Frank makes a good point. While I work more than the 8.5 hours a day an earlier poster mentioned, I also mostly choose my hours and can hang out with the kids in the morning or afternoon before/after going in to work at weird times for global telephone meetings. So you have to measure the overall lifestyle and flexibility, not just when and how much people work.
I think the best companies will allow for people to work their 8 hour days and not be penalized. At the same time, companies should reward people who perform at a higher level and do more. Often this means putting in much more time. I also think that it's fair that a person should not expect to rise through the ranks working only 8 hours/day. That is essentially doing the minimum.
That's pretty much the way I operate too. Conference calls and even webex are easy to do from home or elsewhere, for that matter, and I take advantage of that too.
All the more reason to wonder how long I would stay at Yahoo, if I were one of those unfortunate employees. My question on that score being, if there were telecommuters who didn't perform, why punish the entire company? Just let the bad apples go.
I seldom leave work completely alone either during the weekend, at night, on vacation, etc. My company happens to have a very flexible policy towards telecommuting and I don't often notice the extra hours I put in.
I'd say my job never ends but that'd be misleading: it ends when I want it to end. As long as certain deadlines are met and I'm available to answer other designer's questions, there's really no time I "have" to work. The flip side that I put in whatever's necessary to get the job done.
I'd say that's a good trade-off. I'd like to think most engineers aren't trading time for pay; they're trading complete pieces of work for pay.
The most surprising thing about this is that 100% of those surveyed did not to some work on weekends and/or evenings. I can't think of a private sector job where that would not be the case!
There is another thing here, it is not necessarily about being a workaholic, but about being quality of product. It has generally been pride that has driven me. Pride in the quality of what I put out, whether product, process, management, etc.
I really don't consider having 2-3 evening conference calls per month with international colleagues to be a big deal. For the most part, my company is 8-5:30 give or take 30 minutes depending on the person, plus the random conference calls with Asian or European partners. We are lab-centric and are actually forbidden from being in the labs after hours or on weekends for safety reasons.
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