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Reasons for working overtime

turnworks

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Was talking with a friend the other day and his job just offered unlimited overtime for anyone that wants to work it. The reason he was given was because its bonus time and if you want one then earn it. Overtime being the bonus.

I've heard a ton of reasons for overtime but that's a new one on me.

Wanted to know what are some other reasons for having your workers work overtime. At one place I was at I requested some overtime to be approved in order to hit some ship dates. I was approved but had to write an email in a company approved format to detail why the overtime was needed and the steps to take in order for it to not happen again in the future.

Seen some companies where overtime was just a normal work week and others where even the word overtime was a curse word.

Does it come down to just different mind sets of the owners/management? Just different fields in manufacturing? Would like some insight into this if anyone has some spare time.
 

Trueturning

Diamond
Joined
Jul 2, 2019
Was talking with a friend the other day and his job just offered unlimited overtime for anyone that wants to work it. The reason he was given was because its bonus time and if you want one then earn it. Overtime being the bonus.

I've heard a ton of reasons for overtime but that's a new one on me.

Wanted to know what are some other reasons for having your workers work overtime. At one place I was at I requested some overtime to be approved in order to hit some ship dates. I was approved but had to write an email in a company approved format to detail why the overtime was needed and the steps to take in order for it to not happen again in the future.

Seen some companies where overtime was just a normal work week and others where even the word overtime was a curse word.

Does it come down to just different mind sets of the owners/management? Just different fields in manufacturing? Would like some insight into this if anyone has some spare time.
“Does it come down to just different mind sets of the owners/management?”

Given the employers ability to pay of course I think this is one valid point of view because it highlights the mindset of the employer who wants it or needs it done.
A good topic by the way.
 

FamilyTradition

Aluminum
Joined
Feb 24, 2018
Location
Greenfield, Mass
Exactly, it makes for a flexible work crew, a lot easier to manage than adding employees, shifts and equipment.
And can be cheaper in some circumstances if you think about benefits - better to pay the guy time and a half for a few hours rather than an additional health insurance premium ($100s a month).

As the OP said, it depends on the shop as well, and/or current economic conditions. I used to work for a shop that gave you as much OT as possible if you didn't slack off, sometimes was even mandatory. They cut OT completely when COVID hit, and then a few months ago I heard OT is now mandatory again due to backlog.

I have heard some of the bigger corporations it's a "if you don't use it, you lose it" in terms of OT budget, so even if the guys are sitting around on Saturday with a thumb up their ass, they have the shop open. So when they HAVE to work OT to get product out, they can do it without going through the bureaucracy.
 

barbter

Diamond
Joined
Oct 27, 2007
Location
On Tour...
I’d rather pay 5 guys for 8 hrs OT each than hire a new guy. I think it’s more efficient.
This was always my thoughts. Employing someone else was a last resort.
It also helps as a business, if you base all your costs on say a 40hr week to calc your overhead.
Then come OT, all it costs is wages, a bit more electric, and some consumables. Everything else (rent/rates/water/electric/finance etc etc) is already paid for.
And OT = extra hours so reduces lead-time and increases sales.
 

Comatose

Titanium
Joined
Feb 25, 2005
Location
Akron, OH
It helps in industries that are boom and bust, too. Five guys that have all been there for years, working 40 hours when it's bust times and 60 hours when it is busy, is a lot better for everyone than having five guys that are always there, then repeatedly hiring and laying off another three every year or two.
 

DouglasJRizzo

Titanium
Joined
Jun 7, 2011
Location
Ramsey, NJ.
Was talking with a friend the other day and his job just offered unlimited overtime for anyone that wants to work it. The reason he was given was because its bonus time and if you want one then earn it. Overtime being the bonus.

I've heard a ton of reasons for overtime but that's a new one on me.

Wanted to know what are some other reasons for having your workers work overtime. At one place I was at I requested some overtime to be approved in order to hit some ship dates. I was approved but had to write an email in a company approved format to detail why the overtime was needed and the steps to take in order for it to not happen again in the future.

Seen some companies where overtime was just a normal work week and others where even the word overtime was a curse word.

Does it come down to just different mind sets of the owners/management? Just different fields in manufacturing? Would like some insight into this if anyone has some spare time.
Last place I worked at, there was always an abudance of work and overtime was there for the taking. Time-and-a-half during the week, double time on weekends. They were always making stuff for inventory as well as cutomer orders. There were a core of guys that were always putting extra hours in. They had paychecks that were pretty impressive. The money is there for the making.
 

ttrager

Aluminum
Joined
Jul 23, 2015
By Law, companies are required to pay employees 1.5 times their regular wage for hours worked over 40 (non-exempt employees).

It's not a bonus. Someone is playing monkey-business with terms and/or being lazy.

One could see Overtime as a sign something is wrong as much as it might be just part of the environment, depending on the Company, environment, product/service, and Customers.
 

p-moon

Aluminum
Joined
Apr 2, 2005
Location
indiana
When my shop was open, it was pretty much necessary to offer overtime in order to attract the best employees, who often expected it. There were a few ways to view overtime as a business owner. First (and worst in my opinion) is to see OT as just an additional cost. Second was to see OT as changing the average per hour cost of doing business (confusing, how do you know what your costs are?). Third (and I think the best) was to view the hourly cost of doing business in two different terms. First, the fixed costs, rent, insurance, etc, which I always figured were paid for in the first 40 hours after which they dropped to zero, and then the variable costs - labor, electricity, etc, which varied according to the number of hours an employee worked. Looking at it this way, there are instances where the cost to the company could be less for overtime than straight time. We worked a lot of overtime if the work was available.
 

yoke

Hot Rolled
Joined
Sep 26, 2013
Location
PA
As a part owner I work OT because the work needs done.

I have one really good guy who will work 5 or so OT hours routinely. If I have more of a need I'll make sure he knows it is available but I also know he values his time away from the shop and I respect that. If I have to work an extra 10 so be it.

To the OP, does the company not typically offer a bonus? I can see going from no OT to being offered OT as a nice option. Going from being given a bonus to not giving a bonus but offering OT is going to ruffle some feathers.
 

turnworks

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Really surprised by some of the replies. Never really sat down and did the math on which is cheaper some overtime or a new employee. I'm guessing that it depends on how many hours OT we are talking about but now I see a different side of it.

His place normally does bonuses but the new boss has a new plan. My place seems to be about average. Workers blame OT on management having very poor work flow skills. Lower management blaming upper management for a lack of sticks and carrots to use. Upper management blaming sales for poor quoting skills.

Never seen OT as a way to attract workers in my field but I can see how that would help in others. It always seems to be told in the interview that OT is rare and completely optional when in fact there is a ton of it and if you don't work it all you'll never grow inside the company.

Thanks for the replies, always learn something useful.
 

Job Shopper TN

Cast Iron
Joined
May 17, 2015
Location
Southeast TN
I know in a lot of cases, overtime is the only way to make decent money in this trade. Some places pay crap but 15-20 hours of overtime “make up for it”. Then some big plants pay great and still offer overtime, even above and beyond the minimum of 1.5x such as double time on weekends or after so many days worked in a row. Some of that is also different between job shops (what I know) and manufacturing shops.

Being in a sort of low/middle management spot myself I see different sides of it.

Quoting/sales want dollars and high win percentages. CEOs/upper management want profit margins and high quarterly sales. Floor level management want to get work out on time. Unfortunately, pushing for more sales and jobs than is possible in a given time frame in the pursuit of sales is opposing to getting all work out by the due date. Floor management gives lead times they know are possible, which to upper management may seem too safe. If you’ve got nine and a half work days out of ten booked, do you squeeze in that last half day or do you leave that open for “whoops”? Floor management would want that safety net. Quoting wants sales. CEO wants revenue.

Somewhere there’s a happy medium but I think in the job shop world, it can’t be maintained. Just my observations anyways.

Some folks love OT, some don’t. For those that do, they may not make it if you cut back to 40. That’s on them. For those that don’t, when it comes up, management may have to decide what’s better, to get 40 hours from a guy or 50 for a week or two then 0 when they leave lol

Offering OT instead of bonuses does seem dirty to me. Time and a half pay is required for work over 40… so it’s not a bonus. Literally the bare minimum required by law. 😅 How the eff is that a “bonus”?
 

pgmrmike

Cast Iron
Joined
Jun 24, 2010
Location
Plantersville, TX
It helps in industries that are boom and bust, too. Five guys that have all been there for years, working 40 hours when it's bust times and 60 hours when it is busy, is a lot better for everyone than having five guys that are always there, then repeatedly hiring and laying off another three every year or two.
Yep. Our workload is so erratic ( o&g ) if everyone was at 40hrs I would have to hire and layoff monthly. ( I dont treat people that way ) I am lucky enough that my 2 main guys love OT so they are on 60hrs, and have been for a year and a half. They are very productive so the cost doesnt bother me. I have had other employees that the cost was hard to swallow, ( due to low productivity) so tried to keep it down.

We get a lot of hot jobs, sometimes overnight, but often just a couple of days and having guys used to 10-12hr days makes it relatively easy to do that ( I have only one shift )
 

jccaclimber

Hot Rolled
Joined
Nov 22, 2015
Location
San Francisco
The big places with union labor I’ve been it’s often cheaper to run some overtime on an entry level position than it is to pay extra benefits to a new person. Plus if you’re running 24/5 then going to 24/6 occasionally is way cheaper than another or faster assembly line at millions each.

One place I was at was entirely salaried exempt employees, but they offered overtime at straight pay anyways. Result was that if people were motivated projects got done sooner, at no additional cost, and everyone was happy. Sort of like banking hours and then turning them in when times are lean.

On the customer side, some senior guy decided a project needed to move from 6 weeks out to next Tuesday due to an unexpected opportunity. Problem was that the parts weren’t even due from the machine shop for 2 weeks, they were booked, their guys need a break, and it was a holiday weekend. We agreed to +50% the price. The shop manager walked out on the floor and offered half of that to anyone who wanted to work 6 hours extra (basically double their usual rate). He had more volunteers than needed, we had our parts, and the shop had some extra profit.
 








 
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