Team-BHP > Shifting gears


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 16th September 2021, 15:07   #226
Team-BHP Support
 
Samurai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Bangalore/Udupi
Posts: 24,761
Thanked: 30,081 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by poloman View Post
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.
Simple, there are NDAs for that. Listen, this is a very Indian concept, that one can have only one employer. When I worked in USA in the 90s, I had some many colleagues who had second jobs, or even a tiny company of their own. They were open about it and the employer didn't care as long as work was done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by poloman View Post
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?
These questions can be asked even in office. In IT, some can work 2-10 times more efficiently than others. Does that mean efficient ones should be given lot more work? Goes back to my original question, what does the employee owe, his/her time or results?
Samurai is offline   (11) Thanks
Old 16th September 2021, 15:25   #227
Team-BHP Support
 
Chetan_Rao's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 4,204
Thanked: 14,937 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by poloman View Post
... 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?
One would argue time and output are directly correlated only in an assembly line or transactional environment, where an output-per-unit-time metric can be objectively defined and/or is relevant, independent of the human involved in the task. E.g. if an assembly line is capable of producing X units of an item per hour, the human manning the assembly line can't really change that number significantly compared to another colleague doing the same job.

That limitation doesn't exist in an environment of subjective productivity. For an example, two separate programmers asked to solve a certain problem may take entirely different approaches, using different tools and methods, take different amounts of time and finally propose two unique approaches for the solution.

Should their end product be gauged on how effective the solution is, or how much time it took them to come up with it?

That's just one example in an IT environment. Plenty of other scenarios exist in a multitude of work environments where the output is what ultimately matters, not just the time taken to arrive at it.

Not everyone works a job with an applicable and quantifiable output-per-unit-time metric, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution either.

P.S. As to your whole 'they may be stealing our IP and working for a competitor' scenario, unless you plan on surveiling every employee 24/7, why do you think the likelihood of a rogue WFH employee is any higher than one present in office?

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 16th September 2021 at 15:29.
Chetan_Rao is offline   (5) Thanks
Old 16th September 2021, 15:25   #228
Senior - BHPian
 
adimicra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 1,977
Thanked: 2,030 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Without sharing too much details, I am in one of the FANG companies in a relatively senior mid-management role. We have had multiple debates on this topic with senior leadership and also with my managers and team members.

Obviously, there is no clear winner here and the opinion is split right down the middle. If I had to pick a side, I would say more people are interested in working from office than home by a 60-40 margin. However, our organization has been pretty clear about office being the primary workplace after the pandemic is over, while offering some flexibility about working for home (like, a couple of days in a week).

Personally, I would like to go back to physical office. Though I have a separate room and decent setup at home, I miss the face-to-face conversations, whiteboarding, brainstorming and the non-work related interactions at office. I also feel that this virtual onboarding of new employees continue to be a challenge and the ramp up of new joinees in the last 1.5 years has not been as good as the prior years. Another observation is that it becomes much more difficult to judge the employee concerns virtually without the body language, facial expressions etc. (not all are extrovert). So, while I understand that some people like the flexibility of WFH, I am looking forward to working physically from office.

Last edited by adimicra : 16th September 2021 at 15:26.
adimicra is offline   (9) Thanks
Old 16th September 2021, 15:26   #229
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,086
Thanked: 2,187 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Simple, there are NDAs for that. Listen, this is a very Indian concept, that one can have only one employer. When I worked in USA in the 90s, I had some many colleagues who had second jobs, or even a tiny company of their own. They were open about it and the employer didn't care as long as work was done.

These questions can be asked even in office. In IT, some can work 2-10 times more efficiently than others. Does that mean efficient ones should be given lot more work? Goes back to my original question, what does the employee owe, his/her time or results?
What I meant was that there are always thin lines around these concepts. NDAs in paper can't take care of the confidentiality issues in totality. You never know where the person is present. He may be sitting at a competitor place and taking calls from your company. So will you say that the employee only owe employer, results not his time and presence in such cases?

Did we ask our parents and partners, how they feel about our WFH? In many houses people are putting pressure on spouses to do administrative works for them. Twenty somethings after stepping out of college are going back and sitting at home WFH, again expecting moms to feed them and pamper them. Everyone needs their own time.

IT guys expect every other person like courier boys, maids, govt officers, construction workers etc to work offline so that they can work in comforts of their homes piling up huge savings. Where is the equity and empathy?

How will the economy boom if a big section of people are caging themselves at home. Every business hotel in the IT corridor is either shut down or in pathetic shape. There won't be any trickle down of fortune. One has to look at this trend with a wider perspective.

Last edited by poloman : 16th September 2021 at 15:33.
poloman is offline   (3) Thanks
Old 16th September 2021, 15:29   #230
BHPian
 
drsingh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Ludhiana
Posts: 753
Thanked: 632 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Work from home? LOL. IN our country where a home may have multiple families/ colleagues/kids/pets etc. Along with infrastructure issues at home. Along with psychological pressure of being packed into small spaces with edgy relationships, generation gaps. etc.

There are too many distractions in the home environment. Specially when the economy opens up fully.

Living under stringent conditions under warlike situation is different than a permanent WFH dystopia.

For a lot of people the work environment is a separate healthy space away from home. With fewer rules, different vibe etc.
drsingh is offline   (4) Thanks
Old 16th September 2021, 15:49   #231
Team-BHP Support
 
Samurai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Bangalore/Udupi
Posts: 24,761
Thanked: 30,081 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by poloman View Post
What I meant was that there are always thin lines around these concepts. NDAs in paper can't take care of the confidentiality issues in totality.
You can't? Why do you think companies make employees sign NDA? Because they can sue when a breach is detected. They can sue the competitor too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by poloman View Post
You never know where the person is present. He may be sitting at a competitor place and taking calls from your company.
He could be a serial killer too, do you really want him in the office? Once you start treating every employee as a potential criminal and build your rules around that concept, that makes for a very bad work environment. If he really wants to share info with competitors, he can go home and do it in his free time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by poloman View Post
IT guys expect every other person like courier boys, maids, govt officers, construction workers etc to work offline so that they can work in comforts of their homes piling up huge savings. Where is the equity and empathy?

How will the economy boom if a big section of people are caging themselves at home. Every business hotel in the IT corridor is either shut down or in pathetic shape. There won't be any trickle down of fortune. One has to look at this trend with a wider perspective.
This is a complete segue into a different topic. Since when IT employers are responsible for job creation and helping other industry? Every employer tries to reduce cost by hiring minimal number of people. Yes, it may not look like that from outside. But that is the truth.
Samurai is offline   (17) Thanks
Old 16th September 2021, 15:49   #232
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 121
Thanked: 1,483 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by poloman View Post

Did we ask our parents and partners, how they feel about our WFH? In many houses people are putting pressure on spouses to do administrative works for them. Twenty somethings after stepping out of college are going back and sitting at home WFH, again expecting moms to feed them and pamper them. Everyone needs their own time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by drsingh View Post
Along with psychological pressure of being packed into small spaces with edgy relationships, generation gaps. etc.
...
For a lot of people the work environment is a separate healthy space away from home. With fewer rules, different vibe etc.
Yes, family dynamics has now started to play a major role in the WFH scenario. A few couples in my team have now moved back to Bangalore from their hometowns because of M-I-L issues . Another couple is staying separately in their respective hometowns; hopefully the marriage survives.

IMHO, prolonged WFH is a punishment for the women employees.
DigitalOne is online now   (5) Thanks
Old 16th September 2021, 16:12   #233
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,281
Thanked: 5,259 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

While I'd be elated to think that by going to work at my routine IT job I'm supporting the Indian economy, saving marriages and emancipating women employees, perhaps we're expecting too much from me!

But seriously, while there has undeniably been a trickle-down effect to the unorganized sector, do we want to encourage builders and badly planned IT corridors like Bellandur? Badly run PGs and overpriced real estate without any facilities and the associated city planning ills because people are required to be concentrated in certain areas of cities like Bangalore? And here's the key, for jobs that can be done from anywhere! The taxes I pay won't change whether I work from office or home. Let the government use that to improve the conditions of the nation instead of forcing me to help make thug builders rich.

About women employees not getting a break because of working from home, first, let's ask more of them what they want. The few women I know all seem very happy to not have to commute. But certainly there will be issues and I can imagine the office is a break for several women who have a hard time at home. But again, it's not the job of the...job to help solve what is essentially an issue with the attitude of other family members at home. My wife works as well, as a matter of fact, she's busier and better at her role and higher up in her organization than I am at mine. So why should there be any expectation for her to do anything extra (compared to me) when it comes to housework or anything else around the house? That's an attitude that perhaps needs to change with the family members rather than by providing an escape through the job.

And about keeping employees in front of you to monitor them so they don't 'stray', I mean that's again a culture and mindset thing. Why start from a default position of mistrust? Take corrective or punitive action when something does happen, but why assume employees as being inherently dishonest from the beginning. (Obviously some industries like defense-related will need to implement some extraordinary measures, but those are exceptions.) Plus, I can slack off or steal information equally easily at work in the office as I can at home.

Last edited by am1m : 16th September 2021 at 16:23.
am1m is offline   (29) Thanks
Old 16th September 2021, 16:52   #234
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 121
Thanked: 1,483 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by am1m View Post
Badly run PGs and overpriced real estate without any facilities and the associated city planning ills because people are required to be concentrated in certain areas of cities like Bangalore?..... instead of forcing me to help make thug builders rich.
With you totally on that. I have to admit that seeing shuttered down PGs was a guilty pleasure during the worst period of the economic collapse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by am1m View Post
About women employees not getting a break because of working from home, first, let's ask more of them what they want. The few women I know all seem very happy to not have to commute. ....But again, it's not the job of the...job to help solve what is essentially an issue with the attitude of other family members at home.
I am not saying Work-from-office is a panacea for all problems of our society. But fact is family dynamics will become a big factor, apart from the employee-employer dynamic that we have discussing about.

I distinctly feel most people, men or women, will prefer office if other family members start going to office. My wife will be called to office from Dec, and I am planning to go to office voluntarily at least a couple of days a week to break the impending monotony. Let's see...
DigitalOne is online now   (4) Thanks
Old 16th September 2021, 17:02   #235
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,086
Thanked: 2,187 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by am1m View Post
While I'd be elated to think that by going to work at my routine IT job I'm supporting the Indian economy, saving marriages and emancipating women employees, perhaps we're expecting too much from me!
This is indeed your responsibility as a responsible citizen. Your wife may be well placed and have a better corporate life than you. But is that the norm? In urban India a mere 19% woman are engaged in economic or employment related activities compared to 73% men. 91% women do unpaid domestic work. This is the reality. So it may be a societal problem, but do you want policies to aggravate the situation or improve the life of women in our life? Male ego or patriarchal mindset is solely responsible for this pathetic situation.

I have seen my daughter sadly explaining how her 15 year old friend is asked to prepare tea in between her classes and serve his father who is WFH in the next room. These are happening in educated families. I make a point to serve my daughter snacks and drinks myself during her classes, so that next generation is made aware of societal evils and they are never taken for granted.
So let us not trivialize such things.

Last edited by poloman : 16th September 2021 at 17:04.
poloman is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 16th September 2021, 17:14   #236
Team-BHP Support
 
Chetan_Rao's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 4,204
Thanked: 14,937 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by poloman View Post
...So it may be a societal problem, but do you want policies to aggravate the situation or improve the life of women in our life?...
One, you're shifting goalposts. Your initial argument was about tracking productivity, and you're now segueing into social issues. Nobody will deny the aspects affect each other, but correlation is not causation.

Two, why do you think how a person is treated by their family in India (or anywhere else for that matter) is dependent merely on their presence or absence in the family home?

I can quote examples of women who face the same challenges as you mention, but they're of the opinion that the commute time saved (esp. in our urban traffic nightmare) helps them offset some of the work that they'd earlier needed to get up at ungodly hours for during their work-from-office days.

There are plenty of issues that need resolving, but let's keep things in perspective. Your typical professional workplace policies are neither equipped, nor designed to, nor have the social standing needed to intervene and help resolve personal issues like family structures or social issues like rampant patriarchy.

The issues you mention weren't caused by WFH, and won't go away by escaping to office. It's much more nuanced than that.

P.S. While we're decrying patriarchy, how about we put our money where our mouths are and ask the women what they want (and what works for them) instead of deciding for them? Novel idea, I know!

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 16th September 2021 at 17:21.
Chetan_Rao is offline   (22) Thanks
Old 16th September 2021, 17:22   #237
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,281
Thanked: 5,259 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by poloman View Post
This is indeed your responsibility as a responsible citizen
Again, my scope is limited here, I think the onus is on the government to use my tax money for that. Of course there is a lot more I could do, but speaking just from what my role through my job is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by poloman View Post
Male ego or patriarchal mindset is solely responsible for this pathetic situation.
Exactly, so how can the physical location of the IT job be expected to change that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by poloman View Post
In urban India a mere 19% woman are engaged in economic or employment related activities compared to 73% men. 91% women do unpaid domestic work. This is the reality.
Yes and that is unfortunate and needs to improve. But as far as this topic and thread go, how does the physical location of an IT job have an effect on these 2 things, positively or negatively? Please explain. This is classic shifting the argument to something else entirely unconnected to try and justify the original point!

Quote:
Originally Posted by poloman View Post
So let us not trivialize such things.
Fair enough, I didn't mean to do that.

Last edited by am1m : 16th September 2021 at 17:26.
am1m is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 16th September 2021, 17:30   #238
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 733
Thanked: 1,796 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
You can't? Why do you think companies make employees sign NDA? Because they can sue when a breach is detected. They can sue the competitor too.

He could be a serial killer too, do you really want him in the office? Once you start treating every employee as a potential criminal and build your rules around that concept, that makes for a very bad work environment. If he really wants to share info with competitors, he can go home and do it in his free time.

This is a complete segue into a different topic. Since when IT employers are responsible for job creation and helping other industry? Every employer tries to reduce cost by hiring minimal number of people. Yes, it may not look like that from outside. But that is the truth.
Exactly!. Employees productive in office will be as productive, if not more from home too (while making a huge savings in time and money). True for those on the other side too!.

What about those lakhs (or crores?) that employers save when the employees do all the work without being in the office? If they have not realized it yet, they will have to wait for another 100 years.
Nalin1 is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 16th September 2021, 17:45   #239
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,086
Thanked: 2,187 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post
One, you're shifting goalposts. Your initial argument was about tracking productivity, and you're now segueing into social issues. Nobody will deny the aspects affect each other, but correlation is not causation.
Not sure why you consider this as shifting goal post where I was talking about societal implications of WFH. If initial argument was on productivity, couldn't i make another point?

Quote:
I can quote examples of women who face the same challenges as you mention, but they're of the opinion that the commute time saved (esp. in our urban traffic nightmare) helps them offset some of the work that they'd earlier needed to get up at ungodly hours for during their work-from-office days
I can also quote many woman. But as you mentioned, due to miniscule woman members on this forum, we can only insinuate.

Many people think that moving back to a joint family in Himalayas is pure joy and live happily for ever. How many men are willing to shift to their in law's house will bring out the disparity?

Quote:
Yes and that is unfortunate and needs to improve. But as far as this topic and thread go, how does the physical location of an IT job have an effect on these 2 things, positively or negatively? Please explain. This is classic shifting the argument to something else entirely unconnected to try and justify the original point!
Again as I mentioned this is mostly a male perspective. You can search in internet how WFH has adversely affected woman including excellent articles from Harvard et al. I have given example of a 15 year old girl ordered around by her father for food during WFH. Again this may be an one off incidence. But all I want to say that these things are happening in the society.

I know this argument on WFH is never going to end. So will desist from further posts on the subject.

Last edited by poloman : 16th September 2021 at 17:52.
poloman is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 16th September 2021, 17:53   #240
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,281
Thanked: 5,259 Times
Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by poloman View Post
You can search in internet how WFH has adversely affected woman.
No one is saying it has not. All that I'm saying is that the fault lies not with the concept of working from home. And that the problem of male patriarchy will persist even if the man responsible goes to work every day. I have a close relative who used to be physically beaten by her husband for years in the 1980s till she finally worked up the courage to leave him. He went to work faithfully everyday as a senior manager at a major tyre manufacturing company. Yes, while he was away she got some respite for those hours. But that is not the solution, right? And all we're saying is the root for those serious and reprehensible societal ills is not the the work from home concept. Nor are they the topic of this thread (which certainly doesn't mean they don't need to be discussed!).

Last edited by am1m : 16th September 2021 at 18:00.
am1m is offline   (2) 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