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I'm software engineer in a medium sized (~250-300 employees) service based company. Obviously the ultimate goal of the company is 100% client satisfaction.

Now the clients are from different time zone (most of them are in US Pacific Time) which is 12 hours and 30 minutes behind my timezone. We have weekly syncup meeting with clients in their working hours. So obviously we have to manage to attend the calls at around 10 PM to 11 PM our time. Now sometimes there are more than one meeting per week. No managers raise their voice in my company. Also almost all the projects have couple of such calls per week. It would have been okay if the frequency of syncup is biweekly or so. But I think this is something which kills the purpose of work life balance.

I'm not being paid extra for attending such calls. Also I can't deny directly as they consider this as our key responsibility to be available all the time whenever required.

What should be done in such cases? How to explain them that we also require some mental peace to relieve stress. Or this is the time to reconsider my future at this company?

Edit This is not duplicate of this answer. As my out of work hours are not unexpected. It's predefined by a meeting invite.

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    Do you "really" need to be on those meetings? – Sourav Ghosh Oct 23 at 15:25
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    I understand " this as our key responsibility to be available all the time whenever required" as "this is written in my contract and is reflected by the amount of money I'm paid". Can you confirm or deny? – SZCZERZO KŁY Oct 23 at 15:28
  • Would it make you feel ok if you are compensated (way or another) properly for the extended working? Or you simply don't want the calls at all (disregarding whatever can be offered to compensation)? – tweray Oct 23 at 15:28
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    Possible duplicate of How to politely avoid or decline unexpected off-the-clock work? – gnat Oct 23 at 15:44
  • @iLuvLogix this is not possible every week as I'm primary developer and have to understand requirements and have responsibilities. Just I feel that it should not be after my working hours. – Kaushal28 Oct 23 at 15:59
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Every project / assignment has it's own demands. That includes the shift / work timing.

Ideally, you should have been made aware of the work timing for this project before you joined, if you were not - ask your manager.

Considering you're taking about work-life balance (and not only looking for overtime payment), and as you mentioned these are status calls, check with your manager / superior:

  • Do you really need to be in the call(s)?
  • Is there a way you can load-share, like rotating the call between you and other team members, so that the frequency of late-night calls are minimal to everyone?
  • Can the timing be adjusted a bit earlier so that it gets into early evening your time?

Unfortunately, there's nothing much you can do if the answers are negative, you need to find other opportunities where the work time is more aligned to your local time.

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    Any comments with downvote? – Sourav Ghosh Oct 23 at 15:39
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    +1 For the suggestions. Another reasonable accommodation would be leaving early on the day of the meeting, or coming in late the next day. – Lumberjack Oct 23 at 16:12
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I think you need to look at the situation from the client's side as well and remember that this is not an ideal situation for either side. Being in a situation where you are working with different teams across such a drastic timezone difference and different companies is always difficult.

You are asking how to avoid client calls after work hours but on the flip side if those calls were to take place during your work hours it would be outside of the normal work hours for your client. And as the client is paying for your company to do work for them it would generally be more reasonable for the company that is being paid to adjust to the other's work schedule.

What it sounds like you need to do is to work with your management to help structure the schedule around these meetings and set it up so the same person does not have to attend all of them. Another possibility is to see if you can send more of these updates via email or other means that can be sent during your workday and consumed during their workday.

There are plenty of instances in the engineering/development world where you have to handle work at bad times (middle of the night/early morning) just because of the operational schedule will not allow something to happen during normal work hours and management needs to understand that work hours adjustments need to be made.

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Have an honest conversation with your boss. I bet you're not the only person who doesn't want to have to work late and there's a good chance he/she has already spoken with other members of your team about this exact issue. If one of my employees were in this situation, I might let her come in late the next day or work from home on the day of a late night client call. Or maybe I'd start making lists of exactly which employees need to be on which calls and try to reduce the number of people having to work late.

Your manager wants you to be happy. It sounds like the late night calls are going to be a part of the company longterm and the bosses need to find a way to make them manageable before people start looking for other jobs. As a rule, any time you are facing a problem at work that has you thinking about finding another job, you should talk to your boss about it candidly. Maybe the boss and fix it, maybe not, but you'll never know if you don't ask.

  • Any constructive feedback from the downvoter? – Andrew Brēza Oct 24 at 9:42
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What should be done in such cases? How to explain them that we also require some mental peace to relieve stress. Or this is the time to reconsider my future at this company?

If your key responsibility to be available all the time whenever required for the client then attending these meetings falls under this responsibility.

That being said, if you don't already know you should reach out to your manager and determine how critical your attendance at these meetings are. After having that information I would treat these meeting invites the same as any other invites. If you have other conflicts and your attendance is not critical then you can decline the meeting invite as you would with any other meeting that you cannot attend. But if you can attend, then you should attend. Your agreement with the company is to be available at any time so simply not wanting to attend because the meetings are "after working hours" is not a good excuse.

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In a normal situation, I would suggest becoming unavailable. Don't answer your phone or keep it on silent, if you have any instant messaging app on your phone then remove them, only check your emails at work etc.

However it sound like you are expected to be available. If that the case and your manager's voice is not getting heard then I will suggest polishing up your CV and going elsewhere.

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    In a normal situation, I would suggest becoming unavailable. Very dangerous advice, would significantly hamper your professional image and work relations. – Sourav Ghosh Oct 23 at 15:25
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    @SouravGhosh That's why I prefaced it with "normal" as for salaried employees it is normal that you might not be able to be contacted outside of work – Meerfall the dewott Oct 23 at 15:28
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    No, that's not "normal". Avoiding something is not a solution. That said, we don;t know what is the official work hour for OP, so we don't know ther're actually outside of work hours. – Sourav Ghosh Oct 23 at 15:31
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    I agree with you in general, and would agree for this case also if we knew about the shift timing for OP. If you're expected to be available, I don't think the time will be outside of expected shift timing / working hour. Just because it's late, doesn't not automatically mean it's outside working hour. – Sourav Ghosh Oct 23 at 15:37
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    @Meerfallthedewott I suspect you may have misunderstood the question. OP isn't receiving random calls after hours, he is being asked to attend a weekly meeting at 10PM. – Lumberjack Oct 23 at 16:10

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