I have an employee who comes in about 10 minutes ahead of her scheduled work day, and she spends at least the 10 minutes making coffee, etc. That part is fine, but she has been adding up her miscellaneous 10 minutes for comp time to use at her discretion.

She knows her pay won't go beyond 40 hours, unless it's authorized overtime. But I resent her wanting to take nonproductive time for her personal use, compiling it, and having me (the owner) pay for it.

Am I being too rigid? We're a small creative firm, so we our income depends on our productivity.

ken_wills's picture

...although your dealing with it shouldn't be out of resentment.  You're not being too rigid.

The whole concept and practice of "comp time" is fraught with peril; it's hard to manage and its based on people using good judgment about what should and should not be reimbursable.

I'm sure you'll get lots of suggestions here for the technique to use when addressing it with her.  My only advice is before you say anything, look at it from her perspective: do others at the company receive comp time, and this is just her way of qualifying for it? Be careful about creating double standards.

Most important, to answer your question.  You are not being unreasonable in questioning the value of time and efforts which create comp time.


davisjc's picture

Is this an individual that once they "get set" for the day that has their nose buried in activities or do they take personal breaks throughout the day? I think everyone takes at least 10 minutes every day to get a drink, mental break, etc?

More importantly are they delivering the results on a daily basis that your business needs? If so then who cares? Call it a difference in personal traits and move on (aka build a bridge and get over it).

I sense that if this is bothering you then there is more to the performance/behavior that is bugging you and this is just one behavior you can put your finger on. Its probably best to sort through the overall behavior and output first before taking on this battle by itself. Otherwise it could open you up to conflict on micro-managing, double standards, etc.

Unless of course this type of behavior repeats throughout the day. Personally if its more than 30 minutes/day total "wasted time" then it is excessive, in my opinion. Obviously another key criteria is work content. For example, is there some time element such as monitoring a phone that requires specific times of performance?