Smarter Scheduling for Better Productivity: Ending the Frustration of Overtime
Posted by Martijn van der Hoeden
Overtime makes sense under deadline pressure with everything riding on project success. When there’s no time to hire, it may be your only option. However, like most stop-gap measures, it has unintended consequences and indicates an underlying structural problem within your organization. When overtime becomes a habit, it indicates that either you need more talent resources or the ones you have need better organizational skills.
From the company’s perspective, overtime introduces an unnecessary spike into project budgets. From the employee’s point of view, the additional money can’t compensate them for the compromise in flexibility. In many surveys, self-determination at work is the primary goal of workers today. It's even considered far more important than a temporary salary increase. In the long run, overtime leads to burnout and churn.
Put these measures in place to eliminate or lessen the impact of overtime.
Instead of relying on educated guesses, set up KPIs on your project dashboards that forecast actual vs. planned hours. With enough notice on your utilization overview report, you will have time to bring on more team members, either as employees or contractors. Even if you are on schedule, it makes sense to find talent that can be brought on board quickly instead of overworking you existing team.
Another factor that project managers often overlook is that you may actually have all the talent and resources you need if they knew how to manage their time more effectively. Think of coaching and training for an efficiency mindset as a long-term investment in doing more with less and cutting back on overtime across your entire enterprise.
More Advice on Staying Productive
What if you had access to an expert in project management best practices who could give you a demo on a platform for everything from scope creep to mobile timesheets? Martijn van der Hoeden, Global Head of Professional Services Excellence at Unit4, will lead a webinar on enhancing performance with the Unit4 PSA Suite, and we would be honored to see you there. Rather than treating overtime like a resource, it should be considered a last resort. Unit4 can show you a more profitable path.