New Year's Eve: Hold the Bubbly, Break Out the Cash

This New Year's Eve promises to be like no other. Since it falls on a Friday night, many people will be making a three-day holiday of the event. For many IT managers, of course, this will be a time of hard work and watchful waiting as the calendar rolls over to 2000.

GartnerGroup (Stamford, Conn.) has issued some guidelines to those managers that need to ask employees to work or be on call through the millennium bash. Gartner advises planning an enhanced compensation policy as soon as possible to have in place for the rollover weekend.

Money: Both on-call and working staff should be compensated "as if they were working," at overtime rates, if applicable, according to Gartner. Some companies are even considering paying four times the overtime rate to attract volunteers. "We believe anything less than three times normal pay will be unacceptable," Gartner estimates. However, the consultancy advises managers to "be wary of media reports of substantial bonuses for working over this period."

Time Off: Employees that work through the New Year's weekend should also receive an additional holiday allowance. Also, Gartner advises not to have any employees working both Christmas and New Year's. Gartner goes on to caution, however, that summer holiday cycles could be disrupted if IS staffers hold off until this time.

Work Patterns: Some companies are considering having staff work two 12-hour shifts through this weekend. Gartner advises managers to check with local labor laws.

Above all, the consulting group advises, pamper these dedicated employees well as they guard the Y2K levies. This includes providing amenities such as food and refreshments, access to TV or music, and providing sleeping accommodations, if necessary.