In my last position, I was working an upwards of 60 to 80 hours a week for an implementation where we were unable to implement much automation.

We were trapped by having too much manual automation to have time to ever write automation that would help solve that issue.

In the end we just ended up working tons of overtime and still not automating stuff.

How can I and the companies I work for avoid this trap?

  • 3
    I would search for answers related to work place in general and I think you can getter better answers here: workplace.stackexchange.com
    – dzieciou
    Jan 7, 2017 at 7:14
  • Changed question to be one of more value and then nominated for re-opening Jun 15, 2017 at 13:01
  • It invalidates some of the existing answer (the original question was more focused on overtime) but then again the question as such as closed, this is just an attempt to make it a useful one. Jun 15, 2017 at 13:02

2 Answers 2


It depends on the country you are working in and the company you are working for.

  • In New Zealand, overtime is legal but you will need to be compensated for it. The legal consequence of forcing someone to do overtime work without any compensation is serious. And since QAs have little problems finding a new job, if you get pushed too much, you can simply pack up and go.

You have not told us anything specific about your work place,

  • You work over time because there is too much work?
  • You work over time because there is no test automation?
  • - I worked overtime due to undercut timelines. We also had very little time to write much automation. Jan 7, 2017 at 5:23
  • @InfiniteDreamz, change your job, working 80 hours a week is not worth it. I understand if you are doing it if the company you are working for is like Facebook or Google when they were start ups, but it does not sound like it at all.
    – Yu Zhang
    Jan 7, 2017 at 5:40
  • 2
    @YuZhang Agreed. When you decide for a start up you should be aware you commit for more work. But when you commit for regular company, then overtime should serve only for emergency situations.
    – dzieciou
    Jan 7, 2017 at 7:16

This is not a matter of number of hours only.

To me overtime serves for emergency, only when unexpected situation occurs. Unexpected things can happen and I accept it and I am open to help my employer (company I work for), but I always need to know what the company, the team lead, the boss, my team etc. is going to do to avoid such emergency situations in the future. Perhaps we should plan better, cut the scope we want to implement, employ more people, involve developers for testing, move deadlines, start investing into test automation and test automation trainings.

If working overtime becomes regular then to me this is not unexpected situation and seems like the company is not going to work on fixing the real root cause of the problem.

Not to say that working in emergency mode for a longer period is unhealthy and impacts your work-life balance significantly. You probably can find more answers on overtime in general and how to handle it on Workplace Stackexchange.

  • 2
    Thank you @dzieciou. I will check the link out. It is completely unhealthy, and makes the worker liable to burn out. Employers should care about the employees well being and feel good about encouraging a healthy work/home balance - those who can unplug tend to perform better in the office. Jan 7, 2017 at 20:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.