“Variation History” of Internet overtime: Hard choices of human input, revenue and KPI

2022-05-09 0 By

Our reporter Li Li reported in Shanghai that “sudden death of employees working overtime during the Spring Festival at STATION B” continued to rise. On the night of February 8, Bilibili (hereinafter referred to as “Station B”) posted a post on Weibo, confirming that “Twilight Mu Xin”, an employee of the content security center, had a sudden cerebral hemorrhage at home in Wuhan and passed away in vain.B station also said, “twilight color wood heart” as the graphic audit group generation leader, did not return home for the New Year, led the group to arrange eight hours a day, do five rest two Spring Festival rotation schedule plan.In order to prevent similar incidents from happening again, B station said that it would make more positive improvements to the health protection of employees to prevent similar tragedies from happening again.Positive improvements include an expansion of audit staff, with an additional 1,000 hires this year.B station respect to “China business Daily” reporter confirmed the above news.Sudden death is not an isolated case in the Internet industry, as pinduoduo and other companies have seen similar incidents.In 2021, bytedance, Tencent, Alibaba, Kuaishou and other companies began to try to reduce the burden on employees.Can eliminating “size week” and rejecting “996” really “reduce the burden on employees”?Coincidently, on January 26, 2022, Tencent employees criticized the high intensity of overtime work, which aroused widespread concern. In a group of 600 people inside Tencent, Tencent employees said in real name, “Do developers have to work overtime for more than 20 hours to make this version satisfy your desire?”It can be seen that in the context of the slowing growth of the consumer Internet sector and the urgent need to find a new way for sustainable development, how to balance development and investment in human resources has become a major problem that Internet enterprises have to face.As the name implies, 996 works six days a week, starting at 9 a.m. and leaving at 21 p.m.Behind 996 lies the once-popular overtime culture of the Chinese Internet.”Big and small week” is a six-day work week, a single day off (Sunday), the next week, five days off (Saturday, Sunday), and so on.Since last year, major Internet companies have started to attack the “996” and “Big and small Week”.”It’s true that the pressure is down, but that doesn’t mean overtime has really gone away.”A number of Internet factory staff confirmed to reporters, the more accurate statement is “flexible working system”.Public information shows that working hours vary from company to company.Starting in November 2021, Bytedance will adopt the “1075” working schedule, which sets specific requirements for working hours, starting at 10pm and leaving at 19pm, five days a week.The maximum overtime is 3 hours per day and 36 hours per month. Overtime application should be submitted in advance and approved by the leader.Tencent operates a “965” work schedule, which means you start work at 9pm and leave at 18pm, five days a week.Employees who work overtime after 7 PM must apply to the company, and the overtime hours are linked to the assessment.Alibaba also tried to “force off work” internally. Meetings were not allowed after 18:00, HR team members were urged to leave work after 19:00, team leaders were not allowed to stay in the company after 19:00, and lights were turned off after 2030.Zhang Ming (pseudonym) joined ByteDance in early 2021.He said that his department could basically work from 10 am to 7 PM. “Last year, there was a period of new business development, so I had to work overtime a lot. Recently, when the business is more mature, I can finish it during working hours.”When I worked at another Internet company, I had to work 12 hours from 11 a.m. to 23 p.m.But sometimes you don’t have any real work to do, which is ineffective overtime and very inefficient.”Zhang Jiaming told reporters.Gu Ye (pseudonym), who moved from Alibaba to a foreign e-commerce company, now works from 9:30 to 19.10 o ‘clock to 18 o ‘clock for centralized office hours, need to be on duty.What she values is that “the working time in foreign companies is relatively loose, and there is no need to punch in and check the attendance”.Previously, in Ali, “overtime was quite serious, and it was common to get off work between 21pm and 22pm. I even pulled an all-nighter in the week before double 11”.”Formal unlocking is not enough to solve mechanical kidnapping.In horse racing, KPI and Internet giant itself under the crisis of rapid iteration, employees’ long standby state inevitably exist in various forms, “the Internet industry analysts Zhang Shule on” China business news “reporter said, not to explore new territory (Internet new blue ocean), roles, and the competition between employees is inevitable in volume.Flexible working is the default, with subtle “voluntary overtime” as opposed to explicit working hours.The management of a domestic private architectural design company confirmed to reporters that the overtime culture of the Internet has spread to various industries, and the architectural design industry has always been the disaster area.”Overtime is an inescapable fact in the industry, but the difference is the amount and intensity of overtime.””The size of the Internet cancellation week has always existed in the industry.Employees are prepared to work overtime when they join the company and can negotiate their salary according to the intensity of their work, but overtime terms and working hours are not written into the formal contract.””The overtime culture reflects the lack of innovation awareness of companies, which still rely on human and tactical efforts to match the backward thinking.”Zhang Xiaorong, president of Deeptech Research Institute, believes that Internet companies are not sweatshops, and the development of science and technology should be based on the protection of employees’ rights and interests. Employees should not be tempted and encouraged to sacrifice their personal health excessively for the development of the company simply by using compensation and benefits.An industry insider close to B station told reporters, “B station audit team about 3,000 people, the work arrangement is mainly two kinds: do a day off, working day 9 to 21 o ‘clock, the next day off all day.Another option is to do five days and two days, from nine to eighteen thirty.These two working hours will be communicated to employees prior to entry.”According to the public information, station B is open to the public “work five days off two”, the working hours end at 19:00, holidays are three times the legal salary.However, tano’s observation found little change in the outcry against the abolition of “Sisizhou” and “996”.In Beijing, houchang Village, Wangjing, Wudaokou gathered a large number of Internet companies, “21:00-22:00 is still the most difficult time to take a taxi, many companies after 21:30 taxi reimburse, many people work overtime to more than 20, may want to go to 21:30″.”If the job is advertised as flexible, there may not be an exact time to leave.”GuYe said.”Overtime can be mentioned 19 hours after the end of work time, but it is usually not mentioned if it is not a weekend.””Compared with before the cancellation of the week, there is less pressure. Many things have been cancelled, and the corresponding income has been reduced,” Li Hao (pseudonym), a bybyte employee, told the reporter.Zhang Jiaming confirmed that he would not take the initiative to apply for overtime unless it was very necessary, otherwise he would be suspected whether the work efficiency was high enough. “Why do I have to work overtime at the weekend to complete this matter?It’s not good for the leaders or for us.”Why are employees of big factories still facing overtime despite their opposition to the “996” and abolition of the “week of size and Size”?Zhang Shule believes, “The Internet is moving from the past technology first ‘competitive’ mode to the homogenization of competition in large fields.The ‘competitive’ mode of vertical segmentation disorder is sure to drive Internet companies to choose to race against time, work quickly and make extensive trial and error. As a result, the long standby state of employees will not be changed, otherwise the whole factory and individual employees may be eliminated by the sudden disrupter.””This state has also brought about the fatigue of the entire Internet industry, especially the form of quick success and instant profits has become the mainstream, short-term desperate survival, long-term is slow death.”Zhang shule points out.Mention of “996” generally think of overtime and extra long standby, but in fact, very different.”It’s not just an extra day of rest, it’s more about adjustment and whether you have more energy to do other things,” Zhang told reporters.Changes in performance reviews may bring some new changes.There had been rumors that Alibaba would scrap the mandatory “361” rating system, which forced immediate leaders to give 10% of employees a low performance score (≤3.25).According to the performance rating system of “361”, 30% of employees are 3.75-5, 60% are 3.5-3.75, and 10% are 3-3.25.Employees with a year-end performance score of 3.25 or below will be deprived of their year-end bonus and promotion opportunities, and those with a performance score lower than 3.25 for two consecutive years will be fired. The end elimination system was once considered to be one of the biggest reasons for the “996” of Ali employees.Among KPI-obsessed Chinese Internet companies, Bytedance launched its OKR management system less than a year after it was founded.In this system, O stands for Objective and KR stands for Key Results, which emphasizes the classification of the company’s big goals into the work goals of each employee.”Unlike KPIs, OKR focuses more on the key points of project operation.”In terms of the project at hand, it can be broken down into key points that you want to achieve your goals, such as enhancing brand awareness, the value of the industry and the social value, li explained. “Of course, these also have specific numerical indicators at the end of the day.”In Li Hao’s opinion, KPI is more like a general goal, while OKR is more like a guiding outline by breaking down the general goal into more detailed key contents. If each key node is fulfilled according to OKR’s guidance, the final big goal can be achieved.”OKR also has the advantage of avoiding the possibility of artificial inobjectivity compared to the end elimination system.”A former Ali employee told reporters that scoring inevitably involves human relations, close friends.As the Internet begins to slow down, it obviously needs a long-term vision to resist “lying down”. “More talent introduction and healthy competition environment, coupled with a corporate culture that can truly bring employees a sense of belonging, can stimulate the enthusiasm of work.”Zhang Shule thinks.Meng Bo, a lawyer from Beijing Jingshi Law Firm, believes that from the perspective of workers, if their working hours are not balanced with their life time, their physical and mental health will be affected.At the corporate level, lengthening work hours, rather than focusing on streamlining workflow and improving employee productivity, can have the opposite effect.If we continue to allow the abnormal overtime culture to spread, it will be harmful to social stability and healthy economic development.Zhang Shule pointed out, “Although it will dilute profits and slow down the speed in the short term, the Internet itself in its wild growth state needs to adjust the speed gradually to stimulate creativity, rather than force or oppress the surplus value of employees.”