New Employee Handout DRAFT
We are very excited that you are joining us here at Harmonic Software Production Studios! As with any new experience, there are tons of questions and new processes to learn.
This handout is designed to help you get started as quickly as possible. But it won't answer every question you have.
Please feel free to talk to Bob Trammel, our Showrunner, about any additional questions that arise.
Work Time at Harmonic
Normal Business Hours
We are believers in working at the same place and at (more or less) the same time. Our normal business hours are between 10 AM and 7 PM CST, Monday through Friday.
You will be working with a team of other technicians and engineers on projects for our customers, as well as internal projects and professional development.
Besides the work assigned to you, other teams may ask you to collaborate with them on various other projects which you may not normally be assigned to. Ask the Director which ticket number you should use to account for your time.
In order to facilitate collaboration while being flexible, we ask that you be available in the office for collaboration time between 10 AM and 4 PM. Always check in with your Director(s) before leaving in case there is a need for you to stay.
We are generally flexible on office hours as long as you are making progress on assignments that come to you. If you occasionally need special time arrangements, please talk with Bob Trammel.
Weekly Work Load
All employees are scheduled to work 40 hours each regular week. We have a preferred pattern of time use. Of the 40 hours each week, our billable talent should aim to work 30 billable hours on client tasks, work 5 hours on approved, non-billable activity that promotes internal and professional development that is relevant to Harmonic. We also allow for about 5 hours of Incidental time for breaks.
We don't want you to only work on billable hours. It may seem desirable to work only on billable time, but we believe that you need to take time for internal assignments and professional development. And, you need to get up and take care of things like eating lunch and other necessary activities.
We also strongly discourage working more than 40 hours except when necessary. Go home, have a life!
We plan by the week but we operate by the day, so each day should on average have 6 billable hours, 1 internal hour, and an hour for breaks. You should clock out when you go to lunch and clock in when you return. The exception is the Friday company lunch. There is a ticket for that for up to 1 hour of lunch.
As a goal, not a demand, you should plan to work 6 hours a day on assigned work, 1 hour on internal or professional development time, and allow yourself up to an hour for breaks. This won’t be possible every day, but if you follow this plan you should be getting to the 30+5+5 breakdown for the week.
We have started computing and making available PTO and Holiday time for hourly employees. When you take PTO or a Holiday, the time off counts towards your weekly hour goals.
How to use Har_TK
Our work is tracked by what we call Plot Points and we track it in a system called Harmonic Time Keeper or Har_TK for short.
There are 2 current apps for tracking your time into Har_TK: Har_TK and WebTK. See the attached document for instructions on using either of the clients
Har_TK has 4 daily workflows.
- Signing in for the new day
- Closing out time entries for your previous day
- Recording your work efforts throughout the day
- Signing out for the day
At the end of the week, please review all your entries and confirm them. We want your entries done before we start processing payroll on Monday morning.
Usually you will have a client ticket to work on, but what if you are here and don't have an assigned ticket that you can work on?
We have created a special ticket, 10000, for Incidental Time to use when you are in the office but aren't working on a specific ticket.
For example, when you first get into the office and put down your stuff and log into har_TK, you may go and get coffee or review your plan for the day. When you get back to har_TK, create a plot point and use 10000 so you can count the time towards your 40 hours. Unless you put it on a ticket, it won't roll up to har_TK and you won't get credit for it.
Another example would be that you walk to the kitchen area to get a glass of water and then get pulled into a conversation not related to any active client production. In that case, when you return to your work space, enter a plot point in Har_TK for ticket 10000 and change the time to match when you got into the conversation.
As a last example, if you are scheduled for a meeting and it gets delayed and you have no other projects to work on while you wait, log your time against 10000.
Here are a couple of job aids for using the timekeeping system. Either one is acceptable. All the data goes into the same database.
In order to manage our projects and our goals, we ask our employees to follow some best practices that help us get the data we need to make decisions and choices.
Everyday as you work, use the Har_TK data entry tool when you switch between plot points. We have a FileMaker- and a web-based tool for capturing your work efforts, so choose whichever tool that you prefer. Allocate and Confirm your time daily.
Our goal is to have you work 40 hours each week. This is especially important for hourly employees who are paid specifically for the time recorded in har_TK. In the last hour of Friday when you are wrapping up for the week, be sure to round up to your final entries to equal 40 hours in total for the week.
Please block and Allocate all unprocessed time for the week and review and Confirm all hours for the week. Reviewing and Confirming your time is necessary before we can invoice the clients you worked for, and for your paycheck.
At the end of the month, we review all worked time for everyone's efforts in the month. Any gaps in your time record will need to be accounted for and billable. There should be confirmed allocations for each day you worked, PTO/Holiday entered for any day you took paid time off, and Not Worked on any day you didn't work, such as the weekend or any unpaid leave you took during the month.
If you have any gaps in your time, you will be asked to make corrections so we can do our invoice work.
Billable vs Internal work time
You will be assigned billable time weekly by the Directors of our productions, and you will probably work on multiple productions or projects each week. If you find that you have less than 30 hours approved for a given week, talk to the Director or Directors to be sure that you have enough potential work for the week.
Internal work can be requested for company initiatives or you may have an interest in professional development or an experiment that you think may benefit the company. All internal work must be approved by a Director or Producer before it can be counted towards your 5 hour weekly internal block.
Billable vs collectible work time.
In the area of time hygiene, the customer has the prerogative to not pay for charges they deem unreasonable. Customer-authorized work should be done in a reasonable amount of time so that the client will feel comfortable paying the bill.
Please stay within the scope of the customer's requests. It is in our developer-nature to tweak and improve just because we can. However, the client needs to approve any work before we take on any such extra tasks.
In addition to accurate time tracking, please make good notes in the ticket so that we know what you were working on so that we can explain your actions if a customer disputes a charge.
Please make sure to include notes in your time entries.
We encourage and provide for you to take time off. We all need refreshing relaxation from time to time. There are two broad categories of time off, Holidays and PTO.
There are 6 fixed and 4 floating holidays each year:
- New Year's Eve
- New Year's Day
- Independence Day
- Memorial Day (Float)
- Labor Day (Float)
- Thanksgiving Day
- Black Friday (Float)
- Christmas Eve
- Christmas Day
- Boxing Day (Float)
[DRAFT] PTO is accrued over the year and currently is used in whole-day increments. In general, you can plan on 2 weeks (80 hours) of PTO per year. Further details are being studied at this time and will be available when final decisions are made.
Time off may be planned or unplanned. We ask that you notify Bob Trammel when you need time off.
- Planned Time Off
We ask that for planned PTO, you request time off in advance. Generally, if you need to take a day, please let us know a week in advance. If you need a week off, please let us know a month in advance. This gives us time to accommodate your projects in your absence.
- Unplanned Time Off
If for any reason you need to take PTO without planning, such as an emergency or medical need, please communicate this to the showrunner. Place a message in the Slack channel #Out of Office and make a note in the Employee Calendar.
Hygienic Time and Profit sharing
Harmonic has a generous profit sharing program, but the size of the profit sharing is directly tied to the size of the profit and your contribution to making a profit. Your contribution is based on your allocated time. Therefore, it is important that everyone do their best to accurately track the time worked every day.
We ask everyone to do their best to meet their 30 billable hours per week and keep us on track for profit sharing.