09/08/2020 at 9:34 pm #81379
I recently hired some help on a contract basis. I have her taking photos/ modeling and measurements. She is 23 years old, so pretty young. She is only working 2 days a week from 12pm-5pm. It bothers me that she brings her lunch, and takes a 30 minute lunch break. She’s only here 5 hours. It seems to me like she could eat before and after she comes to work. She just started, so I haven’t said anything about it, since I’m just so happy to have some help for the first time. I’ve worked jobs where I wasn’t able to take a lunch break, because I was only person working and I usually just bring snacks with me. Also it’s not like a regular 9-5 and she isn’t an employee, so I don’t know how to handle this, or if I should say anything. Suggestions!?
09/09/2020 at 6:55 am #81386JayKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
Our helper works for four hours and brings snacks. He listen to music and eats snacks while he works.
Do you pay for for the 30 minute lunch?
09/09/2020 at 9:04 am #81392AmatinoParticipant
- Location: Texas
Why don’t you ask her? Perhaps she doesn’t have time to eat lunch before she gets to you? Or maybe she has low blood sugar.
If your arrangement works out, you’ll be together a lot. Starting off with resentment isn’t a good beginning, and she and you need to be able to discuss issues. Just conversationally, when she breaks our her lunch box, ask why she didn’t eat before she came?
It should be easy enough to resolve, but if it ends up in major drama, you now know that you’re going to be in for a ride. Do you want to be on that train?
09/09/2020 at 11:26 am #81395
Thanks for the replies! I pay her for the full 5 hours that she’s here, which includes the 30 minutes she’s taking to eat lunch. I don’t have time to take lunch breaks myself lol. I just eat while I work. She lives at home with her parents and doesn’t have any other jobs or anything right now, so it seems to me like she should have time to eat before or after work and just bring snacks to eat while working. I just don’t know how to say anything without scaring her off. I need her help!
09/09/2020 at 11:50 am #81397MDC Galleries & Fine ArtParticipant
- Location: Atlanta
I developed a spread sheet for our helpers. One sheet each for each helper, one sheet per month. It is their time sheet. Each row going down has the day 1 -31 rows. The columns going across are Morning – In and Out and afternoon In and Out.
When I first start a helper I give them a sheet and show them how to fill it out. Time start in the morning and out and then I state if they are going to take an extended break other than the restroom, to log out. Take the time they need for personal phone calls and or to eat. Then log back in when finished.
I also state I don’t allow answering personal phone calls, Facebooking, texting or whatever while working, I will be mentioning to log out if I glance over and see it. They all have been ok with it so far. We have gone through 5 or 6 helpers over the last 3 or 4 years.
I also allow them to do work from home on a piece rate basis, which I add to the bottom of the spread sheet if they do any. That is easy to track. If they use TeamViewer to log into the laptop I keep open for them, I can see how many listings they do.
We pay monthly. At the end of the month, I take their spread sheet and just enter the time in decimal format and the spread sheet automatically adds and calculates their pay. Very easy and quick. About 5 minutes. I print out 2 copies one for me and one for them.
I give them their original hand written sheet back to check against my spread sheet one I give them and also give them a new sheet for the next month.
There are a ton of pre-made Excel spread sheets – Time Sheets available that also come with the formulas to calculate everything already filled in. I made ours from scratch and wrote my own formulas so I could customize it the way I wanted. This too was pretty easy.
Hope this helps.
Mike at MDC Galleries and Fine Art in Atlanta
MDC Concepts, Inc.
Collins Creek Collections
09/09/2020 at 12:31 pm #81399MDC Galleries & Fine ArtParticipant
- Location: Atlanta
One other suggestion if you are not a face to face talker. Just make up a small several page “Helper Handbook”. Create a table of CONTENTS that list the broad topics to cover. Example: In Office Procedures, Breaks, Getting Paid, Please Refrain From, Attendance [call outs, no calls no shows], Warnings, Parking, Breaks and Lunches, Bathroom Breaks, Use of Office equipment, Rewards, Bonuses and Benefits, Payroll Processes, etc., etc.
Then when a helper first starts, just over over everything, cover all the topics verbally which allows you to just sort of read the booklet or sheets out loud, ask them if they understand everything or have any questions, then give them that copy along with their first time sheet.
I have run very large companies in the past, had several hundred employees and authored 6 Employee Handbooks which all become SOP for us. Mine were long enough to go into “Tabbed” 3 ring binders and had an employee sign off page at the end.
But following that concept on a very small one or two page scale, is very helpful when having to deal with other people. Everything is in writing, it avoids problems and misinterpretations down the road and serves as a point of reference when an emplyee or “helper” in this case does something [an infraction] that was clear not to do from the beginning or forgets.
If things happen that was not in your original “Employee Helper Guidelines”, then the two of you discuss it, listen to their point of view, then state yours and amend your sheet to include the topic and give the helper a new and revised copy. Also at the very back and end of your document always enter the date and time in small text so you have a revision and reference date for your “Helper Guidelines” sheet.
I know this may sound a little too formal for just you and one helper, but believe me it is not, when it comes to people. Personnel was always a point of consuming time for me and as a V.P and my Supervisory staff.
No matter how small or insignificant you may think an issue is or how small your online business is, if you are going to have anyone help you from the outside world, having your thoughts, your beliefs, your processes, your intentions, your direction, processes and flow down in writing is always a good foundation for you in building a company, no matter how small you are.
It is just like getting your own business checking account, your own business credit card, your own tax ID number, your own accountant, keep business expenses. It is just good to know business SOP’s. create them, use them, rely on them. Standardize everything you can and get it down in writing.
Just my opinion from someone who started very small with a few thousand dollars back in 1972 and with my partner built a very large business.
And most of all, have fun doing it, focus your help, and grow your business.
Mike at MDCGFA
09/09/2020 at 1:01 pm #81401
This one is simple. Just state at the beginning of the next shift:
“Hey I’ve noticed that you take a 30 minute break to eat each day. I have no problem if you need to have a meal or take an extended break for personal reasons, but I can’t pay you for that time. You can either skip the lunch, add a half hour to the beginning or end of your shift, or just log 4.5 hours. It’s up to you.”
09/09/2020 at 3:38 pm #81404workhorseParticipant
- Location: California
Its good to address early and not wait as others have suggested. I have run a couple businesses over the years with up to 25 employees, and my earnest advice is to check your states labor laws. Obviously this is independent contractor stuff, but before you take a hard line and tell them you won’t pay for their lunch, you should check it out. There are states that require you to offer a lunch break if they work more than 4 hours. Young people can get very upset when you tell them they can’t do something.
09/09/2020 at 3:51 pm #81406
09/09/2020 at 3:52 pm #81407
And here is a summary of all states.
09/09/2020 at 4:12 pm #81409IndySalesParticipant
Who needs 30 minutes for lunch? That’s like a 10 minute process max unless you’re eating something crazy like ribs or lobster. Sounds like she’s padding hours.
I’d be quick to jump in and have a convo about it. When I’ve been in these situations before I’ve thanked the person for the honesty and apologized for whatever it was I messed up or misunderstood. I’ve had people hire me on, then dump a rule packet/etc on me and felt like it was a bit odd and impersonal.
09/09/2020 at 5:01 pm #81412TemudginParticipant
- Location: Jacksonville FL
Independent contractors are not employees. They generally are not entitled to things employees might be entitled to, but worker misclassification can be a concern when hiring an individual as an independent contractor. (As Uber has learned.) There can be unforeseen issues if the relationship sours or something happens and it is determined the person should have been hired as an employee rather than an independent contractor because of how the job is set up. Local professional advice to help try and avoid that and what risks there are is best since there are state laws and policies that can vary, besides the federal issues. Local SBA or SCORE counselors can also be a resource.
09/09/2020 at 5:10 pm #81413RyanneKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
and think of it this way: her lunch break is 1 hour a week total x $paid x 52 weeks/year.
if she’s 1099, you should not be paying for her lunch/cig/phone/break time. just make it clear that you can’t afford to do that. if she is not cool with that, you should find another helper who understands this.
09/09/2020 at 7:23 pm #81423
Thank you so much everyone for the advice! I really appreciate it. I’m new to having a helper. I’m used to doing everything myself, and I have a hard time with confrontation. I know that this is something that I need to work on to run a business. What Ryanne said about doing the math, makes it real clear. I see that I’m paying her a lot for nothing, so I’m going to talk to her about it. Next time I hire someone, I will make sure to address this up front and let people know before they start working. I didn’t even think about it before, because personally, I would never expect to take a lunch break under the circumstances, and I’m used to working by myself with no lunch break.
09/09/2020 at 7:57 pm #81424soniaParticipant
- Location: Northeast US
Good luck! Let us know how it works out.
I would have the same kind of trouble with confrontation in this situation if I had a helper!
09/14/2020 at 8:41 pm #81564
I’m thinking of sending some items home with my helper to work on. Can anyone recommend how much to pay per piece, or how to go about figuring out a good rate?
Thanks for your help!
09/15/2020 at 7:08 pm #81587
She is only taking photos and measurements.
Also, I want to share with everyone that I think I may have solved my problem with the lunch break. On a side note, I was paying her via Venmo, but after doing some research it looks like I would still need to give her a 1099, but not if I pay her via PayPal goods and services.
I ended up telling my helper today that I’m trying to get more organized, so I’m going to need to start paying her through PayPal so that I don’t have to issue a 1099, and also “my accountant” advised that I start keeping track of her hours. 🙂
She was totally cool with it! Yay! Starting next week, we will keep a log when she comes and we will write down her arrival time, lunch break start and finish times, and the time that she stops working.
09/15/2020 at 11:01 pm #81593
Just a funny side note though… This is my first time hiring someone to work from my house, and my son loves bacon, so of course I have bacon in the fridge. My helper brings her lunch and uses my fridge and microwave for her lunch break. She started talking a lot about how she doesn’t like to eat meat and how cruel it is and that she’s a vegetarian ( I was too at her age) . It didn’t even cross my mind, until tonight, when I opened the fridge and saw the bacon sitting front and center LOL. She’s 23 and lives with her parents. I’m kind of on edge now. Like what. I used to be vegetarian too when I was her age, but I’ve never judged others for their own choices. I feel judged. LOL.
I told her thank you so much for all your help this week. We’ll start with paypal and keeping track of hours next week. Her only response was:
09/15/2020 at 11:09 pm #81594
I’ve been think if I would have been her at her age, I would have been so thankful and happy to have such a cool and relaxed job.
09/16/2020 at 10:03 am #81604
Also just thought the bacon thing was funny. I’m going to start stocking up the fridge with meat and dairy products now for when she opens the fridge. Haha J/K
I’m totally just joking.
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