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Old 19th June 2009, 06:45   #16
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I think it is high time IT employees are unionized and Overtime made payable by the employer. The IT employers has taken us for a ride by paying absolutely Zero overtime benefits.

To rub more salt to the situation, when IT comapnies bill to customers for more than 40 hrs per week, they charge them overtime

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Old 19th June 2009, 07:54   #17
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My wife is working in a leading Indian IT Company and there is tremendous work load. 16-18 hrs everyday including weekends.

I went to labour.nic.in and was not able to find any links pertaining to IT Sector.

I was wondering if there is any legal wayout of this, can the company be punished in india the same way infosys has to pay 22 million dollars in US for the very same reasons.
Do you have any proof that she is been "asked" to work for those many hours? I doubt.

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Employees are also to blame. When boss asks for 100 hour work week, 1 out of 10 will object. Rest will carry on. Some idiots even take pride in the fact that they worked till 2am, slept in a sleeping bag in office and went home at 6am, came back to work at 8.
they do not realize quality and validation guys like me have had to clean up the nonsensical useless stuff they write.
+1 to that. I have been seeing this many a times. People mailing just after mid-night, propaganding that they worked late night, all stupids.

As you said, yes if IT was in labour / union etc, then it would only make things worst. I dont think we would have had such steep climb in number of companies.

Solution? Be realistic in estimating or quoting time. If manager forces, you can try to make him understand. If he is adamant? No use or time to prepare for the next interview.
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Old 19th June 2009, 08:03   #18
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unfortunately, Most Clueless managers promote people who work more , than those who work smart. You see people who worked day and night on a project being promoted and showcased, while folks who work smart , and get it done on time are just doing their job. I used to think this was a fault with individual managers , until my organization (bigwig Indian IT shop) bought about some rule changes which enforce working hours, and applied them retroactively. Now people are afraid , and are working overtime, just to stay on the safer side
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Old 19th June 2009, 08:08   #19
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I think it is high time IT employees are unionized and Overtime made payable by the employer. The IT employers has taken us for a ride by paying absolutely Zero overtime benefits. What is the point in making all these money if you cant have an equally good social life?
That will be like cutting off the nose for curing cold. You know what else that will bring in? 1) Merit will take a backseat. All promotions, hikes be will based on seniority. 2) There will be no incentive to perform, so IT will become as dysfunctional as public sector. 3) All overseas clients will runaway. 4) Managers will be spending most of their time negotiating with the Union leaders than customers.

Just see what Union did to America's big 3 car companies.

Last edited by Samurai : 19th June 2009 at 08:10.
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Old 19th June 2009, 08:18   #20
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unfortunately, Most Clueless managers promote people who work more , than those who work smart.
Correct! People who start work post lunch and stay late or untill the manager leaves are considered sincere. Those who come on time and leave on time w/o compromising quality are ho-hum workers.
I missed my flight last week and had to compensate on last saturday. I met one of my senior directors last Monday and he asked 'so how was your weekend?" I said I came in on Saturday. He replied "Oh thats bad".
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Old 19th June 2009, 08:21   #21
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Its the same case with IBM here in Bangalore, especially with Support Staff.
A friend of mine was working continuosly for 15 days without a break and when she resisted, she was taken-off with a 'attitude problem' certificate.

It was only when the new company, she joined, put forces behind and asked IBM, did IBM budge and accept their mistake. She was offered in IBM again, but she refused.

As Tanveer put, one in ten voicing their concern never work. If You hear anyone joining IBM for HR openings, tell them the above story.

This will continue as long as IT companies recruit people without managerial content, as managers - damagers as everyone would say.

Last edited by Rocky_Balboa : 19th June 2009 at 08:22.
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Old 19th June 2009, 08:33   #22
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In my 17 years in this industry, I have never seen anyone work for 16-18 hours a day, 6-days a week and for 6 months. This is truly absurd. I have been in many situations where in there is a deadline and we all try to meet it and hence, will have to stretch. But these are for few days and few times in a year.

Now are they spending 16-18 hours in office, waiting for something things to be in place so that they can perform their tasks or, are they really working for these many hours. I just cannot believe that this can be true as there would be significant drop in quality beyond 10 hours. And believe me when I say this, in the 8 hours of working time, many people actually spend about 6 hours at max actually working. Rest of the time goes in socializing, coffee breaks, and so on. This is a fact.

If someone could take long working hours for 6 months, then I would blame them for not fighting their case rather than trying to get help from labor unions, or government. Moreover, even if they were paying overtime, how many would really want to work that long hours for that long a duration. Believe me, none would come forward.

Every industry has their ills and so does IT. Hire and fire is part and parcel of this industry and we need to accept that and move on. If you don't like, then please look elsewhere. Don't get in and then crib about it. That is my philosophy.

Last edited by muralisk : 19th June 2009 at 08:36.
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Old 19th June 2009, 09:00   #23
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Originally Posted by black12rr View Post
Woooah , is it ok to last for at least few weeks ? , crazy man .
Well, not 18 hours every day. More like 14 hours. Sometimes to save a major project in trouble few weeks of crazy hours may be required. But it should not be hours driven, but goal driven. The employee should decide how much he/she wants to work everyday to achieve that goal. But then many managers under panic mode try to take total control and screw everybody's happiness. I worked for such a manager once, she would stay late in the office and ensure nobody left before 12AM. She turned the team into a prison camp.

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Every industry has their ills and so does IT. Hire and fire is part and parcel of this industry and we need to accept that and move on. If you don't like, then please look elsewhere. Don't get in and then crib about it. That is my philosophy.
Absolutely. Lots of people get into IT looking at the big bucks, then blanch at the amount of work. If the work hours are unendingly crazy, move to a different company. Many IT giants have overworking as a corporate culture, they won't change, but they will pay big bucks.
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Old 19th June 2009, 09:01   #24
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i agree.. the pampered IT crowd should be brought under the purview of Labor laws so that we can experience:
factory siren at 8AM and 5PM. With 30min lunch break and just one 10min tea break.
no flexi hours and working from home nonsense. no ad-hoc leaves either
no performance based fat bonus/promotions,etc. just yearly 'increments'
no "hey, i am stepping out for few hours for some really silly reason"
no surfing (t-bhp traffic will take a huge hit :-)
call ur boss SIR and ask his permission to pee.

i recently came across a report that essentially said: in the US, internet traffic on personal websites (mail, social network, etc.) peaks around late evening (after office hours) and in India it peaks around late morning (prime office hours). i am sure t-bhp traffic patterns can also verify this hypothesis.
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Old 19th June 2009, 09:17   #25
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Since planning is not always under the Indian manager's control, I would say IT work hours in India are a bit cyclical. There are days when you swat flies and browse the net, and days when you don't have time for breakfast/lunch/dinner.

But working 16 hours for 6 months is highly unusual. Its better if your wife quits and tries another job or even stay at home. Taking on the employer legally is never going to work, especially in India. Because of the high staff turnover, the employer will eventually come to his/her senses and take steps to reduce the work hours.

You can start by naming and shaming the company. But most Indian based IT companies have similar work culture. So its a bit pointless.
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Old 19th June 2009, 09:20   #26
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Perhaps this recent journal article may strike a chord. It contains a lot of `truth' as seen by many, but also hidden by the boosters:

vasudevadata - IT WORK PRACTICES

One important point to note: my younger brother worked in NIIT and is now with HCL Tech. He has been in London since 2000. In UK, people leave at 530-6 PM everyday most of the time (which I consider reasonable, if they come by 9AM, as I think 8-9 hrs of work is more than enough for a day for a human being). However, the same enlightened/media savvy companies frown upon people leaving at that time in India. He says that people in India laze about, and chat till afternoon; and then start working at 4PM. Is that true for many companies in India.

Software services companies bill clients on the basis of man-days and projects operate under strict timelines; hence, control over time is central to control over the work process. Indeed, extracting the maximum amount of time and ‘effort’ out of software engineers is key to profitability. The Indian software industry is known for the very long working hours that are put in by software engineers—typically 9 hours or more per day. A major reason for this pattern of overwork is that the man-days required for a project are routinely underestimated when making bids, to keep the cost estimate down. This forces engineers to work much longer than the stipulated eight hours per man-day in order to meet deadlines. Another reason is the time difference between India and the client site, which means that conference calls often take place late in the evening for the Indian team, when it is morning in the US. Although in theory employees are allowed to come to the office later in the morning to compensate for staying late, they usually come in by 9 or 10 AM, and many have to remain in office until the conference calls are over, until 8 or 9 PM.

Last edited by vasudeva : 19th June 2009 at 09:26.
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Old 19th June 2009, 09:48   #27
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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
This situation is generally created by clueless managers who don't know how to run a project within schedule or how to estimate work.
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Originally Posted by Stig View Post
I believe now understand Indian IT Companies Business Model. Quote lesser estimates, make people work like slaves, get the work done and show the world our low cost advantage.
Am not from the digital divide, but I can speak from the experience which my Sis-in-Law went through last year. The reason for this mess is a combination of the above two.

She was working in one of the Tier 1 IT companies (now she is married and gone to Australia) during one phase she used to go to office at around 9 and come back around 12 in the night. Then the 12 in the night became 2/3 in the morning. My Mother in law was getting paranoid, the fights between the Mom & Daughter became so bad that my sis-in-law stopped taking phone calls from her mom after 6 in the evening. While I was trying hard to keep things under control One fine day the 2/3 in the morning became 7 in the morning next day

Imagine going at 9 to office and coming back at 7 the next day morning. My Sis-in-law was so scared to go to her home that she got herself dropped at my home asking my wife to pacify her mom. All this while I was assuming that this would end soon but it looked like it would not. Deciding enough was enough, I asked her to log into her Hotmail, type in the email id's of her TL, PM etc., mailed a nicely worded resignation letter with immediate effect. Reason quoted was "Doctor's Advice to maintain Work - Life Balance"(The family doctor who knew her for the last 20 years was indeed clear that she was going through too much stress)

Then told her to catch some sleep after switching off her mobile and handing it over to my wife with a condition that it should be handed over to my sis-in-law only after she gets a good sleep. When the mobile was switched on she had scores of urgent call back messages from who not everybody in the office. I told my wife to accompany her to the office in the evening to discuss with her PM. So finally her PM committed that he would ensure that she is not detained late on the pretext of emergency work. I had asked for my wife to tell him firmly that if it recurs again she would quit for good. After that she did not go through this pain once again till she quit her work even though her TL did try to pressurise her stay late and complete the work.


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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
There are always situation when 18 hours days may be needed, but only in emergency situations and it shouldn't last for months.
My feeling is in IT companies due to a lot of factors it becomes a threadmill situation, you keep running to stand still. Not to forget stuff like Peer Pressure etc. At the end of the day as mentioned by others, individuals have to stand up to their rights.
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Old 19th June 2009, 10:16   #28
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Originally Posted by androdev View Post
i recently came across a report that essentially said: in the US, internet traffic on personal websites (mail, social network, etc.) peaks around late evening (after office hours) and in India it peaks around late morning (prime office hours). i am sure t-bhp traffic patterns can also verify this hypothesis.

Very true. Look at your post's time. And look at mine.
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Old 19th June 2009, 11:41   #29
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I would blame the employee here. Why does one in the first place agree to work long hours?

Whenever my manager asked me to stay back. I would say fine, send me a mail why i should. No mail came i never stayed back.

@Rocky_Balboa: What you wrote is exactly what i went through... IN IBM... They even falsified my signatures on forms saying that i agreed that i was in Performance Improvement Plan. I was a 1 rater for the 3 years i worked there. The next company i joined rubbished the claim as personal enemity. IBM HR swept the case under the carpet.

If anyone from IBM HR is reading this. You guys have some real third grade scum among you.

Last edited by Spitfire : 19th June 2009 at 11:44.
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Old 19th June 2009, 11:58   #30
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That will be like cutting off the nose for curing cold. You know what else that will bring in? 1) Merit will take a backseat. All promotions, hikes be will based on seniority. 2) There will be no incentive to perform, so IT will become as dysfunctional as public sector. 3) All overseas clients will runaway. 4) Managers will be spending most of their time negotiating with the Union leaders than customers.

Just see what Union did to America's big 3 car companies.
I see your points, but they purely depict the ill-effects of PSU style Employee Unions in India. Without doubt, they are detrimental to growth.

I've observed Employee Unions doing a very good and sensible job in German and Finnish IT firms. We need something on those lines in Indian IT industry and not the counter-productive PSU union types.

In the current form, most of the Indian IT firms thrives on employee exploitation flouting many labor laws and hence the need of a collective voice of the IT workers. After spending 10 years in this industry, I strongly believe that we need to put an end to Acquaintance Appraisals in the name of Performance appraisals, Unreasonable job terminations, Unpaid Overtimes...l dont fancy that all these would automatically go away with an IT Employee union, but atleast there would be some check on the exploitary behavior of the employer.

The pay packet in Indian IT industry may be better when compared to traditional industry, but I've started to think whether this blood money is even worth the toil.

My question still remains: What legal options does an employee have if he/she is forced to resign stating no real performance reasons?

Last edited by Digital Vampire : 19th June 2009 at 12:04.
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