A few days ago I heard that a postgraduate was unwilling to join FMSH and he explained that FMSH engineers had relaxed and light work, most of them left their offices after work and didn’t need to work overtime. He expected to be employed in a company with intensified work for his first offer so as to learn more skills regardless of the laborious work.
I appreciated his logics and ideas on selection of his first job because I had the same idea with him a dozen years ago. His comments on relaxed and light work and no-overtime reminded me a lot.
I remembered that it was when FMSH was just incorporated that many employees at Design Department frequently worked overtime. Most projects under overtime were related to reversal design (a few projects about chips) but such projects required urgent progress and insufficient experience of young engineers led to frequent overtime. These young engineers didn’t feel laborious about overtime because they had nowhere to go after work. They felt cheerful with network access, delicious food, cheers & laughter and chatting each other while working in the company. With the lapse of time and increasing difficulties of projects, these engineers were serious about overtime at nights instead of cheers & laughter. I also experienced laborious overtime during that period.
I could still remember a project entrusted by three parties, which is a simple project from the angle of current technical standards. Many uncertainties were underestimated during the formulation of progress and development plans due to insufficient and poor development conditions and design experience. After relaxed and light work for 3 months, we were confronted with tough and hard days. In the following 2 months (or maybe 3 months), three colleagues in our project team almost worked overtime everyday and came off duties at 1 or 2 a.m clock and we went to work and got off work by taxi just in order to sleep longer. We had no ideas on whether those days were tough or not because we didn’t have time to think about it and we were just aware of urgent demands by our clients and searching for bug. I still remembered the “Signoff” project and it was when we were at our client’s company at 4 a.m clock that we were reassured with our client’s engineers and maybe a hug could express our excitement and rejoicing. After nap in the next morning, we felt blue sky and white clouds and had a sense of escaping with bare lives. What impressed me most by that project was that I was determined to become a conservative technician and would not work overtime day and night because working overtime day and night didn’t mean high efficiency and it was bad to our health. I still remembered dark circles beneath my female colleagues’ eyes and acnes on their faces.
Still later, less and less overtime was required because FMSH transferred its focus on product development to forward direction products after listing of FMSH and it was not urgent for work progress. Furthermore engineers accumulated more experiences to avoid working in improper way and didn’t need to work overtime to remedy defects. Another reason was that young engineers needed more spare time on love and marriage, and they were busy with work and went off work on time. The frequent collective activities became less and less and employees less communicated each other after 8-hour work in the company. The whole process changed naturally and I occasionally remembered those old days and missed my friends who had left the company.
The growth and development of FMSH could be witnessed by fluctuation of overtime at Design Department. Upon inception of FMSH, we needed to work overtime to solve the great survival pressure due to less products and insufficient accumulated experience. After a few years and when FMSH moved to growth period, we reduced our overtime due to increasing products, profound accumulated technical experience and flexible development activities. Later, to be decent, employees needed more spare time and improved work efficiency to reduce overtime. FMSH’s tenet of “Humanity-Respected and No-overtime Praised” gives misunderstanding of relaxed & light work and difficulties in making progress among outsiders. It is thus seen that Chinese and insiders were not confident enough about domestic IC enterprises and domestic IC enterprises need overtime to enhance their strengths. It also reminds us of more efforts, improved efficiency and excellent products recognized in the market.
As a matter of fact, FMSH’s culture doesn’t advocate overtime but it doesn’t mean FMSH is against overtime and all employees shall be fully dedicated to their work as required, such as frequent overtime for SMAP project team. In fact, FMSH’s culture of “No-overtime and Going Home On Time” represents a status, confidence and care.
Recollecting the undergraduate, I regret not to know him or I would probably talk to him about work efficiency and balance between work and life and told him that working overtime was just a way to accumulate experience under pressure. If he enjoyed this way, I could guarantee that FMSH could satisfy his requirements and at least he could be satisfied with the project led by me.