Flexible Work Hours : A Need Today…

Most companies yet follow the age old working style of fixed hours or more commonly known as a typical 9-5 job. Wherein an employee has to reach the office at 9AM in the morning and leave by 5PM, no matter if he is required to be there at that time or not. Well, this system worked well in the earlier days when globalization was not so much integrated into your work. When your work was not dependent on what someone in some other part of the world is doing. When work load was much less, when there was much little traffic on roads and hence traveling wasn’t a great deal. Basically, the work, work environment, also the style of working was different earlier.

Today, on the other hand, the environment is very different. Most would agree to the unsaid fact that a typical 9-5 job is no more a 9-5 job. It usually extends to 6-7 and sometimes more than that too. And in-spite of the increase in work hours in the latter half of the day by a couple of hours, next day you are expected to report at the same time 9 AM. Now, since everyone working does that, you can’t shy away from following the same path, else it would affect your growth. Outsourcing is one of the best things that has happened to India as far as the country’s growth is concerned. And outsourcing would mean, communicating with someone in the other part of the world, considering their timings too, which is pretty obvious. Hence the need to adjust your timings accordingly, which is the reason why most tend to spend the extra few hours at work.

Life - Wok - HomeLifestyle of a youth back in 70’s or 80’s is very different than the lifestyle of a youth today. Easy accessibility to various sorts of entertainment, accessibility to social networking via the web which in turn helps in maintaining relationships. Accessibility to various technology related things, a ‘want’ to learn many other things, pursue your other hobbies, be it learning to play guitar, singing, dancing, writing, sports, or for that matter exploring technology. There is so much going around that you find it difficult to find the time to do each one of those, in some cases even one of those. The increasing traffic and growth of a city makes traveling all the more time consuming and stressful for anyone. Especially since every working person more or less travels at the same time (peak hours), the rush hour makes traveling all the more stressful.

All these things together, make the quality of life of a human very tiring, which leads to stress, depression and various health issues too at an early age. When you reach back home only so late, not even spend quality time with your family just because you are super tired to do that, how can someone expect a person to come back to work next day early morning in a good mood to work. And if that’s not there, how can you expect full productivity from a person?

Writing about the issues can go on and on… point is, this system is not working, atleast not for those companies that rely a lot on outsourced work. The concept of Flexible Work Hours comes into the picture here. Flexible work hours, what it means? It is these two things.

  1. Let the employee decide at what time he wants to work. What time he wants to be present in office.
  2. Let the employee decide where he wants to work. There is a lot of work that can easily be done from home. Why would someone waste his time in traveling when he can do that same work from home too?
Many would argue, saying this would lead to an employee getting careless about his work, and hence not working at all. Point is, even if this happens(which is very likely to happen with some), it’s good for the company. They will know who is the person with a true attitude to work. Who loves his work, who wants to work. Let the employee be judged by his work quality and not by the amount of time he spends in office. There are certain advantages to the company too on following this culture.
  1. This leads to a much more productive work from an employee, which leads to better output for a company.
  2. If the hours are flexible, an employee will not be wasting his time in the office and hence not using the resources provided by the company, leading to cost savings.
  3. The true potential of an employee can be judged much more easily.
To conclude, the present lifestyle of a normal youth, the work culture companies need… All of it demands the inclusion of Flexible Work Hours for an employee.
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17 thoughts on “Flexible Work Hours : A Need Today…

  1. Ankita Garg November 14, 2011 at 6:17 PM Reply

    Very thoughtful post. Infact it’d made life much easier for the traffic and for the people. Though a lot of hurdles will have to be crossed, since the supervising team will have to be present all day or more number of people would be required.

    Though I guess there are companies who have a fixed number of hours. Which is comparetively much convenient 🙂

    • Mohit November 14, 2011 at 6:58 PM Reply

      Yea! I guess fixed number of hours is a good way to start from, before jumping directly to completely flexible timings and hours… 🙂

  2. Shweta z November 14, 2011 at 6:21 PM Reply

    I agree on this absolutely, have been blessed to work with an org which believes in this, have worked from home using webex and skype at timess. Infact have met many senior ppl who are ready to compromise on pay package if it allows flexi timing and they get time to spend with family.

    • Mohit November 14, 2011 at 7:00 PM Reply

      Glad to know such organizations exist. Sigh!
      I have not come across one yet. Now, with the advancement of technology we can implement this in a much more better way.. Frankly, if I get to spend time for myself, my loved one’s, then I wouldn’t mind compromising on my pay package too.

  3. Sydney November 14, 2011 at 11:26 PM Reply

    Mohit, would you mind sending it to my bosses? My work hours are seven to four can you imagine my plight? 😉

    • Mohit November 14, 2011 at 11:28 PM Reply

      Sigh! Everyone asks the same question back to me after reading this post. 😛

  4. aspirantentrepreneur November 15, 2011 at 9:04 AM Reply

    The Indian corporates need to be more flexible and also need to change the work environment for the employees. The work culture in western countries is very different and the companies are employee-centric. They know how and what kind of flexibilities and privileges should be given to the employees so that the productivity and profits increase, also the employees stay happy and love their work. We are still stuck to the age old practices and business models and that is primarily ’cause we are neither broad-minded nor far-sighted. The corporates need to re-think and re-model their policies asap.

    Thoughtful post and definitely something for the big bosses to read. Good job. 😀

    • Mohit November 15, 2011 at 9:55 AM Reply

      True that..
      But as far as I know, this particular issue is not so common abroad too yet. They are ahead of India, but yet not to the mark there too.
      They have other things though for their employees. While here an employee is judged on the basis of time spent at work, resulting in starting a bad work culture.

  5. meethimirchi November 15, 2011 at 10:11 AM Reply

    more than being on flexible hours working system, companies should engage more into weekly hrs based . 45hrs per week has to be made mandatory. u work 10 hrs or 2 hrs a day but in a week u should clock 45hrs 🙂 .. this will balance our lives and makes us give importance to our personnel and family priorities 🙂

    • Mohit November 15, 2011 at 10:19 AM Reply

      True, this is what we should start with, I’d agree with this. But, yet this does not solve all the problems. Only Little. Point is why ‘work’ for 45 hours when you don’t have that amount of work? When you have 50 hours of work, even that will be done.
      But, again, yes a minimum limit should be there so that people don’t take undue advantage of this.

      • meethimirchi November 15, 2011 at 10:23 AM

        see on avg we spend more than 10hrs in office, and sometimes even more so weekly calculations will help us to utilize our spare time well and also avoid us taking off’s for some small petty works like banks etc

  6. Mohit November 15, 2011 at 10:34 AM Reply

    meethimirchi :

    see on avg we spend more than 10hrs in office, and sometimes even more so weekly calculations will help us to utilize our spare time well and also avoid us taking off’s for some small petty works like banks etc

    Yes, but then out of those 10 hours we are actually working only 6 hours may be max. And most of the work atleast in the IT sector can be done staying at home. Why waste the traveling time?

  7. Aishwarya November 17, 2011 at 6:10 PM Reply

    relevant post;) I agree with most of the things you have pointed out to.
    The mushrooming of IT company’s is slowly leading to this awareness.
    I feel company’s give the privilege of working from home, only after you have served the company for a couple of years.

    During the initial years i guess they do not offer this since they want the newly recruited employees to aquatint themselves with the whole working system of the company. To build a rapport with colleagues, to attend personality development workshops, training…and all such things, it is essential that one comes to a work place.

    Of course fixing weekly working hours and targets is a good idea. And i guess most company’s are slowly accepting this idea.

  8. Aishwarya November 17, 2011 at 6:11 PM Reply

    acquaint**

  9. Mohit November 17, 2011 at 6:24 PM Reply

    As far as I know, it’s only when you reach a higher level you get that facility to work from home, but then it’s mi-used by the companies to make them work on weekends. It’s not the regular work from home that am talking about.
    Though yes, some are moving towards finding a solution for this. *Fingers crossed*

  10. krishna February 15, 2012 at 2:30 AM Reply

    very true!
    that would surely multiply the efficiency and work quality manifold!
    good write up!

    • Mohit February 15, 2012 at 9:29 PM Reply

      Thank You! 🙂

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