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So the scenario is like we and another company are working on a common project. I often visit their office for discussion and meetings. For the first few months, it goes very well. After that they started to call me after office hours and even on weekends.

This was for discussion the software development cycle and other things in project without notifying my team members.

I don't know what to do. My onsite is regularly calling me after office hours and they want me to discuss the next page phases of the project. Sometimes they want me their in team discussion on weekends without informing my team members or my immediate boss

I never answer their calls after office hours, is this ethical?

Note: There is no such deal to offer extra pay during extra hours working or working in weekends. I don't know what agreement was signed between them. They even refused to clear the RFP

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    I'd recommend having an off-hours bill rate that would highly discourage this behavior. – UnhandledExcepSean Aug 4 '17 at 14:38
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    Inform your immediate boss about this disrespectful behavior. "Off hours" are called that for a reason. – Dan Pichelman Aug 4 '17 at 14:40
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    Is there any possibility that after-hours contact was a part of the client's agreement with your employer, perhaps at a special rate? If so, your employer should have informed you, and that's probably a separate discussion. If not, let your boss know so they can let the client know it's not acceptable and/or renegotiate. – Scraping Infinity Aug 4 '17 at 15:54
  • @ScrapingInfinity - I updated the question , actually there was no agreement signed between us. I don't know even the Project proposal , it seems weird but I worked as Team lead.It was company policy to share everything with team lead too. I heard somewhere that our top head and their top head are good friend. How to handle this behaviour of after hours calls? – Narender Parmar Aug 4 '17 at 16:15
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    @NarenderParmar continue to ignore the calls - deal with them once you are back in the office (in normal hours). If challenged, point out the fact that out of hours support is not part of your employment agreement (assuming that that is the case). If you are invited to out-of-hours meetings, decline them and explain that the meetings fall outside of your working hours. – Ant P Aug 4 '17 at 17:20
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Here's how you handle this situation: Stop handing out your direct cell phone number to clients. You need to create some healthy distance between yourself and your clients. Consider a service like https://www.numberbarn.com/ (there are others) where you give clients an assigned number that only rings through to you during hours of your choosing, because there are always going to be clients that just don't give a hoot about interrupting you during your personal time (especially if the client happens to be in a different time zone).

There's nothing unethical about not taking calls during personal time - that's why it's called personal time. You wouldn't expect 24/7 access to your gardener, family attorney, general contractor, physician, or others who serve your needs; so why would you hold yourself to some much higher standard for the clients you serve? Think about it.

  • this seems a great solution , having 2 numbers I think will definitely solve this issue. – Narender Parmar Aug 6 '17 at 17:57
  • Google Voice works well for this too. Been using them for years – Mister Positive Aug 7 '17 at 18:14
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I never answer their calls after office hours, is this ethical?

No, its is not un-ethical to ignore the calls and you are doing the right thing by ignoring them. On Monday, you should direct the client to call your boss for any after hours or weekend work where you are needed.

The reason for this is because as a consultancy company I guarantee your boss expects you to bill for all you're time, and you should get paid for this extra time too.

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    Good point. If you're a consultant and not billing for your time, you're short changing your company as well. – Retired Codger Aug 4 '17 at 14:56
  • Good catch guys I tried this strategy but my immediate boss told me to listen them to understand the project well :\. Yeah may be I m short changing the present company. – Narender Parmar Aug 4 '17 at 16:33
  • This is what I'd do... you've got to have boundaries. – Acumen Simulator Aug 4 '17 at 16:58
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What you are doing is not unethical, but it's not favorable either.

You may want to attend the occasional off-hours meeting, but make sure you are compensated either through additional hours billed, or comp time. A VERY high after hours rate would help to curb this (Double your rate, for example)

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My onsite is regularly calling me after office hours and they want me to discuss the next page phases of the project. Sometimes they want me their in team discussion on weekends without informing my team members or my immediate boss

I never answer their calls after office hours, is this ethical?

I wouldn't use the term "unethical" here. But simply refusing to answer calls and doing nothing about the situation else seems foolish.

Instead the two companies need to come to an agreement on the terms of work - expectations, hours of operation, how to escalate emergencies, etc. Apparently, that hasn't happened yet. That was a mistake.

If you aren't the right person to deal with these issues, discuss it with your boss. But someone needs to take the lead and come to an agreement on the terms of engagement here, so that both companies can be successful.

Just ducking calls isn't the right course of action.

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