Amor discusses the overtime delusion

Amor discusses the overtime delusion

By Rob Crossley

July 2nd 2009 at 2:40PM

Staying late at the office may give project managers â??a pat on the headâ??, but is more work being done?

Having staff work overtime does not automatically equate to extra work.

That was the opinion offered by David Amor, the co-founder of Brighton-based developer Relentless. 

“I think there’s a feeling at the top that, if you’re working all hours, then it feels like more work is getting done, which is something the heads at studios and indeed publishers like to hear,” Amor told Develop in an interview published today.

“But fundamentally, we don’t believe any more gets done.”

Relentless has, since it was established in 2003, prided itself on not resorting to overtime or crunch periods for all its development projects.

“We’re very organised when it comes to development. But because we say we work seven-hour days, that doesn’t mean that we do any less work than anyone else.”

“From my experience, after-hours developers tended not to be particularly focused about what they were doing because they knew they were going to be there until 10pm. That was certainly the case for me.

“In the past I’ve found that – as a team manager – I’d get a pat on the head and a nice bonus for having my team work weekends and in the evenings.

“At Relentless we just make sure everyone is working when they’re in the office; it’s well-structured and organised.”

However, Amor also revealed regrets for so heavily advertising Relentless’ policy on no overtime, suggesting that it steals the thunder of the studio’s other attributes.

“In some respects I regret drawing attention to our working policies. People say “Oh, Relentless? The place where you do 9-5 with no crunch” and while I’m really proud of that fact, we’re also a successful independent UK company that’s consistently developed high quality multi-million selling games."

"It’s a shame that people tend to focus on our no-crunch policy, although in fairness we banged the drum about it a lot in our first few years.”

Q&A: David Amor, part one