Ease of Doing Work

By the Editor: Siddharth Sehgal

Our government trumpets India’s rank in the of ease of doing business, though these rankings are just a relative idea and are open to discussion but at least they give you a good picture of how good is the ecosystem for doing business in a country. But rarely do we think about ease of doing work and how things are conducted on a daily basis in offices in this country. A typical Indian office, be it private or government, is like jungle at best, where guile, cunning and craftiness are generally considered good traits to advance up the food chain. Let’s talk about this jungle a bit and how we can change this dog eat dog culture.

In Indian work culture long working hours are considered as a mark of hard work, for some reason it has become part of Indian psyche that until a person does not stretches his shift beyond 8 hours, he is not working enough and may be that’s why its is considered okay to pile up a person with some extra on his plate but how much is too much is never debated. In IT sector and also in lot of public and private domain, people stay well beyond 5 ’o clock, it doesn’t mean that they get more things done or they are being more productive, its just that no one thought to correct this unhealthy practice. I think a person can do healthy, productive work in 6-8 hours shift without jeopardizing the task or job responsibilities assigned to him or her, working five days a week will do no harm, unless it is emergency services or critical infrastructure which can be taken care in multiple shifts, 9-5 and Monday to Friday will do just fine.

Another serious issue that Indians face in their careers is of due payments. Long working hours does not always translate to overtime or extra pay for extra work. This problem is quiet common in private and govt. spheres and it adds much to disgruntlement and loss of productivity. Even in promotions and appraisals we see a lot of politics, favoritism and underhandedness. In India it often boils down to how well your relations are with your manager or boss, and often you’d see those relations denigrate to servitude, people either due to fear or lack of any transparent appraisal mechanism do all sorts of things to be in good books of their boss and often I’ve seen bosses taking advantage of that fact. Similarly, we do not have any grievance redressal system in place in most places and HR department if I can say in general terms usually behaves like the yeoman of establishment. I am not trying to say that all bosses are horrible but some definitely are. Your effort, dedication and results should be a benchmark of your ability rather than grace of your superiors. In government offices this problem is more pronounced because people don’t leave their jobs and promotions and raise have to go though a lot of red tape and sluggish bureaucracy.

I think we as a country should definitely try to improve the way we work. It can be done, it’d make life easier for a lot of us, if only our leaders show that will to change things for good.

One Comment

  1. O K R Sivagnanam says:

    After all, employees get their remuneration for the work assigned to them and done, and there’s no rule that expects them to buttress the boss for promotion and all that. Being loyal to them to the extent of rendering undue personal service to the higher-ups in the hierarchy does harm to the really sincere working people who are ignorant of the art and science of how to keep oneself in the good books of an immediate superior, and if need be, of others as well!
    We do not need this ‘uncultured culture’ to dominate the society!

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