On-Site Weekend Compensation
"Our field engineers and trainers travel approximately 75% and
typically leave and return the same week. What type of compensation,
if any, should we extend if we change our model and have the
engineers spend the weekend at a location so they can be there the
following week to finish the implementation?"
VP Professional Services
I think there are several possibilities.
1) Offer comp time as a reward for weekend stays. A person
leaving and returning the same week loses considerable billable
time traveling. He/she can generally bill more if the longer
they are on site. Trade the time for extra travel for comp time
(assuming both are non-billable, what difference does it make
for the employer......). There may be a slight productivity
lost for whatever work is done during travel, but this is
probably more than offset by the goodwill extra time off
generates. You can offer them the option of weekend work (which
they might normally do in the office), i.e. let them work a
Sunday when they are out of town in exchange for a Friday off
when they are in town.
2) Split the travel savings with the worker — If there
are travel savings generated by a situation where an employee
is staying weekends, split the savings with them as a cash bonus
(may not work when billing T&L as incurred vs. included in the
—David Terrell email@example.com
VP, North America Customer Support
Dassault Systemès Americas Corp.
We tried flex time where employees would have time off for travel /
working after 10 hours in a single day or weekends. This did not
work as some weeks were 70+ hours with travel and the employee
took the next 4 days off as flex time.
We've changed the policy to discourage flex time and replaced with
a compensation system. We charge our customers travel time, which
is 50% of our hourly rate. If the travel time is done by the
employee outside of a 40 hour work week, the employee is compensated
for this extra travel time and receives commissions on billable
hours past a 40 hour work week.
Depending upon the situation, the travel may be done during the
business week and in which case the employee is not compensated for
travel time or billable hours.
This solves the problem of traveling on the weekend and working all
week and trying to compensate fairly for the extra work hours,
extended travel or weekend working.
—Bruce Ringrose firstname.lastname@example.org
[Any other advice on this question? Please send an email to
membership director Jane Farber at email@example.com, and we'll
post your feedback.]