My tech lead consistently works late nights and weekends.

He often uses this time to complete tasks that I had either planned on starting soon or had already begun, leaving very little for me to work on.

This is hugely demotivating for me, as I know if I don't complete something he'll just do it, but I can't figure out how to tell that to my boss. Should I bring it up?

Edit for more details: There is one other member of our team. There was another, but he recently switched teams. I suspect his issue was the same as mine: there simply isn't enough work to do or direction from our tech lead. I'm bored, but also worried about visibility. My productivity has decreased quite a lot lately. And truthfully I don't actually think it's good for our team: this tech lead writes a ton of unnecessary code that is difficult for anyone else to manage. But it clearly looks good from the perspective of our boss, which is what matters

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    Does the team has any daily/weekly meeting? What is the size of the team?
    – Tom Sawyer
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 17:43
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    Provide more details please. Is your job in jeopardy? Does anyone else have this issue? Is this about visibility, or simply not wanting to be bored throughout the week?
    – AndreiROM
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 17:47
  • You say you "know it is good for the company", but the rest of the question makes it pretty clear that it's not actually good for the company. Consider adjusting your views on the virtues of continuous overtime ;)
    – Erik
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 17:52
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    the only thing you should bring up is if his works somehow affects yours, no matter if its on weekdays or weekends. Also what is your question? according to the title the answer would be yes, you can be annoyed at whanever you want :) Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 17:54
  • What do you have to deal with here? Just do the work assigned to you. If someone else is putting in unpaid overtime to do your work, it is their problem not yours. Use that spare time to do something else. They will get burned out soon anyway, and then you will have plenty of work to do.
    – Masked Man
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 18:13

2 Answers 2


Should I bring it up?

First, I must say that you should not need be annoyed by this. If he likes spending all of his time working then that is your Lead's choice, and that fact should not bother you.

However, it is understandable that you find annoying the fact that he takes over some tasks that were assigned to you, as it may result in you wasting your time in things he will eventually do without telling others.

I suggest you bring it up to your Lead first, so he can hear what you feel about this and also for him to explain his reasons on doing so. Try to see if he is up to refraining from completing tasks that have been assigned to you.

If this is not possible, try to see if your Lead can notify your team when he is taking over a task, so others can manage their time better.

Some people have a hard time delegating tasks to others, and sometimes try to take care of all tasks so they are done "their way". This is usually problematic, specially on Leads or Managers that should mainly be delegating tasks. It seems that your Lead may be this kind of worker, so changing his mind might be a bit difficult to achieve.

Now, if this continues and is something that impedes you from doing your job then you could try escalating to your manager, so he/she can decide what to do with the Task Assignment process and the way it is implemented.


He often uses this time to complete tasks that I had either planned on starting soon or had already begun, leaving very little for me to work on. [emphasis mine]

If your team lead was simply working at a faster pace than you, I would give different advice. But it sounds like your team lead is picking up work that has already been partially completed by you. In my mind, a pattern of this behavior is not OK by the team lead (justification below).

Should I bring it up?

Yes. As some comments pointed out, you only want to bring up another person's actions for discussion if they are affecting you. But when your team lead completes a task you have started, it is affecting you. Specifically, it's reducing your productivity by retroactively making the work you began redundant. This reduces your team's overall velocity. Your manager should want to hear about anything reducing the team's velocity. I think it is fair for you to be demoralized by this situation, but you will be better served by voicing this as a problem/opportunity that affects the team, rather than you as an individual.

A word of warning: One thing you should be aware of is the risk that your team lead is not working overtime only because he enjoys it, but that he is working overtime to cover for a deficiency (real or perceived) in your output or quality. Hopefully, you can test for this by approaching your team lead the next time he has taken some work that you started. Just ask him, from a point of genuine concern, if he felt your progress was holding things up.

Another piece of advice: If your team doesn't have some sort of work tracking software, get some. There's no reason not to be tracking the state and status of your deliverables. Part of that state is, who is planning/assigned to work on something, and if they've started it yet. We use Jira, but there are a bazzilion options. Tracking software will make it more difficult to accidentally take over a task another team member has started.

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    Good answer! I'd add that it's an easier conversation if OP approaches it as a coordination issue first, rather than as an existential conversation about whether there's enough work for the team to justify OP. That conversation is one to have with manager, after seeing how this first issue plays out.
    – akaioi
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 19:32

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