work a day... Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 7:29

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