Team-BHP > Shifting gears


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 16th September 2021, 10:10   #211
Team-BHP Support
 
Samurai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Bangalore/Udupi
Posts: 24,727
Thanked: 29,552 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by am1m View Post
Well, unfortunate but can't say it's surprising that so many IT companies were just paying lip-service to flexibility and are showing their true colours now.
I have a different take on it, based on what I am observing these days.

Most of IT industry in India didn't have result oriented culture before the pandemic. Instead we had a process oriented culture. That means only the PM had responsibility to deliver results, and the team members only had to do the work assigned by the PM. They are not responsible for the overall results, and it suited the PMs fine, since it created a solid job for them. However, it also meant the PM required the team to be in physical line-of-sight, and control every aspect of their 8-10 hours presence in office.

When WFH was suddenly imposed on the whole world, the companies that already practiced result oriented culture saw their productivity go up, since the employees could avoid commute and had more time to achieve the results. But the companies that followed process oriented culture found themselves in big soup, but they avoided talking about it publicly because it shows the company in bad light. Instead, they also claimed their productivity has gone up. If that was true, why are they asking their teams back in office? No company would take an action that would reduce productivity, especially if it is unpopular.

An workforce that is used to process oriented culture can't adopt to result oriented culture without a major shift in their thinking. All their SOPs are designed for working from office. That is the reason why they are calling their employees back to work, they want to restore some sanity.
Samurai is offline   (48) Thanks
Old 16th September 2021, 11:33   #212
BHPian
 
Jaguar's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 967
Thanked: 1,259 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
I have a different take on it, based on what I am observing these days.

An workforce that is used to process oriented culture can't adopt to result oriented culture without a major shift in their thinking. All their SOPs are designed for working from office. That is the reason why they are calling their employees back to work, they want to restore some sanity.
I don't this it is black and white like this.

My organization falls under the result-oriented culture you described, and we have been doing quite well in the pandemic. But, at every town hall, we keep hearing that the office will continue to be the primary workplace and we will return to the office eventually.

The sentiment from the internal employee surveys also indicates that a lot of folks do want to get back to the office. I suppose people with young kids and the ones living in cities like Mumbai where having a separate workspace is a premium, etc don't prefer long-term WFH.
Jaguar is offline   (9) Thanks
Old 16th September 2021, 11:52   #213
Team-BHP Support
 
Samurai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Bangalore/Udupi
Posts: 24,727
Thanked: 29,552 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
I don't this it is black and white like this.
Nothing is ever black and white. So I was alluding to what are significant reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
The sentiment from the internal employee surveys also indicates that a lot of folks do want to get back to the office. I suppose people with young kids and the ones living in cities like Mumbai where having a separate workspace is a premium, etc don't prefer long-term WFH.
Yes, I know such cases. They are folks who can afford to come back to office, these are folks who are still in the same city. At the same time, a large number who have moved back to native towns don't want to come back to cities. Women employees whose kids are still attending online classes, can't even think of going back to work.

I know so many who have changed jobs in the last one year without leaving the comfort of their native town. Some are even looking after the family agriculture activities while doing IT work. Staying with aging parents in native town and working for IT companies has finally become a reality. The cost of living and quality of living really improves for them.

Last edited by Samurai : 16th September 2021 at 11:53.
Samurai is offline   (31) Thanks
Old 16th September 2021, 12:02   #214
BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Bengaluru
Posts: 360
Thanked: 833 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
The sentiment from the internal employee surveys also indicates that a lot of folks do want to get back to the office. I suppose people with young kids and the ones living in cities like Mumbai where having a separate workspace is a premium, etc don't prefer long-term WFH.
The sentiments can be adjusted to suit the employers. Why not also allow people who wish to WFH as long as productivity does not suffer?

Rather strange when the employers tell employees to reduce onsite travel and use video conferencing but ask them to suffer the traffic and work from office.

Last edited by AltoLXI : 16th September 2021 at 12:03.
AltoLXI is offline   (10) Thanks
Old 16th September 2021, 12:23   #215
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,086
Thanked: 2,164 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Companies like Microsoft, Apple, JP Morgan etc all have made it clear that WFH blocks Innovation, Teamwork & Productivity.
Other than the saving of commute time, can some one explain how WFH increases productivity?
Work force discipline and focus also matters. If some one is doing agriculture during office hours at his native place, don't think these are good practices and many companies will tolerate such things.
poloman is offline   (7) Thanks
Old 16th September 2021, 12:46   #216
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Gandhinagar
Posts: 255
Thanked: 300 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by poloman View Post
Work force discipline and focus also matters.
That applies to work from office as well, physical presence in office does not always guarantee productivity, other than pure labor oriented work.

For financial institutions like JP Morgan, security constraints are always there in remote working.

Last edited by Vishal.R : 16th September 2021 at 12:47.
Vishal.R is offline   (4) Thanks
Old 16th September 2021, 12:50   #217
BHPian
 
Jaguar's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 967
Thanked: 1,259 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Some are even looking after the family agriculture activities while doing IT work.
I have also heard of people taking up multiple IT jobs. Productivity of such people will definitely take a hit and because of these bad apples, companies would want everyone in the office.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AltoLXI View Post
The sentiments can be adjusted to suit the employers. Why not also allow people who wish to WFH as long as productivity does not suffer?
This is my personal opinion. Currently, the productivity is high because everyone is wfh and the collaboration happens over calls. Once we go into a mixed-mode, the folks in the office would design on whiteboards, huddle together and take decisions, etc, while the people at home are left out. Over the long term, this will impact the productivity and morale of the people not in the office. Everyone will have to be mature and inclusive to make it work.
Jaguar is offline   (6) Thanks
Old 16th September 2021, 13:44   #218
BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Bengaluru
Posts: 360
Thanked: 833 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by poloman View Post
Companies like Microsoft, Apple, JP Morgan etc all have made it clear that WFH blocks Innovation, Teamwork & Productivity.
Other than the saving of commute time, can some one explain how WFH increases productivity?
Work force discipline and focus also matters. If some one is doing agriculture during office hours at his native place, don't think these are good practices and many companies will tolerate such things.
  • Newton did not have to work from office else he would not have come up with law of gravity observing apple fall from the tree.
  • If Archimedes worked from office instead of lying in the bathtub, buoyancy would not have been discovered.
  • If Steve jobs had not learnt calligraphy, he would not have been inspired to develop Apple's typography.

AltoLXI is offline   (6) Thanks
Old 16th September 2021, 13:59   #219
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Trivandrum
Posts: 42
Thanked: 78 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

One thing that I have noticed during 1.5 years of WFH is that people have been using there personal time for work.

Case in point, pre-covid my client did not permit offshore guys to connect from anywhere outside secured office space. Consequently, at the end of their shift people would drop whatever they were doing and head home. (Shift ends at 11:30; people who relied on office transport had no other recourse). During WFH, most of the folks would stretch another 30-45 minutes to wrap up things. Same goes for availability during morning hours when onsite guys are wrapping up their day.

It goes without saying that most people would go back to their prior ways once office reopens. Wonder whether org expectations would go along.
IndieGooner is offline   (7) Thanks
Old 16th September 2021, 14:03   #220
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: Noida
Posts: 20
Thanked: 100 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by poloman View Post
Companies like Microsoft, Apple, JP Morgan etc all have made it clear that WFH blocks Innovation, Teamwork & Productivity.
Other than the saving of commute time, can some one explain how WFH increases productivity?
Work force discipline and focus also matters. If some one is doing agriculture during office hours at his native place, don't think these are good practices and many companies will tolerate such things.
To answer your questions:
1. Other than the saving of commute time, can some one explain how WFH increases productivity?
Well for me there are many other things that has improved my productivity:
  • 1. People who were non productive even when in office to chit chat do not come to my desk to bother me since I am doing WFH
    2. I don't go to the coffee machine time and again to have my cup of tea when in office. This also reduced productivity. Since at home my Mom keeps a tab on how many cups of tea I have in a day.
    3. I save close to 2.5 to 3 hours travelling. I use this time for workout. I am much healthier now as compared to when working from office
    4. After travelling for close to 1 to 1.5 hors to office I required 10 to 15 minutes to settle down to start working.

2. Work force discipline and focus also matters. If some one is doing agriculture during office hours at his native place, don't think these are good practices and many companies will tolerate such things ?
Well this is very true and should be dealt very strictly. We have already fired few resources from our company because of this attitude.

Overall my productivity has really improved as I am relieved of the stress of the traffic mess on roads.


I would prefer a hybrid model of office where the resources/teams can decide upon which days of the week they would all be present in office so that team work and team spirit is also there.
sunbaj is offline   (6) Thanks
Old 16th September 2021, 14:04   #221
BHPian
 
Jaguar's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 967
Thanked: 1,259 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AltoLXI View Post
  • Newton did not have to work from office else he would not have come up with law of gravity observing apple fall from the tree.
  • If Archimedes worked from office instead of lying in the bathtub, buoyancy would not have been discovered.
  • If Steve jobs had not learnt calligraphy, he would not have been inspired to develop Apple's typography.
All these guys were not getting paid or had deliverables when they were performing their experiments or thinking or learning new skills. And while Steve Jobs was instrumental, do not forget the 100s of developers in Apple who tirelessly worked long hours in the office to get Apple to where it is today.
Jaguar is offline   (6) Thanks
Old 16th September 2021, 14:41   #222
Team-BHP Support
 
Samurai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Bangalore/Udupi
Posts: 24,727
Thanked: 29,552 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by IndieGooner View Post
One thing that I have noticed during 1.5 years of WFH is that people have been using there personal time for work.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
I have also heard of people taking up multiple IT jobs. Productivity of such people will definitely take a hit and because of these bad apples, companies would want everyone in the office.
What do employees owe to employers in return of salary? Their time or their productivity (results)? I am thinking about this while wearing an employer's hat.

If we say the employer fully owns the 8 hours (9-5pm) of the working day, then the remaining 16 hours fully belongs to the employee. How many employers respect that line, and not crossover into hours they don't own? Very few, in these days of non-stop connectivity via email, Teams, slack, whatapp, etc.

If we say the employer expects X amount of productivity per day or per month, should they dictate how that is achieved? If an employee works on his farm 2 hours a day, and also spends 8-10 hours meeting his productivity goals, should the employer feel threaten by it?
Samurai is offline   (14) Thanks
Old 16th September 2021, 14:42   #223
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 66
Thanked: 94 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (7)
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Based on the feedback from my team, majority are waiting for return to office. A few, due to various reasons, want to WFH as long as possible.
But, this has taught us one thing, that it is not necessary for everyone to work from office every day.
A hybrid model is the future.


IMO, WFH is not better, and is also causing mental issues in few cases. Same for online schooling. You need the personal interactions.
smartindboy is offline   (4) Thanks
Old 16th September 2021, 14:56   #224
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,086
Thanked: 2,164 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post

If we say the employer expects X amount of productivity per day or per month, should they dictate how that is achieved? If an employee works on his farm 2 hours a day, and also spends 8-10 hours meeting his productivity goals, should the employer feel threaten by it?
Where and how will you draw the line? How will you know that if he joins a competitor and utilize the ideas he gain from your company in that role? one can cleverly splice the time doing WFH.

We don't use video calls. In meetings, I feel lot of people have become unusually quiet, you never know whether they are really present or doing something else? I still does not know what could be one's productivity goals? If a person complete the assigned task in 1 hour, can he spent rest of the day doing what he feels to do or manager is not loading him properly?

Last edited by poloman : 16th September 2021 at 14:57.
poloman is offline  
Old 16th September 2021, 15:00   #225
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Ghaziabad
Posts: 1,526
Thanked: 2,777 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

In most places it isn't really any longer a question of what the employee or the employer wants, rather what the local/regional builder-business-politician nexus wants.

A vast majority of the IT enabled jobs that were able to move to homes, are running on policy violation exemptions for termination of VPNs, for termination of Telephony, for carriage of IT equipment outside SEZs, for attendance rules, for domicile rules etc. which are being rolled forward on a quarterly basis by the government authorities but is likely to be enforced again next year onwards.

The builder lobby which is very closely intertwined with the political system is facing huge losses on vacant office spaces and are mounting pressure, and so are formal and informal unions of guards, service staff, kitchen staff, technicians etc., all of whom are large vote banks.

So, based on what I am privy to, I see mounting pressure on corporates to return at least a sizeable chunk of the workforce population back to workplaces, and this is why many corporates are beginning to dance to a different tune now. Many are even reducing their SEZ footprint where the cost benefit stacks up sufficiently.

While all this may reopen offices in the short term, in the longer term if these overheads are unsustainable and unjustified for a business then they will likely seek relocation to other regions or even countries.

As for me, I'll likely never (need to) return to working from office, given I don't have a single local stakeholder or team member. There is in fact zero business justification for my role to be working from any office space, although people like me might be asked to clock in a certain number of entry-exits in an office building for compliance reasons. In any case we had moved to a 0.7 seat ratio and didn't have dedicated seats much before the pandemic and are going to reduce the ratio quite aggressively once we reopen offices for those who necessarily need to return.

P.S. In all this, we mustn't ignore the huge population of "people managers" who find employment in India. They and their ilk have a vested interest in returning their staff to offices, because as Samurai said earlier, these hierarchies are not result driven rather process driven. This coterie, many of whom are also decision makers, will want their bases protected again by returning staff to within their domain of direct control, since their lack of skills was getting rather alarmingly exposed as the months roll by.

Last edited by roy_libran : 16th September 2021 at 15:03.
roy_libran is offline   (12) Thanks
Reply

Most Viewed
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Copyright 2000 - 2021, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks