Thursday, February 07, 2008

Why We Should Go Home On Time?

I noticed that the working class in ASEAN country especially employees in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore used to work very late in the office and it has become a culture of working class in the major cities.

Hence we have less time to spend our time with the family or it is difficult to have luxury of time for self improvement.

To me, it is unhealthy. The negative impacts will be:

1. Decline in efficiency.
2. There is no work life balance.
3. No improvement and skill developement (all the time spent to work).
4. Stressed up (less social activities, lack of exercise).

Please read article below on the reasons and benefits for going back home on time.

Mr. Narayana Murthy is undoubtedly one of the most famous persons from Karnataka. He is known not just for building the biggest IT Empire inIndia but also for his simplicity.

Almost every important dignitary visits InfoSys campus. He delivered an interesting speech during an employee session with another IT company in India. He is incidentally, one of the top 50 influential people of Asia according to an Asia week publication and also the new IT Advisor to the Thailand Prime Minister.

Extract of Mr. Narayana Murthy's Speech during Mentor

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 do not 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 long hours are not pleasant company. They often complain about other people (who are not 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. 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 with a 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 books/comics, watch a funny movie, dig in
the dirt, playwith 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 oldest son. When he was a toddler, if people were visiting the apartment, he would not fall asleep no matter how long the visit was, 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 some thing. 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 do not 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 are asleep, but you will have the energy tocatch up when you wake.
-Narayana Murthy

What about you? Do you want to change the way we work? Do you think by staying on extra hours will improve the efficiency? or you stay because others stay?

Share this article with someone you cares and together we make a difference.

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