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My company is about to ship a product but some of the features my team is in charge of aren't completely integrated yet. I am not directly working on the product but I have been asked by my manager if I could help one of my collegues one day on the week-end. Overtime isn't paid at all although they will at least cover any lunch expense for that day (which is still less that a day's worth of pay obviously). I decided to do it because:
- I care about delivering a working product, regardless of the planning failures.
- I don't want my team/my company to take a reputational hit. Even if we are not to blame - the design and goals completely changed 3 weeks ago... - the top management won't see it that way if things go south.
- I was not forced to go in and I know for a fact that not going would have no negative impact on my job, salary or bonus and that my direct management would understand perfectly that I prioritize my personal life over my work.
- It's the first time it's happening and I clearly won't do it all week-ends nor more than a few times per year.
- My colleague decided to do overtime because his own reputation is on the line and it felt like a good thing to help him at the best of my abilities/availability out of solidarity.
One other colleague is complaining about my behavior, stating that doing what I do encourages the management to force us to work for free on our personal time and makes the others that don't look bad. He also says that it's the management fault for not planning better and that failing to deliver something functional in time is the only way they'll learn. I agree with the "bad planning" part but I honestly do it because it feels like the right to do.
Is volunteering for occasional unpaid work on week-ends a good or a bad thing ?
P.S: To give some context, I work in the video-game industry, where this kind of thing is quite common.