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.