I work in a big software company as entry level employee. In my team, there are two seniors. As of now, work is not very interesting (mainly documentation). As usual, my team does not like documentation. While I do not like it a lot, I don't hate it either. But I am a perfectionist and like to do whatever is given to me. I pay a lot of attention to it and try to make it better. But my team usually wants to just complete the work regardless of the quality. They typically leave when their schedules shifts are over, while I tend to work extra hours.

If I am working extra hours, my manager could potentially ask my co-workers to do so as well. Because of this, they don't like the fact that I am putting in extra hours. As I am just an entry level, I think if I work good, I could get better work to do.

Is it acceptable for me to try and motivate my co-workers to put in extra hour? If so, how would I go about doing that?

I am from India, if that helps.

As I mentioned, I am a perfectionist. If I am properly involved in any work, I try my best to complete it upto my standards, atleast. Else, I get uncomfortable. More interested and good I am, higher the standards. Computers and related stuff is kind of hobby.

As mentioned in few answers, I would not try to motivate my teammates to work overtime. But how can I continue doing it without annoying my teammates?

Do I lack team spirit for working overtime?

Please note that I am not doing it for overtime salary, I am doing it because I like it a little. Also, overtime is not calculated well in the company. Without a mail from superiors, it is hardly counted. 2-4 hours overtime is no big deal and not mentioned anywhere.

Is not getting involved in a work with teammates a good option? If I don't pay much attention to it, I wouldn't try to improve it.

  • 3
    if I work good, I could get better work to do what if you're doing such a good job of documentation that you get more documentation? ;)
    – rath
    Oct 11 '18 at 17:44
  • 4
    I was a lot more of a perfectionist when I was younger. I thought everyone just didn't care about quality. While this is true for some people, you have to start discovering what is important to the business and what isn't.
    – jcmack
    Oct 11 '18 at 19:36
  • "Is not getting involved in a work with teammates a good option?" - you mean finding another job? You can do that, but you could also just find one with teammates who care less. Oct 11 '18 at 19:38
  • "Do I lack team spirit for working overtime?" - this question is unfortunately probably a bit too opinion-based for this site (which is why someone initially edited it out). Oct 11 '18 at 19:39
  • I don't know your teammates, so I don't know what will or will not annoy them. I'm also not sure if "team spirit" means quite the same thing in the US (which I do know something about) and India. Oct 11 '18 at 21:14

This is not an issue for you to address, both because you are an entry-level worker and also because you are not a supervisor (or any other role responsible for deciding on project requirements and allocation of resources).

The company you work for has a specific product in mind (in this case, the documentation), and the quality of the product is included in that specification. The company also knows what resources it has available, and how it wants to allocate those resources to get the products it has decided on.

Even if your personal standards for quality are higher than what your employer is looking for, this is not your decision to make. If your employer wanted documentation at the higher quality level that you prefer, then the minimum acceptable standards for the documentation would include that and what was "just necessary" would be... documentation at that high level of quality. The "minimum needed" amount of work would be higher, and the company would accommodate that by allocating more resources (through whatever mechanism-- more staff, more time, requesting and paying for overtime labor, etc.).

It's not reasonable to ask your coworkers to work more hours, for free, to deliver something that your employer didn't ask for (even if it is "better" than what they've requested).

--Edit: Explicit Responses to Bolded Items in Question (per Request)

But how can I continue doing it without annoying my teammates?

Are they annoyed now? If so, I don't think you can continue without also annoying them. Your working overtime like this says you think that their work is inadequate (you're trading your spare time to improve it for free, which suggests that what they've produced is really subpar). There is also a risk that your coworkers will be asked to work overtime as well (although it's hard to say how likely this is).

But if they don't care about your overtime hours now I don't know that they would become annoyed down the line (unless something else happens).

Do I lack team spirit for working overtime?

In this specific case, yes. From your question it doesn't seem that you are talking to your coworkers about any problems with their work during office hours, depriving them of the chance to improve. You are also disregarding the wishes of your employer (which wants the work completed to specifications, not necessarily to the best imaginable level of quality with no thought to the staff time required to produce it). You are also disregarding the experience of your senior coworkers. They've been there longer than you, and perhaps have been working in the industry for longer than you as well. Are you really so certain that you are totally correct, and that they are completely wrong?

Further, your solution is to (at least potentially) make your coworkers work more in exchange for less money and nothing else-- not the most team-centered perspective.

Is not getting involved in a work with teammates a good option?

I'm not sure what you mean by this, so I can't provide a great answer. If you are not willing to work with a team, possibly involving compromises on how you think things should be done, then avoiding teams might be a better and easier path for you to take (if you can). I'm not sure if that's going to be your decision to make, though-- if you're assigned to a team for a project, refusing could be tricky at best.

  • Hi, if possible please answer the bold points in the question. Thanks in advance.
    – Ajay
    Oct 11 '18 at 19:05
  • @Ajay What book, and which points, are you referring to?
    – Upper_Case
    Oct 11 '18 at 19:07
  • *Bold points in question asked.
    – Ajay
    Oct 11 '18 at 19:09
  • @Ajay I've tried to address each of those, but the last one might be off-target.
    – Upper_Case
    Oct 11 '18 at 19:41

No, I doubt you'll be able to convince your coworkers to work overtime, especially not as an entry-level employee, nor should you be trying.

Regularly working overtime tends to lead to reduced productivity and eventually burnout, and few people would willingly give up time spent on friends, family or hobbies for the sake of staying in the office longer.

I'd recommend you also don't work too much overtime yourself, for the reasons mentioned above and because you're seemingly hurting your relationship with your coworkers - relationships are often an important part of getting ahead in the business world, potentially much more so than short-term productivity.

This is not to say you should stop everything the moment the clock strikes 5 (or whatever time your "shift" ends), but you should generally aim to wrap things up, or start wrapping things up, around that time.

You can't stop them from getting annoyed when they see you working overtime. The only way to keep working overtime (which, like I said above, I won't recommend) without annoying them would be to stop them from seeing you by, e.g., working from home, or in a meeting room, in the evening or not sending emails late at night. You could also try coming in early instead of leaving late, since people who work overtime tend to do so in the evening rather than the morning.

  • Hi, if possible please answer the bold points in the question too. Thanks in advance
    – Ajay
    Oct 11 '18 at 19:07

Is it acceptable for me to try and motivate my co-workers to put in extra hour?


You don't mention your locale, but in my area (UK) salaried developers are not paid overtime. You'd be asking them to take a pay cut. You're also taking a pay cut yourself if you're not paid for it.

Further: Overtime has a cool-down period and so it's something that you use very judiciously; for example, if a project is about to fail its deadline for something that is demonstrably your fault. That's one example, there are many. But usually it is a disservice to yourself.

You're annoying your colleagues and will annoy them even more by asking them to do overtime. There is no rational reason for them to do so... for a documentation task. If you enjoy having some rapport with them, don't do it (and possibly stop doing it yourself).

  • I didn't understood what is meant by cool down period. And how is it my fault if project misses deadline? I am doing my best and I cannot make any decisions.
    – Ajay
    Oct 11 '18 at 18:28
  • Hi, if possible please answer the bold points in the question too. Thanks in advance
    – Ajay
    Oct 11 '18 at 19:06
  • 1
    Working longer than about forty or forty-four hours a week, in software, is a strain that doesn't recover, so the quality and/or quantity of work goes down. It can be useful for a short time, but it needs to be recovered from if it's not going to be overall harmful to productivity. If you're working lots of overtime for long enough, you aren't doing your best, because if you didn't you could do better. Oct 11 '18 at 21:11

But how can I continue doing it [working overtime] without annoying my teammates?

Working overtime is likely not going to annoy your coworkers, because you are all hourly employees. It's more likely than your manager will be annoyed that they have to pay you more to do the same job as your colleagues. You could argue that you do more thorough work than your colleagues, but could that thorough be measured? If you can't, you might just seem like you're taking longer (more money) to do the same task or can't let of things that don't matter to the business.

Do I lack team spirit for working overtime?

Because you are hourly, I would say this doesn't matter. Your colleagues could work overtime if they chose to.

Is not getting involved in a work with teammates a good option?

I think you're asking if you should find work that don't have teammates. I think that would be very hard to find in this day and age unless you started your own company.

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