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Old 22nd May 2011, 21:58   #16
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Default re: Tata comments on British Work Ethics ! But what of Work-Life balance ?

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Originally Posted by Tats07 View Post
When we were students, didn't we burn the midnight oil before exams? Was it our regular way of life? How is it different from working as a professional for an organizations which pays you?

Having said all that, I do think that some Indian companies, primarily into IT, have made this into an unhealthy regular work culture, when 90% of the times it is completely unnecessary! And not that all of them pay very well.
Well said my friend. When there is crisis situation, ethics tell us that resolving that crisis takes higher priority than missing the train to home. I have to agree with Mr Tata here.

Now one should be prudent enough to distinguish between the real crisis situations and not so real situations.

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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
--- I feel that he should have caught an earlier flight. Other people have lives too.
Friday, from 3.30pm, you can't find anybody in their office.---
---
How often would Mr Tata's visit be ? Once in 3/6 months ? If its once in 3/6months then I think one can adjust for that one day.
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Old 22nd May 2011, 22:41   #17
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Default re: Tata comments on British Work Ethics ! But what of Work-Life balance ?

I have another example from a close relative's case (10 years with the same organization).

10 years back, their european bosses said, you have a family, finish it on Monday, go home.
Now they say, the office is your family - sometimes you must spend a bit more time with one family than the other, but let us all (i.e u fellows) work harder & burn the midnight oil if required - for the 'family'.
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Old 22nd May 2011, 22:44   #18
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Default re: Tata comments on British Work Ethics ! But what of Work-Life balance ?

I agree with you Gooney. We Indians are a source of cheap labor for many western countries. In fact the success of IT and BPO industry is based hugely on this fact. I am not aware of the BPO industry but in IT industry Ive witnesses projects which are supposed to be done in 100 person months, being quoted for less to make the bids competitive. And who becomes the scape goat - the employee.

People dont blink an eye before scheduling late night meetings. Weekends you are expected to be available. Bachelors are often faced with the question - kya karega ghar jaake?

And people are to be blamed for that. The senior managers for believing that the person whos in office for 12 hours is hard working and sincere, and the juniors for staying in office coz there is nothing better to do at home.

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Originally Posted by Gooney View Post
IMO, Ratan Tata's jibe at the British work culture exposes the very fact of globalization. In very simple terms, India (and China, and Mexico, and Thailand and Poland) emerged as an outsourcing destination because of this difference in work ethics. We are willing to work more for much much less.
.....

However, I also read somewhere that an average Indian IT employee (male, unmarried) works for 11-13 hours. ...

What I feel is the crux of the matter is that, we, as different cultures, are tuned to work very differently. Our psyches are different and time to us has different meaning.
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Originally Posted by carboy View Post
Seen this in so many software companies in India.
The unmarried male spends a lot of time at the workplace....
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Old 22nd May 2011, 22:54   #19
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Default re: Tata comments on British Work Ethics ! But what of Work-Life balance ?

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People dont blink an eye before scheduling late night meetings. Weekends you are expected to be available. Bachelors are often faced with the question - kya karega ghar jaake?

Partly because the day goes in passing time kissing rearsides.

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Old 22nd May 2011, 23:13   #20
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Default re: Tata comments on British Work Ethics ! But what of Work-Life balance ?

Work ethics or no work ethics, JLR has mopped up a billion in sales in this fiscal. That should satisfy the "grouching" tiger.
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Old 22nd May 2011, 23:16   #21
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Default re: Tata comments on British Work Ethics ! But what of Work-Life balance ?

I have never worked in an IT Co., BPO or an MNC. So I really cant relate to whatever is said abve. But what I can relate to is my job while I was on cruise liners.

On the cruise liners as crew, amongst British Nationals and Indian nationals we had plenty of other nationalities. One thing to note while working on cruise liners is that irrespective of nationality the fascilities like cabins, recreation, food etc etc was the same for all. No one had families on board hence the attraction to be getting back to one's family after the days work wasnt there.

So basically with all external factors being equal for all nationalities on the ship I can safely say that "some" nationalities (with exceptions) in particular were more interested in not doing their regular quota of work rather than doing it properly. It just felt that they approach work with "I dont care attitude" For them being there and marking attendance was important than delivering, whereas for us Indians (well with most of us atleast) delivering quality was of a higher importance.

So when Mr Tata condemns the British work-ethics, I feel he is absolutely right
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Old 22nd May 2011, 23:46   #22
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Default re: Tata comments on British Work Ethics ! But what of Work-Life balance ?

I think I had better blush and hide then
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Old 22nd May 2011, 23:49   #23
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Default re: Tata comments on British Work Ethics ! But what of Work-Life balance ?

The Latest Fad amongst some of his companies is to take people out of their "comfort" zones.

The perception is that "comfort" makes people complacent.

But at the same time, you make the whole lot of people who work for you uncomfortable.

Balancing family with work is not something, people like him are expected to know.
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Old 22nd May 2011, 23:49   #24
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Default re: Tata comments on British Work Ethics ! But what of Work-Life balance ?

Coming back to the point that started this discussion .. here's something related to that:

Jaguar Land Rover to prove recovery with 1bn profit - Telegraph

Quote:
JLR is forecast to post net profits in the region of 1.1bn for the year to March 31, compared with a gain of 32m last year and a 281m loss in first 10 months under new owners Tata Motors.

The record profit comes only two years after the car maker was forced to seek Government support and warned of a "national emergency" in the car industry as sales tumbled during the recession.

The turnaround has been driven by rapidly growing sales in emerging markets such as India and China – where Jaguar and Land Rover cars are seen as status symbols for the growing middle classes – and investment from Tata in new models such as the Range Rover Evoque.

A JLR source said the results will be "extremely good" and that the British car maker, which employs 17,000 people, is the "star" performer for Tata Motors.

The results are expected to be presented as part of Tata Motors' annual results on Thursday. Carl-Peter Forster, chief executive of Tata Motors, and Ralf Speth, chief executive of JLR, will be in India for the results.
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Old 23rd May 2011, 00:05   #25
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Default re: Tata comments on British Work Ethics ! But what of Work-Life balance ?

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Originally Posted by mooza View Post
Personally, I feel the work life balance situation is much better in countries such as Britain, USA, Australia and so on, on account of having a long weekend, during which we can recharge our batteries and get back fresh to work on Monday, with better ideas and energy levels, which is good for the individual and the company in the long run.

Whereas in many companies in India, burning midnight oil is often encouraged, throwing personal life schedules haywire, not even allowing one to plan weekend getaways with friends and family, in advance.

So, is Ratan Tata right ?

I feel not.

What about you ?
1) Yes, the work life balance is much better in USA and developed countries. My cousin who visited us earlier was shocked to see my father working for so many hours. And the bigger shock to him was despite the working hours, the schedule was 6 days a week.

My cousin is ME and in US since more than 10 years. His wife is working with Intel ( yes that microprocessor maker ).
They were shocked to no end with the timing of my father, my timing ( I was working in a BPO at that time ).

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Some Employees are like TV and constantly make noise while working, while others are like refrigerators, who hum on quietly.
2)
Both of them have different rating as far as energy goes. Parts are different too. I dont think that TV would have a compressor and so on....

Both of them have different functions in this world.

3) Overall, the work life balance is absent in our country. And if you are not ready to stretch or dont stretch too much, then you will be called :
Lazy
Not ambitious
Not hardworking
A person preferring to stay in comfort zone and pampered.

Now regarding comfort zone, I have a few doubts.
A low slung sedan is not built for offroading. On road is where comfort zone lies. So do we take the car for offroading ? Comfort zone is where the best can come out also IMO. A small example is Air-Conditioning. We have it to keep the human body in comfort zone.

EDIT :
@condor :
both refer to comfort. Thats why I mentioned this example. Comfort zone can be physical also. Like relocating and struggling. EG. Fresher relocating to Delhi/Bangalore with not so good package. Struggle will be there.
I think that there is very thin line between two.

These words like Comfort zone and create comfort are like 'comparison' and 'competition'. Women are considered to do 'comparisons', but our society is ( or rather was ) male dominated. Hence the male feeling of 'comparison' went on to become 'competition'.

We have around 9-10 hours working that too 6 days. Obviously the concept of weekend is also absent leading to work life imbalance.

The Indian mentality is to extract the most and give the least. I have seen people who would end up spending more time with office colleagues than family members. At the end of the day, we are suffering and we are made to believe that workplace is home and family.

PS : Before a few terms come up like experience, etc. I would like to add that I have worked for 1 year on live project ( clients, changing needs of clients, customer is the king and all those stuff are faced by me ) and worked with BPO also. Right now, again going for training at a very reputed firm. Only to find out that schedules are worst. Over and above that, I used to work on my own too like assembling PC, repairing comps or helping others out with problems, etc.

Above is purely My Opinion.

Last edited by aaggoswami : 23rd May 2011 at 00:16.
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Old 23rd May 2011, 00:09   #26
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Default re: Tata comments on British Work Ethics ! But what of Work-Life balance ?

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Now regarding comfort zone, I have a few doubts.

... A small example is Air-Conditioning. We have it to keep the human body in comfort zone.
@aggoswami, you are mixing up comfort zones & creature comforts. Both of these are two very different things. Comfort zone is about a mental make-up / attitude. Are you ready to do something you normally do not do ? Like a technical person doing a sales job. He is very good at & is very comfortable doing technical things. But when he goes beyond that and takes up a sales call, then he is stepping out of his comfort zone. (This is a very high-level example)

Creature comforts are for the body. The two are never connected.
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Old 23rd May 2011, 07:16   #27
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Default re: Tata comments on British Work Ethics ! But what of Work-Life balance ?

Deky,

I respect what you said - I want to know what you think about Germans. I worked in a research institute of about 200 odd German researchers and I was the only idiot who had messengers etc installed. The german work ethic in my opinion is amazing - good work-life balance and amazing dedication to their work with alot of focus. we indians tend to do a lot of TP.

EDIT: in your line, without any distractions, focus would anyways have been better, no?! Indians I have seen wasting too much time online.
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Old 23rd May 2011, 07:36   #28
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Default re: Tata comments on British Work Ethics ! But what of Work-Life balance ?

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Deky,

EDIT: in your line, without any distractions, focus would anyways have been better, no?! Indians I have seen wasting too much time online.
Well it is the case with most IT employees. Most of them dont have an internet connection at home. Even if they have an internet connection at home, it is not a unlimited connection.So office is the primary source of internet. I have seen many people at work, where they have a separate browser window for facebook,orkut, youtube in tabs. Office rules clearly state that internet can be used for limited personal use and what is limited personal use is where people tend to disagree.
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Old 23rd May 2011, 10:48   #29
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Default re: Tata comments on British Work Ethics ! But what of Work-Life balance ?

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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
I respect what you said - I want to know what you think about Germans. I worked in a research institute of about 200 odd German researchers and I was the only idiot who had messengers etc installed. The german work ethic in my opinion is amazing - good work-life balance and amazing dedication to their work with alot of focus. we indians tend to do a lot of TP.
Germans would be the most efficient lot I have seen. I remember the first day of my first onsite visit in Germany. I arrived at work at 8am, and I was the last one to arrive. Around 4pm, everyone had left for home. Apparently they came in to work early (between 630 and 730) during summer so they could have longer evenings with family & friends. More importantly, I never saw them take numerous tea/ coffee breaks (a la French colleagues) or doing anything apart from their work (us Indians mostly) when they were at office. No email; no personal phone calls, in short no distraction and total concentration for those 8 working hours.
However, they were equally strict about their personal life; never took any work calls from home and never worked from home either. On the contrary my English colleagues took the liberty of shopping during lunchtime because they ate lunch at their desk (not while working; but while doing other personal work). I have had the same experience that Mr. Tata has; everyone just disappeared at the England offices on Friday around 3pm (after having lunch and a couple of pints at the local pub between noon to 2pm; middle level manager included)


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Office rules clearly state that internet can be used for limited personal use and what is limited personal use is where people tend to disagree.
A lot of my colleagues in the lower/ middle management levels here in India follow a thumb rule that the boss should see them seated at their desk when they enter and when they leave. What they do is a mystery to most, but as a fellow participant in some meetings I have noticed that they do more damage than any constructive work during this extra time. This is the ideal time for them to get some brainwave which they then promote as an improvement or employee benefit, but in our experience most of them only serve as distractions.
Disclaimer; Ths is only my observation from my workplace; and there could always be some black sheep everywhere
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Old 23rd May 2011, 11:10   #30
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Default re: Tata comments on British Work Ethics ! But what of Work-Life balance ?

Well, I am a witness to this. I work for a British client and what Ratan says is a fact, but right or wrong I am not too sure.

But attributing the word "Brit work culture" is wrong, try finding someone a minute after the office timings in Indian Government offices, you will know! I'd been to a post office to send a parcel, it took the lady in charge 1.5 hours to clear me, she is least bothered about the crowd outside, yawned generously, spoke slowly and refused all the customers as she did not have any change! Tata is wrong in generalizing, I guess inefficiency is there where there is complacency and security. I definitely know a lot of Brits who come early to office and leave Early, it is responsibility of the management to get the work done in the agreed work hours, nothing to go public about this unless he want to lay off!
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