is it a MUST that designers have to work overtime?

I have worked in HK and China in design industry for almost 7 years, and no matter I work in exhibition graphics, web design agency or graphics design houses, it’s a trend that boss expect u to work overtime and mostly without OT paid. I am beginning to get fed up about this, is this situation is the same elsewhere in the world? As I have heard companies in western countries have a better time management. :cry:

The main reason why Asian countries can become so competitive is because they often see career as a part of their life… I mean, leisure doesn’t really exist.

For Japanese, you are expected to give everything to the company. The company provides you with everything and unless you really suck, you won’t get fired…

For Chinese, private businesses, money comes first, and the boss has the say. So the “money” refers to the boss’s money, not yours. Everyone has the mentalty of starting their own business when they have gathered enough revenue and experience, no matter which inudstry it is. There is little recognition for corperate style management. Although it makes things more systematic, it takes a lot more steps to get one thing done. Chinese don’t buy that,

Agree, but there non systemic working style cos’ bad time management and more work for designers, I have worked in US company before and there management (design and information) and team work makes everyone more efficient to work and I rarely have to work overtime.

Artistic side of design process can be never ending if you are not deciplined. I’m an industrial designer, and I often find myself tweaking surfaces forever to get it perfect. This causes me to put in the extra hours, sometimes forgetting the bigger picture. This is a habit that I can change, so I am working on it.

If your workplace is constantly having you work overtime, there is a problem in your organization. Production schedule need to be planned properly. In the US, my work hour was higher in a consultancy environment compared to a corporate environment where I am now. Firms are aggresive with their proposals, shortenning schedules to win clients. However, at some point, you just can’t cut down on schedule and cost without sacrificing quality.

Good luck eliza.

matt, it’s totally different from the US.

In Asia, you get the job, and are expected to produce a couple of AutoCad orthos and photoshop renderings as proposals, all in a week. Yes, that means you will do sketching, orthograph and photoshop rendering in 7 days. Tell me how you can do that well without having to work over time?

It’s all about money. A company would rather have on going projects with little or no profit to keep the company running, than to have nothing to do and yet has to sustain the expense to hire designers.

It’s sad, and value of design goes right down, but people need to eat.

However, if you can get used to the pace and still produce good designs, then you will have an edge over anyone else.

Is anyone aware of any resources (books, websites…) that document the business-culture differences between Asia and the US?

Is a 70 hour a week too much then?

Is this not normal?

I’ve talked to designers here who complained about OT. They were told if you are paid a yearly salary, you have to work to get the project complete by the deadline no matter if that takes 35 hours a week or 60. The reason they had to work longer was because management changed the design goals just before the design was to be frozen. Oh well.

Right on.

A post from HighEnd 3D:

“There is new labor legislation being passed by the Bush administration that affects professionals working on computers. This legislation exempts creative professionals and certain computer workers from required overtime pay. This will be particularly bad for employees in our industry…


An excerpt from the govt website outlines the legislation.

According to the website, in 120 days, creative computer pros and ‘skilled or learned workers’ will be ineligible for overtime, yet other computer pros such as those in CAD/Engineering will be eligible.

I have made my living in both entertainment and engineering computer graphics, the work is very similar in nature, yet the Govt wants to treat the rights of these workers differently. Is 3d modeling for engineering really much different than for entertainment? It sure isn’t

Due to the nature of the feature FX biz and other entertainment jobs (i.e. super long ‘crunchtime’ work hours and no job security), I feel many workers will be adversely treated. We need those overtime hours so when our gigs run out we can sustain until the next job.”

i spent short time working in Japan. seen lots of people in office from 9+ am til 8pm. long hours by the clock. but mostly they sat in cafeteria smoking. not always true what we hear about Asia. i’ve seen HK companies that move slow too. use various excuses for not getting work done. like Didnt understand you or Problem with internet or…

People in Hong Kong’s average work week is 5.5 days…Saturdays are considered a corporate/small business workday although it’s half a day.

Designers don’t get paid OT but its common to put in extra hours. Like mattdesign says (and Parkinsons-law states) “Work expands to fill time available” and to the designer, “time available” frequently means 24/7.

But anyway, your fundamental problem is that you’re in China–do they even have labor laws?

How many hours are we talking about here?