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Old 27th December 2018, 10:47   #46
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Default Re: The 4-day working week?

It all comes down to the type of work one does IMHO. For those in the skilled categories where deadlines are more prominent way of measuring productivity, a 4 day work week seems to be a good proposition. With the rapid advancements in technology and connectivity, lion share of us at least here in India takes our work with us to home. Sad but true it is, there is a downward trend for the time we get to ourselves and family. I for one being in the IT sector would definitely welcome this change if in the long run it turns out to be not affecting overall productivity of the organization. From being able to spend more time with family to decrease in overall pollution levels, the possible advantages are worth giving it a try
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Old 27th December 2018, 11:23   #47
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Successful blokes like Elon Musk can wax eloquent about virtues of an unregimented work schedule. The truth is that there will always be far less innovators than implementers. For the vast majority of people who’s job is to act as a cog in the wheel of a giant system, there is little choice.

There are any number of people out there who would not be satisfied with a 4 day week either. If you hate your job, getting up every morning is difficult. I wish managements spent more time providing opportunities for their employees to try out their skills in different functions. Nothing kills like boredom.

Not every job is exciting. New economy companies and startups may give the impression that office has become a playground with couches and endless supply of cappucinos. The truth is that an overwhelming number of office going people still do routine jobs and the only indulgence that may come their way is an occasional work from home. Active members on this forum are hardly a representative sample of the Indian working population.

Paradoxically, when observers and analysts talk about over worked employees wanting more free time or flexible time, they are talking about new economy companies which are actually better positioned to offer that flexibility and still continue to whine about the lack of it. On the other hand, old economy companies still have predictable work schedules and shifts, and policies which determine compensation for overtime. In such companies it is not uncommon to see people work extra to earn some more money.

When I started working, I did 6 days a week and since most people did, it didn’t feel too difficult. It helped that we were all bachelors and hung out with office colleagues. Then moved to a company which did 5.5 days a week, and then to one which worked 5 days. I never found any difference in my level of satisfaction due to the number of days off I got. Today when I run my own restaurant, I work 14 hours a day, 6 days a week. My employees, all blue collar workers, living away from their families, do not particularly like Sunday off. They would rather that I keep the restaurant open and pay them over time. This is their reality.

Last edited by Malyaj : 27th December 2018 at 11:35. Reason: Corrected typos
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Old 27th December 2018, 12:15   #48
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I'd say a much needed thing in India. Work-Life balance is an alien term in our country and to its people. The fact is that even if you come in early, spend your share of 8/9 hours in the office to accomplish whatever needs to be accomplished during the day and leave early, the customary question still pops up from some corner of your workplace - "Are you leaving early?"

The fact is that 8/9 hours a day on work for majority of people is just on paper - If you count the commute times, time spent on useless calls/huddles, actual work time, breaks, and the commute time back home, most of us in the cities easily hit 14-15 hours everyday, irrespective of the amount of work we're actually doing. The time spent on each of the buckets of activities that I mentioned might actually change depending on the amount of work that needs to get done, the work culture of the organization, policies etc - but eventually the time spent between the moment "You step out of the house" and the moment you "step back in" easily goes beyond 12 hours for most of us. I might as well do this on 4 days instead of 5.

A gentleman on the thread also pointed us out to the famous proverb that made the Parkinson's law - This should be an eye opener for all of us. I believe we can make much more productive use of available time if we have to squeeze in the same amount of work in lesser available hours.

Last edited by Akshay1234 : 29th December 2018 at 10:48. Reason: Editing spacing
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Old 27th December 2018, 12:27   #49
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Default Re: The 4-day working week?

Gents - If you have worked in Western countries, how is the work culture there?

Everybody comes to office at 9 AM? And leaves by 5 PM? Does everybody put their heads down and work during the office hours? No logging into social media or wasting time web surfing or checking the stock markets? Are there frequent 'meetings' or 'chit chat'? How long is the lunch and coffee break?

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Old 27th December 2018, 13:33   #50
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If you have worked in Western countries, how is the work culture there?

Everybody comes to office at 9 AM? And leaves by 5 PM? Does everybody put their heads down and work during the office hours? No logging into social media or wasting time web surfing or checking the stock markets? Are there frequent 'meetings' or 'chit chat'? How long is the lunch and coffee break?
In my experience there is still substantial difference between companies and sectors. But in general the vast majority of people get to work between 08-09 hours and leave again between 16-17.00 hours.

In most jobs there is time to socialise with colleagues, hang around the coffee machine. Most companies tend not to have formal lunch and or coffee breaks. (unless you work in shifts/production where it is just more practical to have fixed breaks).

But it would be rare for people to spend more than 30 minutes on their lunch break anyway.

We do not prescribe what time people should be at the office. We do not keep track either. People need to fit their personal life around their work live and vice versa. If I need to go and see a doctor, I do not take time off, I just go, I am still available on my mobile, except for the 10 minutes in the doctor’s office.

Many people might put in work on their commute to/from work (calls, checking email, reading stuff etc).

I would say, just about everybody checks their social media several times a day, even when at work. Here in the Netherlands there was a court case several years ago. A company fired an employee for using the work laptop to check her Facebook several times a day, during working hours. She won her case. The court ruled that using social media is so much ingrained in our daily routines, employers need to make amends and allow for it.

In practice that means, as long as it does not affect the quality or the quantity of your work you can do more or less anything you like.

There are certain jobs that are extremely pressed for times these days. Teachers, nurses, doctors etc. Not sure how they manage.

I have started getting involved in local politics lately. The one thing that amazes me is the hours people put in. Being a councillor is an unpaid job (only some expenses are re-imbursed) in the Netherlands, it is all done in the evening hours and people will easily put in 20-40 hours a week on top of their day jobs! The whatsapp group of my political party faction is more busy, more messages and more people responding to any topics than any of my work whatsapp groups!

During my years in India I was head of operation, big organisation. I usually left our home in Vasant Vihar around 07.30. That got me in our Gurgaon office around 08.00am. I would stay at the office till 1600, go home and work some more from home. Or I would leave the office around 19.30. Anytime in between did not make sense because of traffic. My mobile is always on 24/7 and as I work for an International company I often need to make calls at odd hours because of time difference. I always had to do some work during the weekend. Checking and answering mail continuous 24/7 anyway.

I also travelled a lot in India. On average 2-3 days a week I was out and about somewhere in India. Which usually meant during the day, meeting with customers and my local teams. In the evenings very often customer entertainment or meeting up with my teams for a drink/dinner.

My current role is very different. In essence I work from home. I still need to make calls all around the world. But nobody determines or checks my schedule. Which gives me a lot of flexibility. I might start at 0600am. Work for a few hours, have breakfast with my wife at 08.30. Maybe go a for a little stroll. Work for a few more hours, go a ride on my bicycle, have dinner and make another few calls late at night. I travel 1-2 weeks per month too. This whole 4 day working week becomes a bit of a strain if not entirely academic, if you need to travel frequently.

These days I try to have all my travel during the week. So I would prefer not to start my travel on Sunday so I can be, wherever I need to be on Monday morning. I will arrive a bit later!

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Old 27th December 2018, 13:53   #51
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Gents - If you have worked in Western countries, how is the work culture there?
Have only worked in two countries so far - India and US.

Although you'll find varieties everywhere, my own experience has largely been this - For the US, one single word : Professionalism. Largely mega punctual. If the work demands, occasionally people do extend their timings and carry work home. By and large, time wastage during official work hours are largely minimized and focus is on just getting the work done.

Many in fact take their coffee (not seen anyone into tea) and lunch at the desk itself while simultaneously continuing the work.

Two big differences for productivity - in the US, I've never experienced workplace politics and secondly, unnecessary meetings being called for most frivolous of tasks is always on a decline.

Work place socializing is more like passing comment (in jest); a cursory inquiry into the day and well being; fairly light and fleeting in general.
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Old 27th December 2018, 14:05   #52
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When I started working in the early 1980s a 6-day week was almost a universal norm in India including government offices.
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In the early years of my career, I used to work 6 days a week, sometimes on Sundays too. Building one company is a lot of work and I started with 2. Eventually, we made it alternate Saturdays off and now, just 5 days / week.
Just remembered, it was Maruti that influenced my decision to move from a 6-day workweek to a 5-day one. For the longest time, Maruti had been a 6-day taskmaster. However, in 2016, they moved to a 5-day workweek.

When I read about it, I was like "if Maruti can work efficiently with a 5-day workweek, so can I" .

Amazing how our love for cars spawn so many other things. Another example = it was Schumacher who influenced my addiction to working out & fitness. If I wasn't into F1, I probably wouldn't have been someone who works out daily.
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Old 27th December 2018, 18:30   #53
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I am amazed at so many people propagating and defending long work weeks.
My preferred work week is:
Zero days.
Zero hours.
Zero minutes.

I fail to understand why anyone would voluntarily want to work. Work is something you are forced to do to earn a living. Unless you are someone like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs who is creating revolutionary hardware or software or a doctor saving lives or someone like GTO running an interesting forum, I fail to see why you would would want to go and work if you had a choice?

I retired at forty and have no plan of working even a minute ever again as far as possible. And forty was too late! I wouldn't have minded retiring at thirty five if given an opportunity. It is good to work for sometime to gain an understanding of the world and to get some experience but I don't see how sitting in an office doing mostly unimportant chores benefits anyone. It certainly benefits the corporation of course!
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Old 27th December 2018, 18:46   #54
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I fail to understand why anyone would voluntarily want to work. Work is something you are forced to do to earn a living.


...but I don't see how sitting in an office doing mostly unimportant chores benefits anyone. It certainly benefits the corporation of course!
A man after my own heart! Thanks for posting!

These days when you hear 'CEOs' at 20 and 70-year olds who have 'found their passion' after a career change, I feel guilty about viewing my work in the way I do. I work for a living. What I do is neither my passion or what I took a degree in. I have interests and hobbies but I doubt I'll get paid enough to survive doing any of them full-time. I don't have a 'killer idea' for an app or a business. And I'm pretty sure that if I attempted to start a business, I'd be broke in a year! I like my job - the money's good, the working conditions are great, my colleagues are a good bunch and I've been fortunate to have far more good bosses than bad ones. But if I suddenly came into a lot of money, I'd quit tomorrow! I think I do a good job and I'm a professional. But hearing so much about 'finding your passion' or 'quit if it doesn't make you happy', 'be your own boss' makes me wonder what being a professional (a person who works for money) means anymore.

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Old 27th December 2018, 20:58   #55
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I would love a 4 day week or 4 days from office and 1 day from home.

I especially encourage super flexible timings with a 4 hr core time overlap to beat traffic.

However I have a friend with a 6 day week who only gets 3 national holidays and 1 state holiday annually. All other leaves that are taken are unpaid leaves. No sick leaves, no casual leaves and no privilege leaves either. Even unpaid leaves are discouraged. He wishes to change but..
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Old 28th December 2018, 05:16   #56
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Amazed by reading all the posts in this thread and here's my share of work experience.

Been working for 8 years now in an FMCG company that functions 24x7 except on national holidays. From the month of February till July we work 7 days a week (8 hours a day, sometimes 12 hours/day too. If there's an emergency only a holiday is given else work) and from August to January it is 6 day week (8 hours/day) where Sunday is a holiday. The company on paper offers 64 paid leaves apart from National holidays to all permanent employees. The funny part is 70% of these get lapsed by year end as no one really uses them.

4 day/week or even 5 days/week won't really work well in the manufacturing industry IMO unless the machinery is high speed and well maintained so as to have a minimal breakdown and higher efficiency. To me a 5 day week will bring out the best for both the staff/management and the factory as all employees will be active in their working hours making a productive effort without any force yielding better output.
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Old 28th December 2018, 07:01   #57
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Coming from a strategy consultant to an agriculture entrepreneur, life is totally different.

Consultants apparently work 5 days, but that's only officially. Red eye flights, last minute slides, client meetings, calls etc etc translate into a crazy schedule where on average you work 60+ hours weekly on a good week.

Currently, as an "agripreneur", the business is 24/7/365. But, I visit the farm 2-3 times a week and rest of the time I'm in Mumbai in an office 5 minutes walking from home. The entire work can be done on the phone. This gives a lot of flexibility in planning schedules although Sundays can also have a few calls. Example, just yesterday I took my son for the entire day despite being a weekday and no work was interrupted. I hit the gym 5-7 times a week which has enabled me to drop 25 kg and gain some crazy muscle over last 2 years.

I like the current life better
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Old 28th December 2018, 09:58   #58
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Default Re: The 4-day working week?

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Gents - If you have worked in Western countries, how is the work culture there?

Everybody comes to office at 9 AM? And leaves by 5 PM? Does everybody put their heads down and work during the office hours? How long is the lunch and coffee break?
I worked in a small company at the begining of my career, my Boss was an ex-employee of GE and a super cool man. It is from him that I learnt a lot about working. I think many people in Service oriented industry will accept that there is nothing like working hours. The expectation is that you do the job when it is required. I don't like sitting in a work place for a fixed time to prove that I am working. We still have not learnt to be professionals and just scribble about working hours.
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Old 28th December 2018, 13:06   #59
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Amazed by reading all the posts in this thread and here's my share of work experience.

Been working for 8 years now in an FMCG company that functions 24x7 except on national holidays. From the month of February till July we work 7 days a week (8 hours a day, sometimes 12 hours/day too. If there's an emergency only a holiday is given else work) and from August to January it is 6 day week (8 hours/day) where Sunday is a holiday. The company on paper offers 64 paid leaves apart from National holidays to all permanent employees. The funny part is 70% of these get lapsed by year end as no one really uses them.

4 day/week or even 5 days/week won't really work well in the manufacturing industry IMO unless the machinery is high speed and well maintained so as to have a minimal breakdown and higher efficiency. To me a 5 day week will bring out the best for both the staff/management and the factory as all employees will be active in their working hours making a productive effort without any force yielding better output.
7 days a week? Why do employees accept this?
What prevents them from taking the officially sanctioned 60 days a year? They are refused permission or are they afraid to look like slackers?
4 or 5 day work weeks can be possible in manufacturing. You just need an additional shift of part time workers to cover the remaining 2 or 3 days each week.
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Old 28th December 2018, 14:09   #60
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From the month of February till July we work 7 days a week (8 hours a day, sometimes 12 hours/day too....from August to January it is 6 day week (8 hours/day) where Sunday is a holiday.

4 day/week or even 5 days/week won't really work well in the manufacturing industry IMO unless the machinery is high speed and well maintained so as to have a minimal breakdown and higher efficiency.
I am aghast reading this. The thought about "high speed machinery and its maintenance" is totally beside the point. You guys are being overworked with such poor excuses to back up the management claims.

That is why you get more people in. Train them better to handle things well. What we see being done is same in various industries - each person is made to take up the job of three/four. The profits are meant to line up the pockets of upper-most management while everyone else is fed sob stories so they tolerate while their blood gets sucked out even while breathing slowly stops.

There are some that might willingly volunteer for such a sacrifice, that is fine, but for others, it appears a blatant breach of basic ethical code of conduct.
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