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Old 16.09.2015, 07:40
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Working time - how does your firm monitor & control it?

I have recently started consulting for a small financial services business in Zurich.

One of the issues I've discovered is the staff attitude to the way their working hours are monitored. In 2014 The company had an inspection by the health and safety people and the only recommendation they made us implement was to monitor working time to ensure no one racked up more than 42 hours a week. Apparently this is relatively new legislation designed to reduce stress in the banking industry.

They recommended installing a time clock... Which is what we have (swipe card based).

Now, this is a ridiculous thing. To my view, punch clocks are for factories. Most of us in the office are not Swiss and used to working far more hours than 42 a week anyway. Some of us travel to clients or meetings so can't clock in and out all the time we work. Being in the office doesn't mean we're working, being out does' mean we're not.

And then there's the lunch rule. If you work 8 hours a day, law says you get half an hour. Work 9 hours... An hour minimum. But if i get stuck into something and don't watch the time, and I only took half an hour lunch... But then ended up working over 8 hours... What then?

Anyhow... The resentment this has caused has developed into working to rule, people leaving on the dot of their allotted hours, and some people staying in the office unnecessarily just to make up time.

Now to my question. So How do other businesses here manage it? What does your company to to record working time, how is it policed? And what is your solution to the half hour/hour lunch conundrum?

Thanks for reading this far...

Regards


Ian
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Old 16.09.2015, 07:44
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Re: Working time - how does your firm monitor & control it?

We have timers allocated to each contrat (and various other tasks). The goal is, in part, to calculate the hours worked but also to see how long we spend on each contract. Some timers are billable too so we have to make sure we use the right one. There are, of course, plenty of people who go out for fag breaks every hour and leave their timers running.
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Old 16.09.2015, 08:04
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Re: Working time - how does your firm monitor & control it?

No control, hour and a half for lunch.

Tom
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Old 16.09.2015, 08:06
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Re: Working time - how does your firm monitor & control it?

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No control, turn up around 10 for coffee, then head out around 11 for a 3 hour lunch. Tend to clock off around 4 when I have dispensed sufficient wisdom on EF

Tom
Fixed that for you Tom
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Old 16.09.2015, 08:11
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Re: Working time - how does your firm monitor & control it?

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Fixed that for you Tom
Actually, I haven't even had my shower or morning cup of tea yet.

I will soon, however, then head over to work.

And I don't eat lunch, rather, I usuallz go for a motorcycle ride in the Alps.

Tom
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Old 16.09.2015, 08:34
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Re: Working time - how does your firm monitor & control it?

It's not so unusual, and actually can work in your favour.

At my workplace, everyone below vice-director level swipes in and out, and excess hours over the 40 are accumulated and can be used as time off in lieu. The total hours for the year are limited fue to insurance reasons, rather than legislation per se, and it's the avergae that counts, not any particular week.

As for lunchtimes, our system automatically deducts a half hour for lunch if you're in for more than six hours without any clock out for lunch, so in practice you can stay at your desk if you so desire. I don't often go out for lunch so this is quite acceptable to me.

Overall, I work fewer hours than at most places in the UK, where it was considered normal to put in an unpaid hour or two per day rather than sticking rigourously to the clock, and the additional days off can be a real benefit.
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Old 16.09.2015, 08:43
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Re: Working time - how does your firm monitor & control it?

This ^^ is pretty much standard in many Swiss offices, and as Ace1 points out, presents benefits in the form of flexitime/time compensation for many workers. It's all about how the management of the company sells the concept to its staff.
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Old 16.09.2015, 08:48
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Re: Working time - how does your firm monitor & control it?

No control ..
Come in whenever, leave whenever. Submit hours worked and get paid for over time or take it as time off. As long as the work is done everybody is happy.

Things even themselves out and people don't take the p1ss.
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Old 16.09.2015, 08:48
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Re: Working time - how does your firm monitor & control it?

Thanks guys for the info so far. Keep it coming. How do other finance co's do it?

"Depends on how the management sell it..." Yes you are so right. Unfortunately in our organisation I fear the word "sell" got mistranslated to "imposed"

Regards


Ian
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Old 16.09.2015, 08:53
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Re: Working time - how does your firm monitor & control it?

Please be warned, if you want to stay in Switzerland.

The Swiss don't pay you to work.
They pay you to shut-up and work.

You will find lots of things different here, sit back, do your work, and observe.

Sit on your hands if needed, but don't try to change everything, things move slowly here. Stir things up too much and you will be fired! (for no reason)

Whatever the current processes are, follow them, don't complain.
After a while you will be able to suggest "improvements".

You are not in Kansas anymore.
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Old 16.09.2015, 08:58
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Re: Working time - how does your firm monitor & control it?

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No control ..
Come in whenever, leave whenever. Submit hours worked and get paid for over time or take it as time off. As long as the work is done everybody is happy.

Things even themselves out and people don't take the p1ss.
Pretty much this - same hours posted in the Project Management systems for every day I am in the office - entirely independent of reality.
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Old 16.09.2015, 08:58
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Re: Working time - how does your firm monitor & control it?

I work for a pharma company and Bern and everyone clocks in and out, from the VP General Manager to the apprentices.
The "9 hours or more = 1 hour lunch" only applies if you you're average working day is 9+ hours.
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Old 16.09.2015, 09:17
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Re: Working time - how does your firm monitor & control it?

My understanding is that according to law, everyone is obliged to track working time.
Exceptions are the company's management (where it is very open as of which management level).

See it as a protection of the employee. Your overtime is tracked and can be compensated or paid out.
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Old 16.09.2015, 09:18
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Re: Working time - how does your firm monitor & control it?

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Please be warned, if you want to stay in Switzerland.

The Swiss don't pay you to work.
They pay you to shut-up and work.

You will find lots of things different here, sit back, do your work, and observe.

Sit on your hands if needed, but don't try to change everything, things move slowly here. Stir things up too much and you will be fired! (for no reason)

Whatever the current processes are, follow them, don't complain.
After a while you will be able to suggest "improvements".

You are not in Kansas anymore.
True, this I have noticed already!

But in this case they are paying me to recommend changes... and this is one they specifically have raised as an issue.

Thanks for all inputs so far. I guess another key thing to understand (and I can't find it from any of the reading I've done so far on government websites) is what the possible penalties for not doing this are.

Regards


Ian
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Old 16.09.2015, 09:22
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Re: Working time - how does your firm monitor & control it?

I think you can arrange things so that people above a certain grade don't have to clock in. Then you make sure everyone is at that grade or higher. This is what is done in France. In one office, nearly all white collar workers (except admin staff and assistants) were at Cadre level, so working time directive didn't apply.

When I was "on clock" last, if we didn't badge out, we'd have an hour automatically deducted. But it evened out - sometimes we'd not badge out and have a two hour lunch. For people out of the office frequently, there was a manual timesheet system. The best way to deal with it is to work a 42 hour week (or whatever is contractually agreed) and start developing a non-work life!
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Old 16.09.2015, 09:25
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Re: Working time - how does your firm monitor & control it?

Ian, timesafe is a Swiss company that supplies work time monitoring equipment and software -- no doubt just one of many examples, but it may be a good place for you to make enquiries about options and the legal aspects of compliance (to be balanced against further research on your part, of course, but at least you'll get some leads).
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