Dear Indian IT companies,
I have been reading everywhere that you are making your employees work longer than usual. I read that employees may need to work on weekends, or work on an average each day for 9 hours or more?
Just what exactly are you trying to achieve is beyond me. As far as I know, we are entering some sort of a slowdown. All around me, factories are doing exactly the reverse. They are working lesser. If they went your way, they would be producing more cars (or cement or shoes). But they arent, because not everybody is interested in buying a car (or cement or new shoes) during a recession.
So, what is different about your business? I have never known a restaurant that gets more customers simply because its cooks work an extra hour each day.
What happened to paradigms of smarter, efficient and cutting down wasteful labour? And if employees work longer, surely, you will have to get in more work? Just who is waiting to give you more work in these troubled times?
And not one, almost all companies in one great migratory bird type of reaction have decided that South is the way to go.
Heres a thought. How about thinking contrarian? Reduce the week to 4 days - save money on cost, transport, power and associated infrastructure? Or give a summer vacation week off to employees on a rotation basis, so that they go home and enjoy time with their families? Sure, don't pay them for it. They will only be too happy about it - atleast they know their jobs are secure, by and large.
Or, getting your employees to work from home one day a week on a rotation basis? That will free up atleast one building or a floor occupancy.
Or if you are a start up, simply give up your office. Whoever said work has to be done by travelling to a central location each day? Meet once a month at an offsite - the rest can be handled virtually. Don't trust your employees? Oh come on. Change your hiring process and grow up.
Heres another thought. Encourage them to come up with their own ideas to float a business. For those who qualify, give them your office space free for incubation for 3 months. Charge them for using infrastructure if they wish to continue after 3 -6 months. If it works, great, take a share in it, else take the employee back.
Downturns make people do strange things. Sometimes, it helps them think. Use this downturn to earn goodwill amongst your employees. They will remember when it is back to boom times.
I am a fan of Indian IT- been so for a long time. The reason why your model evolved was partly because your staff was very smart, but also because you figured out that work need not be done at the place where it is created - and thus was created offshoring and an entirel business model. I am hoping you use this downturn to turn some commonly accepted practices upside down...
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Dear Indian IT companies,