IT firms increase work-hours for higher productivity
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IT firms increase work-hours for higher productivity

By SiliconIndia   |   Tuesday, 25 November 2008, 12:40 Hrs   |    13 Comments
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IT firms increase work-hours for higher productivity
Bangalore: In order to offset the recessional setbacks, IT firms are resorting to the strategy of increasing the working hours. Many companies have also stepped up the monitoring of working hours to squeeze the maximum out of their employees, reports The Times of India.

Some firms are closely keeping an eye on even the recess time of their employees. An extra minute taken during lunch time or coffee break will have to be compensated.

Accenture India is perhaps the first MNC in India planning to increase the working hours from January 1, 2009. TCS had recently increased the working hours by an hour a day to 9 hours.

Wipro employees already put in 9.5 hours (8.30 am to 6 pm) a day including a brief lunch break, while it's 9.15 hours in Infosys. But these weren't implemented stringently, until now. "It's sort of mandatory for us now to put in 9.5 hours of work a day. Our HR seems to be monitoring it very closely these days and even a 15-minute shortage/delay is being noticed," said a Wipro employee who got a reminder for short-swiping a few days ago.

According to Infosys Technologies head (HR) T V Mohandas Pai, the company has stringent measures to make sure employees put in the required 9.15 hours every day. An increase in working hours will directly impact productivity and revenues.

One of the reasons for companies to extend their working hours is to increase productivity and revenues. For instance, by increasing work hours by an hour a day an employee works an additional 22 hours a month. If an hour of his/her work is billed at $20, the company makes an additional billing of $440 per employee. That means, in rupee terms, a single employee can bring in additional revenues of Rs 22,000 a month for the company. Such work time extension works well for projects that are on what is called the 'time & material' model. Around 70 percent of tech projects are currently under this model, while the rest are fixed price projects where the service providers may resort to pruning the size of teams to bring cost down.

"Companies, by and large, are targeting a per-employee productivity enhancement of 15 percent," said a strategist working with an MNC firm. The tech sector, he says, is given an essential services status - on par with water and electricity - in Karnataka, so companies here also need not pay overtime.

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Reader's comments(13)
1: I work for accenture BPO i recently had my work hours extended to 10 hrs(9 hrs on calls 1 hr break).wats worse is i have to attend pre and post shift briefings which almost makes it a 11 hr day at work .isnt there anything which can be done against this exploitation
Posted by:sam dsouza - 14 Feb, 2009
2: We all are aware that IT employees work on an average for more than 10 hrs a day. in many cases it even exceeds. if we see the overall output for these mentally and physically tired employees, it is definitely not as per requirements. IT industry by its glamour is not been closely observed by the laws of the land. It seems that the big organisations can take the law in hand anytime and the LAW is helpless. When these companies gather all these treasuries openly and still not compensate the employees for their work. Does all the IT companies wants to say that by increasing work hours by half or one hour they will not make the employees sit for more than these speculated hours? Will the LAW come in picture and take the appropriate action against such giants or will remain neutral.
Posted by:Prachi Gadhave - 22 Dec, 2008
3: Now a days IT in the sense works which was done by computers (automated machines).

Don't merge it with Software Development.

It is different. Lot of difference is there making the re commanded customer work as automated and working on that automated project.

I am strongly re command to the HRs first make this difference. Companies should also need technical back ground HRs in this
critical situation to take good step for company health point off view.

If it is a Software Development (customer work needs to automated) then its useless to increase the work time per day for productivity,
in fact it will reduce the productivity and give the worse product to the customer.

Here developer needs mental peace and pressure less (in terms of timing).

Example, suppose if the developer write the code with peace of mind with enough rest he will write efficient code with
minimal bugs(here debugging time and continuous capability maturity will increase with new ideas).
If the same developer write the code with rest less mind then definitely he will write inefficient code with
lot off bugs(here debugging time will increase and company should not at least think about maturity).

It is better to writing code on Monday and Tuesday and debug it in Wednesday and Thursday instead of
Writing code on Monday and debugging it throughout the week even not fixed.

Desktop works may increase productivity if time will increase but software development will not increase infact will decrease the
efficiency of the company.

Company CEOs must think about your HRs awareness about the different aspects and works in their company.
If you are removing employee who is working in Software development, company is giving chance to other
organization to take the advantage of one good trained developer by you.

If the situation is critical give choice to the employee,
a) whether he will loose some company flexible benefits or
b) whether he will work on 6 days a week for the same time with out loosing the benefits.

He will decide, if he don't need benefits then he will work as usual, if he needs he will contribute
on weekends. But make it temporary solution for the current situation. Once recover be a favor to
employee because he is your money making machine.
In the above two cases company will be benefit in terms of work, money and employee association.

In my opinion its good to work 6 days with 7hours/day in software development for this worse situation.

Posted by:K.V.Subba Reddy. - 26 Nov, 2008
4: Hey guy's as per the company calculation 99% of the employees are working for more than 11hrs a day and y should this senseless organization want's to increase their productivity time
Posted by:kanchana - 25 Nov, 2008
5: In this kind of situation companies are talking about increasing the work hours but I haven't come across any company which pays for extra(over) time in India. Always company gets compensation but not the employee. For companies who maintain the strict working hours why don't they think about paying for over time.
Posted by:chandra - 25 Nov, 2008
6: The article talks about the fact that the extra minute has to be compensated. What if an employee has to work more than their quota of 9.15 hours or whatever? Is the company going to apply the same standards to make sure the employee gets compensated?

This whole thing is approached in a very wrong way. The whole idea should be have the employee be productive during their work hours. With all the population in all these cities in India, the employee now has to commute longer to work and then home. The companies seems to lose focus on the family time for the fathers and mother who are working. They as a community need to worry about the next generation as well in terms of nourishment of love and affection from their parents. I hope sense prevails.
Posted by:Rama - 25 Nov, 2008
7: Contrary to the article, this could be benefit only those companies who have more fixed price engagements, as additional time would help them to complete engagements faster. And this is under the assumption that the additional 1 hour of time is spent productive.

Most T&M engagements are capped at 40 hours a week and I have not come across any clients willing to pay more than 40 hours a week, regardless of actual effort expended.

Top of all the benefits to the employer, the employee gets benefitted. Why? Because IT employees invariably work more than 10 hours a day on an average and this is not going to make much difference.
Posted by:Senior Manager from a large IT firm - 25 Nov, 2008
8: In recession more time to compensate work and revenue, and in boom time more time (unofficially) to compensate the workload.
What a irony, in all revenue is always for company.
Posted by:Vishal - 24 Nov, 2008
9: Excellent..........
If we see daily working hours it's already on an average 9 , Which was not measured so seriously, cause end result mattered.

Now if being seriously measured question is for the calculation given and looking into the points given in comment #1

Will the org invest as little as 15% of the revenue generated from the extra effort towards their human assets?
Posted by:Chandra - 24 Nov, 2008
10: IT is no more as glamorous and sexy as it used to be.
In a city like Mumbai, where u spend almost 1/3rd of your day in crowded trains/buses and traffic jams, working for another couple of hours is no good news for an individual and his personal/family/social life.

Medium and small scale IT companies are already squeezing out a lot of work from their employee. Most of my friends work 8:30 to 6:00 (9.5 hrs a day) and 6 days a week. That too 'officially'. For most, extending the shift for 3-4 hours more is a norm rather than exception. If someone doesn't do that, it shows up in his/her appraisals and incentives(if any). This clearly shows how so many IT companies are flaunting work-hours related rules, directly or indirectly.

This brings us to an important question? what for are we doing this all? for a good life? Stop kidding man...

The truth is that we have taken our home and family, our life and kids for granted. If we don't put in extra hours at office, we will have to pay for it.
But if don't put in enough time for our family, parents, wife, kids, relationships.... who is gonna ask? They will always be there...whether u care for them or not... After all, we are doing all this for them...

Lets strike a balance. When in office, lets refrain from any 'unofficial' activity. And when at home, lets enjoy and let enjoy our family and our relationships.

Lets face it. For a good relationship, quality as well as quantity of time is important. I can't tell my kid at 11.00 in the night, "hey, come on. Lets spend some quality time together...". Moments of quality time come from the quantity of time we spend with them...

Posted by:Sameer - 24 Nov, 2008
11: No dought 9plus working hour is too long.
It surely increase the productivity and revenues for the comapany. But on the other hand, It will also decrease the productivity of tech person.
Think 8.30 am to 6 pm, after this na koi umanag hai na koi tarang hai, jindagi bus ek kati patang hai.
Kaam karo aur karte karte mar jao...
If such things will carry on, then in future industries world may face lack of man power.
So let us stop such type of foolish thing
10 to 6 is better timing for company as well as for employee.
Posted by:YoursTruly - 24 Nov, 2008
12: Its great.. this should be the solutions rather than giving pink slips... I Understand that it will be little bit tough to work 1 more hour for tech people.. but in the recession time we should compensate this... Working 1 Hr more is the better option than loosing the job...
Posted by:ratan - 24 Nov, 2008
13: The work conditions of IT/BPO employees is very bad in India. If anyone who had a onsite opportunity would agree with me on this. Based on the 1948 factory act of india, they stated that work hours per day should not exceed 9 hours. Its high time that we have a labour law for IT/BPO professional considering the amount of stess in the work at hand. It should be more on the international standard of 8 hours per day (1 hour lunch tie included) i.e. 40 hours per week. Other countries also have a paid leave accounting for 4-6 weeks, with sick leave etc. When comparing our scenario, we are in a very bad position.
Do check out this facebook group, I think its a way we can fight back to get our rights
Posted by:karthik - 10 Jul, 2010