-3

I work as a software developer in a small startup (15 people including the CEO/founder and all employees) which sells a SaaS product to businesses.

We "officially" work from 9:30am to 6:30pm (8 hours a day). However, most people never leave before 7:15pm (45mn extra time), and sometimes we’re asked to stay 1 more hour for a meeting or to do tasks peripheral to our job (sometimes it’s based on "volunteering", sometimes not). That’s more than half a day of extra work per week which is not paid.

I talked about it to two colleagues who told me exactly the same thing (I asked them separately): "in small startups, everyone is responsible for the company’s success and we have to finish the work in time". My opinion on this is that while we must be efficient and productive for the time we’re paid for (8 hours a day), we shouldn’t have to work more to "finish the work": in this case, it means either that the objectives set are not realistic (not do-able in the given time) or that the employee has a productivity problem/is not trained enough for the job.

That’s why, even if I like my job, I always leave between 6:30 and 6:45 because I believe I’ve done my job and I have nothing to earn to work longer (given that I have no equity in the company). But it makes me feel bad as the other people continue working or "volunteer" to help do some tasks after work. So far nobody told me anything about that and I’ve been able to achieve my objectives. But I want to know:

  • Is it normal or expected to work more to "finish our work" in startups or companies in general?
  • What should I say when I’m asked to stay longer or if I want to "volunteer" to do some boring task after work time?

PS: I’m 23, I work in Paris, FR, and this is my first job.

closed as too broad by gnat, solarflare, Twyxz, IDrinkandIKnowThings, Michael Grubey Oct 30 '18 at 0:27

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 2
    I was going to post an answer; however, because this is in France, I'm not sure if there are employment laws that may set a maximum on working hours, even in the case of a startup. In the US, it would certainly be expected for people to put in more hours in a startup, for the business to succeed. – Time4Tea Oct 27 '18 at 13:34
  • 2
    Are you actually a "startup" and not a small business at this point - it seems to me a lot of European companies use "start up" as a sexy American word. How long has the company been in business ? – Neuromancer Oct 27 '18 at 16:48
  • Are you being paid in equity? What was your expectation going into the job? – user70848 Oct 28 '18 at 3:59
2

Is it normal or expected to work more to "finish our work" in startups or companies in general?

Yes. It's perfectly normal to work hard in startups. You don't have to work longer hours, but your company also doesn't have obligation to provide you employment benefits. Working a little longer than your standard hours is not a big deal even in France.

What should I say when I’m asked to stay longer or if I want to "volunteer" to do some boring task after work time?

You promise you will get your works done.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.