Saturday, November 03, 2012

Boss to employees: Don’t work too hard

imageAs far as I know, the bold suggestion of recommending 40 hours working per week came from the XP community through the practice of Sustainable pace.

Even though I keep myself engaged in the Agile community quite upto date, I have hardly seen companies asking employees not to work hard or making it a policy not to work hard.

However, recently came across this article in the Australian news paper where the global CEO of WiseTech has made an unusual request to employees for maintaining work life balance by working not more than 40 hours per week !!

Here are some snippets from the news paper
If employees work more than 40 hours a week regularly, they have to talk to their manager to redress the situation.  Workplace expert and University of Adelaide law professor Andrew Stewart said the WiseTech Global approach was the first time he had heard of such a clause applying to Australian workers but he expected the provision to become more common.

He said he expected more claims to be lodged against employers for breach of health and safety laws ‘‘where you have high pressure, high-stress, long working-hours environments’’.

There was increasing evidence that productivity and effectiveness of employees ‘‘falls off dramatically when you have tired workers’’, Professor Stewart said. Recent research argued the effect on employees of working long hours was equivalent to ‘‘being drunk or high on drugs’’, he said.

‘Creativity is fired by emotional energy,’’ the company’s charter says. ‘‘ No life balance, no creativity at work.’’

Mr White said he had sat down with employees on about 10 occasions in the past five years and told them they spent too much time i n the office. The workforce consists of salaried, largely full-time employees who do not receive overtime.

He noted staff turnover was ‘‘extremely low’’, an unusual occurrence for an information technology company.

Isn’t this the company everyone dreams to work for ? 


Unknown said...

My, borrowed, summary: "No life balance, no creativity at work."

Those "evil" managers and companies follow the The Spanish Theory (of Value) [see "Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams"]; while the "good" ones follow The English Theory (of Value).

In summary, the definition of Performance / Productivity for each is as follows:
(Spanish): Productivity = Work Accomplished / Hour of Pay
If you really work 10 hrs a day, they just use the first 8 (paid ones).

(English): Productivity = Work Accomplished / Hour of Work

So, while the "bad" ones try to put as many unpaid extra hours as possible; where the "good" ones try to achieve more value from a Work Hour. The former just try to force workers to do extra hours; and the latter to work as efficiently as possible to achieve more on regular (paid) hours. The "good" ones don't see gain in extra hours but in improvements to their processes in order to make the life easier to their workers.

Venkatesh Krishnamurthy said...

Absolutely !