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Old 28th December 2018, 17:09   #61
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Default Re: The 4-day working week?

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Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
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
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Originally Posted by Lobogris View Post
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?
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Originally Posted by Miyata View Post
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.
As long as people are willing to get exploited, these things will continue. Unfortunately in a country like ours where there are more people than jobs, it becomes easier for corporations. Another example closer to home are the security guards, who usually work 12 hour shifts and do not get paid holidays.

I was thinking these kind of exploitation happen only to unskilled labourers who can be easily replaced. But that fact that a forum member, who I believe is fairly educated finds this acceptable is what intrigues me.

Last edited by navin : 31st December 2018 at 14:42. Reason: typo
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Old 29th December 2018, 00:09   #62
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Default Re: The 4-day working week?

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Originally Posted by Lobogris View Post
7 days a week? Why do employees accept this?
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Originally Posted by Miyata View Post
There are some that might willingly volunteer for such a sacrifice, that is fine, but for others, it appears a blatant breach of the basic ethical code of conduct.
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As long as people are willing to get exploited, these things will continue.
To put things in perspective, the working style that I have mentioned has been going on since long especially for the production and maintenance teams in the factory, especially at the down level staff. For us QA fellows, it is boring 8-hours a day, 6-day per week job.

Many in the company work happily even for 12-hours a day when the management asks the employees to stick to 8-hour schedule. It is that greed for overtime bonus which sees the staff staying back in the company. It is not that the staff is harassed or held at gunpoint to work, it is the staff's willingness to be at work than go home and relax.

Hope my future will be peaceful with a proper work-personal life balance as I've stepped out recently from the factory-oriented job to pursue my dreams and start up a business of my own.

Last edited by a4anurag : 29th December 2018 at 00:12.
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Old 29th December 2018, 06:52   #63
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Default Re: The 4-day working week?

Interesting thread. In the Investment Banking industry, working 100 hours a week and 7 days a week for weeks on end used to be de rigeur for juniors. There are now rules put in place to ensure work life balance for juniors - ideally, folks should not work more than 80 hours a week, and should get one weekend day off. Work hours reduce at a senior level - but being available 7 days a week, and checking emails at least once an hour (except perhaps from 11 PM to 6 AM) is expected from everyone, and even seniors end up working 100+ hours when it comes to a crunch.

I went through that cycle - the fact is that when you are in the midst of an important deal, you don’t ever notice how long you are working. Can that culture change? I doubt it. It may not be for everyone, but the work can be extremely addictive - and I have usually found morale to dip when market conditions imply that there are fewer deals and less work around.

4 day week? Let’s get to a 60 hour work week first.
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Old 29th December 2018, 08:47   #64
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Default Re: The 4-day working week?

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Originally Posted by Hayek View Post
Interesting thread. In the Investment Banking industry, working 100 hours a week and 7 days a week for weeks on end used to be de rigeur for juniors. There are now rules put in place to ensure work life balance for juniors - ideally, folks should not work more than 80 hours a week, and should get one weekend day off. Work hours reduce at a senior level - but being available 7 days a week, and checking emails at least once an hour (except perhaps from 11 PM to 6 AM) is expected from everyone, and even seniors end up working 100+ hours when it comes to a crunch.
I have read about this phenomenon in many finance books. Questions:

1) Are juniors and seniors paid bonuses once a deal is done? Or is there a fat year end bonus based on an individual's performance? If yes, I can understand why investment bankers don't mind putting in XX hours per week.

2) Why do juniors and seniors need to work so many hours to close a deal? What exactly is done here? Due diligence? Negotiations? What?
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Old 29th December 2018, 09:03   #65
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Default Re: The 4-day working week?

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post

1) Are juniors and seniors paid bonuses once a deal is done? Or is there a fat year end bonus based on an individual's performance?

2) Why do juniors and seniors need to work so many hours to close a deal?
Yes, a sizeable proportion of your target comp comes through year end bonuses. For most people, the base salary would be less than what they can earn elsewhere - it’s only bonuses that make it worthwhile.

The reason why so much work is needed is because for our clients, every deal (be it an IPO, Follow On or M&A) is a major milestone event - so client teams would also be working all out in deal mode when something is on. So Investment Bankers are expected to be on their toes and highly responsive. Also Investment Banks get paid on success fees - so employees have to work on multiple deals so that at least something gets done during the year. The combination of high client expectations and the need to multi task creates an inexorable outcome of long work hours.
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Old 29th December 2018, 11:16   #66
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Default Re: The 4-day working week?

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To put things in perspective, the working style that I have mentioned has been going on since long especially for the production and maintenance teams in the factory, especially at the down level staff. For us QA fellows, it is boring 8-hours a day, 6-day per week job.

Many in the company work happily even for 12-hours a day when the management asks the employees to stick to 8-hour schedule. It is that greed for overtime bonus which sees the staff staying back in the company. It is not that the staff is harassed or held at gunpoint to work, it is the staff's willingness to be at work than go home and relax.

Hope my future will be peaceful with a proper work-personal life balance as I've stepped out recently from the factory-oriented job to pursue my dreams and start up a business of my own.
I came across another example of people wanting to work longer in a factory setting. I company I know wanted to shift to a 5 day working from 6 days to reduce cost. They retained the pay for all workers, i.e. they will get the same pay while they work for only 5 days. The workers protested.

The reason for this was that the workers lived in extremely bad conditions, e g. In huts near a flowing sewage line and the associated bad smells. With shifting to the 5 day week, they will need to stay in those conditions for 1 more day every week and miss out on the subsidised lunch (and dinner since people packed the lunch from the factory to take home and eat for dinner).

This was in the mid-80s though.
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Old 29th December 2018, 13:19   #67
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Default Re: The 4-day working week?

Caution: Some of these views may not be popular on Team BHP

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“….it is interesting because French voters are trying to preserve a 35-hour work week in a world where Indian engineers are ready to work a 35-hour day. Good luck.” – Tom Friedman in an article ‘Race to the Top’ published in New York Times in June 2005.
This is one of my favourite quotes.

India and China are on a path to economic growth well beyond what has already been achieved. There are enough young people in both countries willing to work hard, very hard and very very very hard to come up the economic & social curve. Those of us who are not willing to do that or need more leisure time must also understand there are a lot of young people out there to take our place. These two nations are not at the stage where you can earn enough to live on with your engines on the lowest cruise setting.

I am/was an entrepreneur. As a commercial entrepreneur we had a six-day week till around 2014. We moved to a five day week in a 24 x 7 x 365 industry only 4 years back. But when you are building your own business most of us (I certainly too) work a 60 to 70 hour week all through the year regardless of what the official work week is. Without that effort, unless you are a super genius, you cannot develop the escape velocity needed to build something (including a career as an employee) great, big and of high quality. The only concession I made for my employees was no e-mails, SMSs or phone calls on Saturday evening and Sunday. It is their time and the company (or its owner) shouldn't creep in on it. And even in an industry that works around the clock each day of the year this discipline worked well.

I struggle with the phrase work-life balance? Does it mean work is not a part of life? I can understand work-family balance but work-life sounds as if the ‘work’ part is a prison internment you have to suffer for 8 hours a day till freedom at 6PM again. Now I can understand an employee in a large organization feeling that way though I do not empathize with them. An employer’s attitude to that is – look either work with your mind on the job or move on but don’t sit here and whine. As @smartcat put it in post #17 - if you are that upset change jobs or change careers altogether.

These days I am a social entrepreneur working with/invested in two sustainable social impact projects. In this sector the folks work a 48 hour week on salaries that are far below the corporate sector and I dare say with some serious dedication.
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Old 29th December 2018, 15:31   #68
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Default Re: The 4-day working week?

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
....

I struggle with the phrase work-life balance? Does it mean work is not a part of life? I can understand work-family balance but work-life sounds as if the ‘work’ part is a prison internment you have to suffer for 8 hours a day till freedom at 6PM again....
You'll have to broaden the scope of that phrase a bit.

Work-life balance at its core is intended to strike a balance between your professional and personal life (and no, not necessarily family time), and stop your professional life becoming all of your life, if you'd like to keep them separate. Keywords 'if' and 'separate', as there are plenty of people who don't mind the overlap getting overwhelming, and they're free to choose so.

I never worked weekends even when I was single - I made up by working harder Mon-Fri when needed, and accepted that I'll be judged by others who didn't have this scruple - and now that I have a significant other, I still value my chunk of personal time (we both do), which I use to read, volunteer at the local govt. school, play sport, meditate, travel, write poetry or just sit still watching the world go by. I could convert a lot of this time to 'productive time' and generate extra income or do stuff for others (family/friends included), but I value my bond with myself as much or more than I value any other.

I've done pretty well for myself professionally, have a family/social dynamic that works well for me and a life outside of my profession (which I love, BTW).

Can I do better professionally at the cost of other aspects of life? Sure. Do I want to? Not so sure.

Work-life balance is about knowing how much of one aspect you're willing to sacrifice to have more of the other, and it varies by each person's level of ambition and freedom of choice. I've met plenty of brilliant, talented people who willingly passed up professional advancememt opportunities because they were unwilling to sacrifice other aspect of their life they valued, to get that extra bit ahead professionally.

Thoreau sums it up quite well:

Quote:
The price of anything is the amount of life you pay for it.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 29th December 2018 at 15:41.
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Old 29th December 2018, 19:24   #69
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Default Re: The 4-day working week?

I'm with Elon on this.

I'm lazy. Most of the free time I get, I usually spend indoors. In the sheets, if it's cold outside. But I have worked for a couple of weeks at a time with 4-5 hours of sleep a day. During and after a high tide, I'm a little tired but very satisfied. The quality of sleep is also much better. According to my fitness tracker, the deep sleep is longer when I'm spending more time out of the bed. Of course having something interesting to work on could also be one of the reasons.

I don't want to waste 30-35% of my life sleeping. After a 7-8 hour nap, I wake up feeling physically recharged and guilty at the same time. 5hr is more appropriate but I think we can train our bodies to happily survive on a 4hr sleep without feeling sleep deprived.

I remember one more quote from Mr. Musk: when you try to go to bed your head should hurt. It should hurt so much that you can't go to sleep. (rephrased)

It's also very important to have something that pushes you out of the bed every morning. I'm not there but I know what it tastes like. Job satisfaction is not a myth.

Last edited by MaheshY1 : 29th December 2018 at 19:26.
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Old 30th December 2018, 10:35   #70
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Default Re: The 4-day working week?

For me, the working days are dependent on the time spent on travelling.

The case in question:
1. Nashik- Avg Travel time <30 mins each way- I loved the 6 days a week. It gave me ~30 mins more every day to do the stuff I love
2. Mumbai- Avg Travel time~1.5 Hrs each way - I wish for a Work from Home only. Job work-based model suits here. Do your job in the most efficient way and get the remaining time for yourself. Work Hard Party Hard here.
3. Hyderabad- Avg Travel time 40 mins each way- I like a 5 day a week. It allows me to plan on weekends without loosing much on day

Basically, I would love if people/companies tried to minimise the meaningless travel time spent in the commute to work and back.
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Old 30th December 2018, 14:00   #71
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Default Re: The 4-day working week?

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
I struggle with the phrase work-life balance? Does it mean work is not a part of life? I can understand work-family balance but work-life sounds as if the ‘work’ part is a prison internment you have to suffer for 8 hours a day till freedom at 6PM again.
I think you might be misunderstanding the concept or popular perception of "work-life balance."

It is one of those unfortunate phrases whose significance transcends the superficial sum of the meaning of the words. Just to add some personal perspectives apart from what Chetan Rao has beautifully put forth -

Personally, I have never made a distinction between my professional responsibilities and personal one. Meaning, my primary responsibilities and duties always get prioritized - they are just MY work and I take complete ownership over what I have to do. Like everyone else, I have duties as an employee, husband, son, father, friend, brother, etc. To play all these roles fairly efficiently, I need to be able to put the time away without something interfering in a destructive way. That, at the end of the day, leads to work-life balance.

However, there have been days when I have taken my camping sleeping bag to the work place and spent 48-hours at a stretch with no complains. Loved it all along. There have also been cases when I would reach work only to leave in an hour to attend to a personal emergency. Such compromises ought to part of the flexibility and come within the umbrella of that balance.

Furthermore, I have so far not met anyone that hates his/her job. It might happen the boss and the team at some point might come across as so bad that one begins to hate the ambiance around the job. At one of my earlier places, the conditions in this Indian start-up was so pathetic, the retention rate was less than 30% (one of the groups). Anyone that came in would leave in an year. Most moved on to similar roles elsewhere.

Those that have been on the client side of any/many of the Indian startups would know very well the general feedback on many of the employees. One I have heard often belaboured upon in the US offices - "lack of critical thinking." Large part of it, in my assessment, comes from that stress in the work-life balance artificially induced by the work-environment and poor managers (to a large extent).
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Old 31st December 2018, 14:29   #72
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Default Re: The 4-day working week?

I am a senior HR professional & most of the time HR's are termed as custodian of culture of the organization; trust me there is lot of incoherence in these concepts across the board atleast in our country.

A lot of these things are industry specific & difficult to generalize unless there is an ecosystem of culture & labor laws supporting it well.

Also, it is simple to experiment these in a small company but for large global organization’s it’s a very different ball game; heck, even in India you need to have zone wise holiday list to respect the sensibilities of the land – so no carpet bombing approach works

My perspective is that stress & work life balances are new age words that aim to create a market of products & services; similar to how BP & Sugar have become a disease that require life long medication.

These are still uber cool terms meant for urbanites as the minds of rural folks are not polluted with this yet.

Impact of these work patterns boils down to what is the purpose & what is at stake for you; all this new age terms are in relative in nature to what one is doing & which side of the table one is sitting on.

I’ve friends who, as employees, use to advocate 4 or even 3 day’s work week with flexibility built into it & now they’re wearing entrepreneur’s hat and tirelessly work for 7 days a week with no fuss.

I agree that passion, ownership, accountability being major driving factors for them but equally bigger reason masked often under passion is maintaining the status quo of standard of living & ensuring healthy balance sheet. (Most starts ups are on a winning/profitable ideas & comparatively very few on sustainability, for social service or purely out of passion as that’s a real daring proposition & they don’t dwell much on these concepts as their purpose is different)

What works for me is 5 day week with real flexibility (not just Work from home types) like setting minimum work hours as 6 per day (for some sanity) irrespective of timings one logs in or out (May not be possible in some industries like manufacturing at this point of time).

Over the years I’ve seen that work from home is not really enjoyable (by no means I am saying it’s a bad option) & people don’t require leaves for things that can be attended to in couple of hours; timing flexibility works fine.

What we need is a more flexible system with a culture of trust & belief that people are good by virtue; rest everything is a state of mind & we have an freewill with an option to change what we are doing anytime, it may not be immediate but not impossible for sure.

Strictly my views with no intent to hurt anyone.
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Old 1st January 2019, 19:20   #73
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Default Re: The 4-day working week?

4 days working week? That's like a holiday every alternative day. Might work in certain countries but in India, the same is highly unlikely. Even now, even after a 5 days work, most of us find ourselves glued to our mobile phones or laptops, replying to emails or preparing some excel sheets.
Having a 4 days working week is nothing short of a dream and I look forward to it being implemented some day. Although, from my perspective, the increasing working class and skilled labour might eventually lead to having such a culture, with employees having different work shifts.
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Old 19th August 2019, 16:58   #74
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Default Will the 4-Day Workweek Take Hold in Europe?

Harvard Business Review talks about the 4-day workweek practised in some parts of Europe.

The 4-day working week?-_8253732.jpg

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Many organizations in Europe are cutting workweeks, though not wages, from 36 hours (five days) to 28 hours (four days) to reduce burnout and make workers happier, more productive, and more committed to their employers.

The four-day workweek is not a new idea: France implemented a reduction of working hours (les 35 heures) almost 20 years ago to create better work-life balance for the nation. The measure is still heavily debated, with proponents saying it created jobs and preserves work-life balance and critics saying it reduces the competitiveness of French firms.

Leading today’s trend is the Netherlands, where the average weekly working time (taking into account both full-time and part-time workers) is about 29 hours — the lowest of any industrialized nation, according to the OECD. Dutch laws passed in 2000 to protect and promote work-life balance entitle all workers to fully paid vacation days and maternity and paternity leave.
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Half of the UK business leaders we surveyed reported that they’ve enabled a four-day workweek for some or all of their full-time employees, noting that employee satisfaction has improved, employee sickness has reduced, and savings of almost £92 billion (around 2% of total turnover) are being made each year.
Quote:
In organizations in which a shorter workweek has been implemented, nearly two-thirds (64%) of leaders reported increases in staff productivity and work quality due to a reduction of sick days and overall increased well-being. Another benefit to well-being, respondents noted, was the reduction of commutes. One less day at work helps make the weekly commute more bearable.

How have most firms implemented a shorter week? Respondents often said the practice is adopted by splitting employees into a rotating schedule, in which half do not work Mondays and the other half do not work Fridays. This allows firms to meet their customers’ demands by keeping premises open all week.
Quote:
Some organizations have also scrapped efforts toward a four-day week. In 2019 the London-based Wellcome Trust, the world’s second-biggest research donor, ended a four-day week for its 800 head office staff; it was “too operationally complex to implement.” In the U.S., Treehouse, a large tech HR firm, implemented a four-day week in 2016, but as the firm failed to keep up with competition, it reverted to a five-day week.
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Old 19th August 2019, 17:16   #75
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Default Re: Will the 4-Day Workweek Take Hold in Europe?

The article starts with the following sentence:

Quote:
Work four days a week, but get paid for five?
It suggest that this is the case in many European countries and subsequently mentions the Netherlands as leading the world in a 4 day work week.

I can categorically state that, in the Netherlands, if you work less, you will be paid less to. If you move from a 5 day working week to a 4 day working week you will loose 1 day pay per week. Yes, you will still be entitled to holiday pay as the article suggests, but that also will be adjusted pro-rato. Your entitlement on holidays will be adjusted pro-rato as well. Same for company pension, not state pension (which is solely based on years in the Netherlands)

The way the Dutch income tax system work is that for some the reduction in nett income is less than the reduction in gross income.

Many Dutch enjoy working a little less than the full five days per week. In the Netherlands it is common for both partners in a relationship to have a job. The traditional man/woman division along the lines of work / stay home, has moved considerable over the last couple of decades. Many couples will share everything, making a career, earning money, looking after the kids, doing the house hold chores. Shorter working weeks for both allow them to do so.

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