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Theory about Work Culture
Human Resources » Organization Development

Chrm Message From: aarti.s Total Posts: 23 Join Date: 21/08/2006
Rank: Executive Post Date: 11/11/2006 23:38:49 Points: 115 Location: United States

Dear Colleagues,

It's half past 8 in the office but the lights are still on..PCs still running, coffee machines still buzzing..and whose at work..Most of them??

Take a closer look.. All or most specimens are 20-something male species of the human race..look closer..again all or most of them are bachelors..and why are they sitting late? Working hard? No way!! Any guesses?? lets ask one of them..Here's what he says.."Arey yaar, whatz there to do after going home..idhar to net hein, AC hein, phone hein, khaana hein, coffee hein.. to jam ke khaao, jam ke piyo(burps), jam ke chatting/phone karo aur thak jaane par ghar jaao...aur boss bhi kush that i am working late...(burps) aur khaane ka paisa bhi bachtaa hein."

This is the scene in most software companies and other off-site offices. Bachelors "time-passing" during late hours in the office just bcoz they say they've nothing else to do..Now what are the consequences.. read on..."working"(for the record only) late hours soon becomes part of the company culture. With bosses more than eager to provide support to those "working" late in the form of taxi vouchers, food vouchers and of course good feedback,(oh, he's a hardworker..goes home only to change..!!) they arent helping things too..To hell with bosses who dont understand the difference between "sitting" late and "working" late!! Very soon, the managers start expecting all employees to put in extra working hours.

My dear Bachelor bhaais let me tell you, life changes when you get married and start having a is no longer a prioroty, family is..and thats when the problem starts.bcoz you start having commitments at home too. For your boss, the earlier "hardworking" guy suddenly seems to become a "early leaver" even if you leave an hour after regular time..after doing the same amount of work, People leaving on time after doing ther taks for the day are labelled as work-shirkers..Girls who thankfully always leave on time are labelled as "not up to it". All the while, the bachelors pat their own backs and carry on "working" not realising that they are spoiling the work culture at their own place and never realise that they wuld have to regret at one point of time. So bhaai log, what's the moral of the story.?? Very clear, LEAVE ON TIME!!

Never put in extra time unless really needed. Dont stay back un-necessarily and spoil your company work culture which will in turn cause inconvenience to you and your colleagues. There are hundred other things to do in the evening.. Learn music..Learn a foreign language..Try go-karting... Get a girl friend, take her around town. And for heaven's sake net cafe rates have dropped to an all-time low(plus, no fire-walls) and try cooking for a change. Take a tip from the Smirnoff ad: "Life's calling, where are you??"  - Source Unknown


Aarti S

Chrm Message From: hrtech Total Posts: 32 Join Date: 21/08/2006  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 11/11/2006 23:41:55 Points: 160 Location: United States

An excellent article, but just to mention "How many people really leave their offices just on time?", I suppose the number of employees sitting back late in the office shall be a majority if compared to the one's who leave on time.

This reminds me of the speech of Mr. Narayan Murthy, Chairman-Infosys which I shall like to mention over here ; Infosys Chairman - Mr. Narayana Murthy's Speech on Late sitting:

I know people who work 12 hours a day, six days a week, or more. Some people do so because of a work emergency where the long hours are only temporary. Other people I know have put in these hours for years. I don't know if they are working all these hours, but I do know they are in the office this long. Others put in long office hours because they are addicted to the workplace. Whatever the reason for putting in overtime, working long hours over the long term is harmful to the person and to the organization.

There are things managers can do to change this for everyone's benefit. Being in the office long hours, over long periods of time, makes way for potential errors. My colleagues who are in the office long hours frequently make mistakes caused by fatigue. Correcting these mistakes requires their time as well as the time and energy of others. I have seen people work Tuesday through Friday to correct mistakes made after 5 PM on Monday.

Another problem is that people who are in the office for long hours are not pleasant company. They often complain about other people (who aren't working as hard); they are irritable, or cranky, or even angry. Other people avoid them. Such behaviour poses problems, where work goes much better when people work together instead of avoiding one another.

As Managers, there are things we can do to help people leave the office.

First and foremost is to set the example and go home ourselves. I work with a manager who chides people for working long hours. His words quickly lose their meaning when he sends these chiding group e-mails witha time-stamp of 2 AM, Sunday.

Second is to encourage people to put some balance in their lives. For instance, here is a guideline I find helpful:

1) Wake up, eat a good breakfast, and go to work.

2) Work hard and smart for eight or nine hours.

3) Go home.

4) Read the comics, watch a funny movie, dig the dirt, play with your kids etc..

5) Eat well and sleep well.

This is called recreating. Doing steps 1, 3, 4, and 5 enable step 2.

Working regular hours and recreating daily are simple concepts. They are hard for some of us because that requires personal change. They are possible since we all have the power to choose to do them. In considering the issue of overtime, I am reminded of my eldest son. When he was a toddler, If people were visiting the apartment, he would not fall asleep no matter how long the visit, and no matter what time of day it was.! He would fight off sleep until the visitors left. It was as if he was afraid that he would miss something. Once our visitors' left, he would go to sleep. By this time, however, he was over tired and would scream through half the night with nightmares. He, my wife, and I, all paid the price for his fear of missing out. Perhaps some people put in such long hours because they don't want to miss anything when they leave the office. The trouble with this is that events will never stop happening.That is life! Things happen 24 hours a day.

Allowing for little rest is not ultimately practical. So, take a nap. Things will happen while you're asleep, but you will have the energy to catch up when you wake.

Hence "Love Your Job But Never Fall In Love With Your Company"

Sad to say, that this speech too hasn't really affected the behavior of late-sitters who have a leisure time at the office after normal working hours, for whom the message has been 'Love Your Job But Also Fall In Love With Your Company".

Over to the other HR professionals...

Chrm Message From: mark Total Posts: 47 Join Date: 21/08/2006  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 11/11/2006 23:44:06 Points: 235 Location: United States

Hello aarti,

It's good to hear someone talking sense. What we need is time management, priorities setting, pareto's law at work. This may solve most of the problems associated with
late sitting.

Warm Regards,


Chrm Message From: Sophiya Total Posts: 33 Join Date: 21/08/2006  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 11/11/2006 23:46:06 Points: 165 Location: United States

I might just add that there are at lest 10-15% of this population of late-sitters, who also do genuine work and do some development work.

What amazes me is why some of these folks do not take up recreational activities after work like going for a swim, or light exercising in the gym, or play Tennins or TT, or Badminton etc. It would do a lot of good to keep their batteries re-charged.


Chrm Message From: chintan Total Posts: 20 Join Date: 21/08/2006  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 13/11/2006 00:34:46 Points: 100 Location: United States

Sitting late or going in time is more due to habit than to work pressure. I have seen persons who always go in time ,irespctive of the job given to them, and the persons those always sit late, even if the these persons job are interchanged.



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