When i was in offshore, this was the slang word to work late and very late . One of my friend used to question shouldn't this be called "night-in"! Anyway, guy told me today, if someone is in offshore, they are expected to work after office hours most of the time. If you are one of those, i strongly suggest to stop reading further. I usually start my conversation when someone calling me late night from offshore, "why are you in office now?". I'm not going to say that offshore will never have to stay late, but certainly don't have to do it 4 out of 5 days. There were days we stayed back and worked late or come to office on Saturday; sometimes for issues, delivery deadline, help others and even to compensate for good time spent in office stairs vetti talk; but i don't think it was not lot of times.Ok based on my experience and lot of mistakes, following will help one to reduce late hours if not eliminate.
Estimate: Mostly a bad estimate will be the underlying issue. Whatever way you do it either scientific or absolute crap like scribbling in palm (yes i have done that) make sure it is something achievable. A feedback loop with actual will help refine future estimates, even with all tools and things there is always some personal judgment, so learning from mistake is a key.
Plan: Based on my limited experience at onsite "plan is god", everyone will agree to a plan and priorities. Plans can fail, but still there is some plan. In Lucas-TVS, there is 15 mins morning meeting before they start work, agenda is to review plan for the day. It is a stand up meeting and called sunrise meeting, those are days, where i had to start my commute during almost sunrise and glimpse early morning empty chennai.
Onsite call: Can't do much, but interacting through mails will eliminate lengthy calls. May be we can read thro' reqt document with some assumptions and clarify assumptions thro' mail. We can try looking into upcoming things and get clarified thro' mails instead of waiting for that day.
May be it is true that offshore has to work late many times, but what kind of life we are looking at, if we are still in office after office hours. I'd like to look at it from a humane point of view, every one in onsite moved from offshore only and didn't fall from heavens, though some would like to think that way. Drop me a note, if you have something to share.