Top reasons why Indians prefer working in U.S.
By SiliconIndia | Tuesday, 19 October 2010, 05:14 Hrs
For many years, working and getting settled abroad used to fetch a feeling of self actualization to an Indian and his family, but is that still the reason which pulls Indians to an unknown land? To figure out the various reasons on why Indians prefer working in a foreign organizational setup, Siliconindia engaged in short interactions with some IT professionals who have experienced both the work cultures. Based on that, certain reasons which make Indians feel comfortable working in the U.S., were figured out.
WORK CULTURE: Most of the Indians who have been exposed to the American work culture, find it difficult to conform to the Indian work culture. Majority of IT professionals feel that the work culture in a multinational company (MNC) is more planned and less ambiguous compared to their Indian contemporaries. The process driven structure, proper delegation of work and a robust infrastructure makes work environment more favorable in other countries. Looking at the resistance of Indian economy towards the global economic downturn, many expatriates looked India as a lucrative option for their career but it seems easier to analyze the broad environment till one gets into the reality of dealing with it.
Many multinational companies prefer India as a destination for maintaining their global operations. This has led to the acceptance of American work culture in many offices but the reforms are not strictly followed by any level of management in an organizational hierarchy. "One will experience a preference over U.S. work culture because of a well established infrastructure, matured planning and process. The work culture in U.S. is absolutely process driven," says Ravi Jagannathan, MD and CEO, 3i Infotech.
LABOR LAWS: Serving a notice period is no doubt a nightmare for almost every IT professional. Employees cannot receive their relieving letter till they serve the notice period of two to three months. Until they have their relieving letter in hand, it becomes difficult for an IT professional to join in other competent organizations. It is seen that in an Indian work environment, the employer is vested with all the rights to decide on the terms and conditions of a job. Contrary to that, the employment law in the U.S. has always been governed by 'at will' employment, where the employment relationship could be abandoned by either party at any point of time, which means that there is no need to serve any kind of notice period.
EMPLOYEES' RIGHTS: This is probably one area where the Indian IT industry is seriously working upon to control the growing rate of attrition. Many popular It companies sanction leaves other than the Sick Leave (SL), Casual Leave (CL) and Earned Leave (EL). There are leaves granted for Family and Illness, personal days, Education Leaves of Absence with Pay, Parental Leave, Short Term Disability, funeral leave and many more. The IT companies in India are focusing to facilitate the IT professionals with all these relaxation provisions so that the employees add more value to their work. It could be expected that in near future, people working in India would have an act on similar lines of the 'American Disability Act, 1990' which prohibits discrimination of any kind to an employee at workplace.
WORKING FROM HOME: Working from home is quite acceptable in the U.S. This saves employees' time, money and keeps their focus on the work intact. In India, the employers are jittery about letting their employees work from home. Though the culture of working from home has picked up in India as well but there are inhibitions related to it, both at the employer's and employee's end. The employer's usually feel that employees would misuse the facility of working from home and on the other hand, the employees find it better working in their office as they want to meet up their colleagues who share a friendly relation with them. "In an Indian work culture, office mates give a feeling of the extension of family for the employees," says Jagannathan. Most of the IT professionals have realized that, in U.S., the employers' have no issues with their employees as long as they meet the deadline of the deliverables.
TIME MANAGEMENT: The U.S. work culture is more focused on maintaining a proper timeline at work place. It is the attitude of employees out there to deliver valuable output on time. Even if they spend less time at their desk, their credibility is not questioned till they deliver the target set for them. "When it comes to the work environment, a U.S. company always maintains a popular thought - the output. If the output is as per expectations, then it doesn't matter whether employees are at their desk for 9 hours or two hours," says an ex-Satyamite, who is currently working with a top telecom service provider in U.S.
PAY SCALE: The most important of all the reasons for which Indians prefer working abroad is 'Money'. The fact is, salary is seen as the biggest motivating factor. One of the major reasons for attrition in IT industry is the pay scale. If an employee feels that his or her salary is not competitive, then the employees tends to look for another job which would give them a hike of 30 to 40 percent. When IT professionals are sent onsite, they realize that the workforce employed in other MNCs (who usually serve at the same capabilities) are paid much better than them. This pesters the Indian IT professionals to switch to other companies and if the job demands them to reside in U.S. they tend to do so.
The difference in global work culture still persists but due to globalization and outsourcing the degree of discrepancies has narrowed down over the years. There have been debates about the Indian IT industry and the industry experts come up with a lot of methods to deal with the issues prevalent in the internal system. The question which still remains unanswered is whether the laws of our land be more befitting to the employees working in various sectors at present or will the $50 billion IT industry structure out special laws and prerogatives for its workforce? If these problems are addressed, will the Indian workforce which contributes substantially to the U.S. economy, prefer to come back to their land?
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