A while ago, a colleague casually asked me about my big plans for the weekend, I could not help being amused. I told him that every weekend I’ve spent in Ahmedabad and at office, has turned out to be loss of precious moments. And why shouldn’t it be? Every moment spent in office feels like exile, notwithstanding the good moments we have talking and having fun (at the client’s expense, of course).
In the companies I have worked for till now (including the current one), a five day week is the norm. But when it comes to adhering Indian clients that follow a six week schedule, things aren’t that easy. And so while sometimes we try to be ‘with them’, we prefer taking liberty to take the Saturday off as a fundamental right. Now why it is that while some companies have a five day work week, some stick to six? It may be said that a five day week is a fad, and it would take some time to become a norm. It is also seen that the new age industries work Monday to Friday, the traditional ones still prefer working on Saturday, much to the grunt to its employees.What makes companies devise such policies?
For one, companies with past experience of being burdened of overtime whenever extra labor hours are extracted, they prefer keeping a buffer to keep their unwarranted expenses low. But what about those where extra hours don’t translate to additional pay? Why don’t they stick to five day week, with the compulsion to stay till the work is done? Well, that would mean empowering the employees, and this comes from the theory Y. And not all organizations have woken up to the fact that employees can actually have a sense of responsibility.
Two: things have happened in the past, and there is no change agent to make things happen.
Three: As my manager once quipped, for industries which are working 24×7, there is always a crisis that needs to be dealt with, for us Indians cannot plan well. We believe in procrastinating till the last moment, and taking it from there. To handle such moments, a lot of shouting and go-getting takes place, and some people are just too pleased to have it around them (I happened to experience a lot of such instances in the stint with my present client). Fourth: we Indians do not give too much importance to our personal lives (this trend is changing though, check out any hot spots on weekends). And with this frame of mind, we do not mind taking up the additional responsibility of showing that work is being done.
We Indians are used to struggle: for we have to fight everyday. And some people seem to like it. And so to match the aspirations for those more Indian, I need to feel the pain of seeing my precious days going down the drain!
Sunday will come and go in a jiffy, leaving me to wonder whether I am human after all. Call it a downside of new experiences!