Friday, June 3, 2011

Work Life Balance

Often we hear the big talks on the topic of "Work Life Balance" and most of the times HR department tries to push the ideas through our mind.  But does it really mean anything in the Indian Corporate World?  My Take - "No" and I have my own reasons to believe so. 

Reason 1 - There is NO Indian Corporate Organization that does not have a situation of "Pressed Timelines" because someone has not worked or someone is not willing to work;

Reason 2 - In the Corporate World, there are quite a few who work and there are lot more who offload their work; (sometimes, I too am in the second category :P)

Reason 3 - There are more Managers who believe that their team members are their resources and the resources are to be exploited to the full extent. Eh they forget that too much exploitation drains the energy levels as well as motivation of the team members;

Reason 4 - HR in Indian Corporate World is Reactive in Nature and that too when they are banged with issues time and again.  Well one of the most toothless HR system I have seen is in case of Employee Grievances. However, they are most proactive when the case is against the Employee. Now that means, the HR is Management Representative and not the one that would swim against the tide for Employee Benefit;

Reason 5 - There is often an internal Back Stabbing within the Teams in the Corporate rather than healthy competition. That is if someone is working and growing there would be 4 more to pull down that person and thus demoralize the person to take initiatives and work with enthusiasm;

Reason 6 - Appraisal Systems in Indian Corporate World as I have witnessed are one of the Most Subjective Appraisals I would have ever seen.  To get a good hike and a good position, it is more required to be have a "Yes Boss" attitude than being really productive team member.  It is an asset to be able to show your work and beat your own trumpet. And if you can't Show off the work or steal the Credit someone else deserved, then you have no right to complain for your avg or low appraisal;

Reason 7 - Absence of Work Ethics in Indian Corporate Work Culture is one of the biggest drawback.  Every Organization has stipulated 8 hrs work culture and that 8 hrs is supposed to be Productive for the Organization.  Even the HR researchers have pointed that an avg human being can be productive for 8 hrs.  However, when we look at the people in Indian Corporate world, we find that the Work force arrives in office by 10 AM, then another 1 hrs goes in socializing, then its tea time that eats up 15 minutes of the time, then 1 hr in figuring out what is the job to be completed on the day, then its lunch time that stretches from 45 mins to an hour and half, then couple of hrs go in straightening the work and chatting with colleagues, then again is the tea time consuming 30 mins, then is the time to start working and in couple of hrs its time to go home as its almost 6 PM.  Yes the allocated 8 hrs are gone for the day 10AM-6PM is 8 hrs.  But how much was the person productive - Hardly 2 or 3 hrs.

So with this kind of outlook to the Corporate Work Culture, I do not see it there is any Work Life Balance that can be achieved in the Indian Corporate World.  If you evaluate the reasons as I stated above, you would for yourself find that the overall picture of not attending to the work and then getting under time pressure is often the case with an avg person in India.  If one goes ahead and follows a disciplined Working Hrs giving the right amount of output, it would be easier for the person and the team to achieve the timelines and when the timelines would be achieve, there would be no pressure or workload.

I might be dreaming for the day when this culture of Work Life Balance would prevail in Indian Corporate World. But as the dream is certainly a pleasant one, I don't mind dreaming as far as few people read this and they try and align themselves to these thoughts.  May be one day the result would be seen!!!

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