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I don’t know if I’m from a different generation but I can’t believe I have to ‘set expectations’ w my analyst to at least check their email *once* on the weekend to see if anything’s blowing up

funnylikehelpful
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I think this type of post is a classic example of the 'say-do' gap we often experience in our organisations. As leaders, we rightly push life balance as we know the destructive effects of overwork and stress have on ourselves and our colleagues, but, in the same breath, we place demanding loads on our people...creating an unethical dissonance that hurts our people and our industry.

Although I never expected people to work weekends, as a Director in EY, I know my teams do and I certainly did as well. 3 months ago I felt a 'pop' in the back of my head, a lot of pain, and ended up in hospital with a suspected bleed on the brain.

Whilst the end result was not a bleed, the occupational health team have been laser-like clear that this was a result of cumulative stress and without something materially changing, a stroke is a real possibility.

After several bouts of therapy, I have finally internalised how dangerous my work ethic and mindset was. And indeed that of my colleagues and peers.

Posts like this can seem innocuous but they are part of a more dangerous, larger problem. Ultimately, when I was off, EY did not fall over. The company did not go bust. I am not irreplaceable. And therefore, the work is not life or death either, and it is not reasonable to ask people to head down a path that at best compromises their personal life and general wellbeing, at worst has serious life (possibly even fatal) repercussions.

So leave your analyst alone. Do not expect them to check every weekend. Yes if you're in the middle of a genuinely major thing and this weekend - and this weekend only - you might need them to be alert to what's going on / pitch in a little, then fine ask for their support. But making it conditional and part of every weekend means they can never switch off and never truly de-stress, and that is destructive and harmful.

likesmarthelpfulupliftingfunny

OP do you have any jobs going? 40hrs a week sounds epic.

P.S. will work weekends for emergencies, but only if the idiot who decided on a 9am Monday SteerCo eats a hand grenade.

likefunny

When I joined my previous employer, I was asked at the interview if I understood that this is not a 9-5 and some off-hours work may be needed. In that role i worked only one Sunday in 2 years. That weekend, the client CEO sent feedback late on Friday. We had a key readout on Monday, so I took initiative to ensure that we are ready. If I led this initiative, I would've told my team to check emails over weekend, but also that anything left by Sunday 5pm I would do.

My takeaways from this thread are:
- some people absolutely refuse to work weekends. That's ok, but I probably wouldn't want them on my team
- some people do their best to avoid weekend work and expect leaders to support them in setting expectations while pushing back on clients to eliminate/minimize weekend work. Those ARE the people I'd want on my team
- some people like to work weekends. That's fine. It's not fine if they expect their teams to adhere to similar schedules. If they do, they are NOT people I want on my team
- it is a leader's responsibility to set expectations at the beginning of a project, and before a deadline that may result in off-hours work. It's also their responsibility to try to avoid this kind of work and stay as closely as possible to said expectations
- a strong analyst proactively manages upwards, letting leadership know that expected client deliverables haven't arrived in time and proposing a solution to this

Happy to take feedback on this. I am here to learn, like OP and many others

likehelpful

I decline meetings where all I’m expected to do is listen, and I do my best to “stack” meetings together on certain days and block time on other days so I have some uninterrupted time to get my actual work done.

Recent IconRecent

No. Stop.

Stop stealing people’s lives. Nothing is that important. Respect work/life balance.

likeupliftingsmartfunnyhelpful

lol OP here getting owned and yet not receptive towards views different from his/her own. this is what makes consulting or any kind of work bad. grow up, OP. learn some time management skills. learn to respect that people have a life outside of work. learn not to abuse your authority just because you are at a higher career level.

likefunny

Hi. OP here. So a few clarifications.

I’m not a consultant title. I’m a director. We pay our analysts $120k and up. Part of that agreement is extended hours may be necessary due to the nature of our work. My guideline is to give them defined deliverables and autonomy but never more than 45-50 hours in a crunch week. Most weeks are actually 40-45 which I think is rare in our industry.

This autonomy was given to the analyst, where they were given a clear goal to have materials that depended on a client to provide data ready for a Monday 9am steering committee. Unfortunately that client did not deliver that data until Friday night. No problem I thought, analyst will get to it by Sunday night and I emailed on Friday night to be sure they will get to it. Sunday night comes and nothing. So I jump in and finish it.

Analyst says this is the clients mistake for the late data. I agree and I will rectify that with client, but I don’t think this allows analyst to make the decision to have an incomplete Monday 9am. It sucks yeah. But it happens and we’ll set expectations that late client deliverables doesn’t happen again but this was the first and rare time on this project.

So yeah I’m the asshole. But my analyst also sucks.

likefunnyhelpful

What company??

like

Maybe your generation isn't realizing your analyst probably isn't being paid enough to even afford renting his/her own house so why should he/she care if something is blowing up in the only free time from hell work?

like

How long has it been since you looked at what other industries are paying? I had offers with starting salaries ~20K higher in industry, as would most other highly competent engineers or computer scientists. Consulting comp is good, but hardly great.

likehelpful

Bad planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part

likefunny

This! I was looking for this lol

likehelpful

How senior are you? Anything below M you’re too young (and too junior) to be saying this...

like

Weekends are me time ! >:(

likefunny

I agree. If for any critical needs such as fixing a critical defect to support ongoing operations or deadlines or approaching Go Live, set expectations with the Project team and even call the individual if needed for urgent needs only.

This comment section passed the vibe check

like

What’s the address?

Why would things be blowing up?

Unless I’m on call, you should text or call if it’s that serious

likesmart

I think you have different values than maybe some of your analysts. As someone who is managing people, I would expect you to be clear with your team about these kinds of expectations. I do not check my email on the weekend unless I am specifically told to check my email on the weekend. I also made clear with my team as a junior level person that on the weekends, you can text me if there is an emergency. Otherwise, I will not be checking any work accounts. Not sorry to say that I enjoy my family and friend time on the weekends because it recharges me and let’s me invest my time in ways that fuel me.

like

Call or text. Simple

likehelpfulfunny

No

likehelpful

I don’t check my email on the weekend anymore and I’m so much happier. This job steals enough of my personal time as it is.

like

How is your email not set up on your phone.

People actually wait until Monday to even look at their emails? I don’t consider responding to an email over the weekend “work”

It’s the same as responding to a text message

likefunny

For as long as I’ve been doing this ( 10 years) I think I’m passed that point

Are you paying your analysts for the weekends? If the job is so demanding that weekend work is necessary then you should pay your salaries accordingly. It’s that simple. When I worked at a law firm, I was happy to work weekends because I was getting paid $250k+ a year. I switched to consulting, making less than half that, so I wouldn’t need to work on the weekends. And I got paid accordingly.

like

My husband works at a law firm, works seven days a week and gets paid 150. If you were making 250+ at a law firm I’m not sure how you took such a pay cut in consulting?

like

OP is probably a 40 year old consultant on a power trip. There is nothing that is “blowing” up on the weekend. Get a grip mate.

likefunny

Yeah, no. Unreasonable on your part. You are the ah here.

You need to call or text and ask nicely for weekend work.

likehelpful

If something is truly blowing up, do you really rely on your ANALYST to fix it?

... But seriously, work life balance. We're not saving lives here.

like

I keep the sabbath as per the 10 commandments and per guidelines if you disturb it and don’t, you should be put to death. That’s God speaking, not me, take it up with the big boss

funnylike

Honestly, set that expectation upfront, and I won't bother you for any reason, at least until sundown on Saturday.

I get that this job takes flexibility, but weekends aren’t working days. If checking in is a necessity on a couple of weekends during a busy part of a project, perhaps that is something they should inherently be aware of. However, saying something like “hey, I know it’s the weekend, but we’ll all need to stay connected and check in” goes a long way towards making that person feel valued and respected (and costs you nothing). When the project is not in crazy mode, even if I see emails pop up on my phone, I don’t read them. If something does hit the fan, I’ll get a call and then I’ll be flexible.

like

Agree with a lot of the posts above. If for any reason you think there might be a chance that something might “blow up” over the weekend than you need to give your team a heads up before they log off on Friday. I personally pack up my laptop, work phone, and anything work related, into my work bag at the end of the week and put the bag away (helps me to disconnect). I only then pull out my work phone on Sunday night to get an idea of meetings/priorities for the coming week. You need to respect your teams time off, staff is already being overworked (along with more senior people too). I also think it’s worth mentioning that if you are constantly “crying wolf” and telling them that they need to be “ready for anything” on the weekend, everyone is going to hate working with you and you’ll most likely get bad reviews.

likeupliftingsmart

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