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Do Indians overwork or are they inefficient?

Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 2:53pm IST | Place: Pune | Agency: DNA
According to the latest global survey by Regus, a workplace solutions provider, India is among the leading countries where employees work beyond their stipulated office timings.

According to the latest global survey by Regus, a workplace solutions provider, India is among the leading countries where employees work beyond their stipulated office timings.

The survey shows that more than 50% employees spend more than 8 hours in office each day.
 

DNA finds out why Indians are burdened with work

Indians are being exploited because they choose to work
It is a fact that young Indians have to work hard and for more than 8 hours. This culture of working more than the stipulated office timings is brought in India by the IT industry. The employees who work in IT industry no doubt earn good money, but I feel that they are being exploited. Most of these IT professionals work on projects as a team and are required to complete within a given time frame.

The companies which outsource these projects are making $10-15 million and the teams who slog to complete these projects are getting peanuts. Especially, Indians are being exploited because they choose to work.

To meet the deadlines and achieve company goals, everyone is taken for a ride. The IT industry has set up the trend and now it has become a vicious circle as our growing economy is demanding 24x7 work culture. The youngsters are working because they have no choice; they are forced to work.
Dr Hemant Chandorkar, consulting psychiatrist

Working from home is better as one can find time for family
It is true that Indians are spending more than eight hours working each day. The younger generation has got used to this new work culture of overworking, but the older generation finds it very difficult to cope with it. Working for long hours leaves you with no time for family or self-reflection. However, working from home has benefited women as it gives them ample of time to spend with family.

Working 10 to 12 hours everyday has become common, but this can be restricted to 8 hours if some time-mapping is applied within the office. Reflecting on how the present system works and bringing in small changes, can make a difference and save time.     
Pominder Kaur, HR consultant

We have to deliver results to customers based overseas
To some extent it is true that Indians are burdened with increasing workload. Most of the IT work is done on contract basis, which needs to be completed and delivered within a certain time frame. If things go wrong and one does not meet the deadline, there is no opportunity of postponing the delivery date.

You have to do as promised. The bigger challenge of IT industry is that a lot of work is done for customers who are overseas in a different time-zone. In India, we have to work according to the time-zone of other countries, which demands working after 9 pm. In such a situation there is no option left but to work from home as well. So the real problem is the time-zone factor.

The IT industry people have a five-day work week and get weekend offs. Most of the companies are following time-tracking system but the focus is always on the results delivered at the end of the day. 
Ravi Deshmukh, IT professional

Work hard attitude of Indians makes them successful
In cities like Pune and Bangalore, people generally stay close to their workplace and spend not more than half-an-hour in commuting. In big metros like Mumbai and Delhi, people stay far from their workplace and spend a lot of time commuting. In a city like Pune if I finish my work, say at 5 pm and reach home at 5.30 pm, what will I do in the later part of the day? Thus it makes sense to work. Sticking to 8-hour work schedule is not going to help us progress career wise. In fact, there are many young entrepreneurs in our country who are working hard and thus they need to invest time in work to achieve their goals. 

As the country’s economy is growing, so are the opportunities. For better pay packs and promotions you need to keep working. If employees of an organisation are sitting and working hard till 9-10 pm, one cannot pack the bag and leave at 5 or 6 pm saying he/she has clocked in the required hours. Only those will succeed and grow who work hard and support the organisation.

Our economy is booming but it is just the beginning. We have not reached a saturation point wherein we can enjoy the luxury of working for less number of hours. The hard working attitude is the reason why Indians are successful in the West. 
Sandeep Saxena, Founder & CEO, Acton Biotech


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