Sunday, August 5, 2007

Are you working late these days? Perhaps you shoudn't!

How many of you guys work late? I don;t mean an extra 30 minutes or anything, I mean a few hours. Get home just in time for dinner or sometimes even have dinner in the office?

I have worked late or the past 5 years of my life. Maybe not evey day but at least once a week. For some reason this kind of culture is slowly but steadily creeping into most companies in Kuwait! I recicved this forward from a friendtelling readers how employees in large corporations in bangalore work late just for the free internet and coffe! As cheap as this may sound it is atually the truth. Kuwait is not far behind! In my previous jobs the entire Finance department used to be in until about 8 or 9 pm! Senior managment thought the guys were real hard workers. Nobody realized that they'd only walk into the office at around 11 am pretty much making up for working late thus erasing any extra hours they'd put in.

Bosses too have become acustomed to a certain employee that puts in extra hours while most of the time he or she is just downloading songs or surfing the internet for books, movie reviews or ordering that accessory for their car! And what happens inadvertently is that the boss gets acustomed to the "late" hours and once there is a change in lifestyle (like the employee in question gets married for example) he or she may not be able to put in those extra hours. Then the once diligent and enthusiastic worker gets another label - "a work shirker".

Isn't that a bit cruel? Aren't we entitled to have a life of our own? I sincerely believe that your employer pays you for your services for the 8 hours (or however many hours your company sees fit!!!) you put in on a daily basis. How you manage your work and your time is entirely up to you. If there's something that needs to be done, you've got to get it done. Unless there's something that needs urgent attention or unless you're an ER surgeon you have the right to enjoy your evenings and your weekends. So for those of you who intentionally work late: cultivate some interest or find a hobby. Or just plain and simple - get a life!


Flaming Carrot said...

Management who assume that the lingering employee is catching more worm only have to give sales reports or productivity a second glance.

For those working on comission basis or reaching targets, it pays to work late from either work or home.

Alot of people would rather vegetate into the couch than nourish that long lost habit. I did get back to a hobby briefly, but began hovering towards the remote more often. After that decided work was the better option after hours....

Lord Raj said...

Simply put - get a life
LOL.. now that was nice.

Agree with all your points. jus wanna put in some thoughts of my own.

In my opinion, the Management shouldnt insist on any set "in n out" time.

What should be insisted on is completion of work/assignment. if you manage to finish your work by 12 in the noon.. get up n go.. if the work makes u sit till 5 in the evenin... stay back n complete it.

the emphasis on an "in n out" time, in my opinion is n will always be a wrong approach (atleast for most offices, some offices like sales or support services or govt offices or ministries etc - i guess the timin is important - but these arent the employees who would be sittin late - unless n until they really have to).

BarryUno said...

There are times I don't mind going in to work on a thursday (usually a rest day for me) because I have less interruptions and can complete plans and reports faster. But when management asks you to work on a project over the weekend and then throws a tantrum if you show up late the next week is totally absurd! Whatever happened to balance? There was a time in my previous assignment when I was on a business trip and was working on the Kuwait weekend. I got back on a saturday afternoon and told my director I wasn't going to show up to work until Sunday morning. He said I had to come in right away!

Personally I have to agree with raj. Unless you're in a job that demands working late, you don't realy HAVE to stay late. It's not productive for a company when an employee completes a task before time and then just lingers around surfing for porn or downloading music. From their point of view (literally) they like it when they have a visual of the employee. As long as you're in the building, you're doing work. They need to SEE you! Pisses the crap out of me sometimes!

rubick said...

In my opinion it is not worth it. Our work is hardly ever recognised after years and years of staying late and working on weekends.When its time for promotions its the guys with fancy passports and the guys who kiss the bosses' asses that get the raises and promotions.It doesnt matter if you work hard or hardly in this country as long as you know how to manipulate your work and make it look like youre doing the umpossible, you'll do well.My boss used to say don't work hard,work smart!

BarryUno said...

"Work smart, not hard"? Hmmm....sounds like someone I know. To be honest that is the mantra most people of the younger generation are adapting nowadays. Besides I think the people in Kuwait at the moment (the Asian expats) are in many ways better qualified than their predecessors were in the 70s and the 80s. Exposure to other work cultures and atmosphere has given them the ability to stand up to their bosses if they're being harrassed and not take any crap from them which is something that is comendable.

Of course there will always be ass-kissers and yes men!

AG said...

I personally dont understand this concept of staying in office till late hours to impress your management, i was quite defiant of this culture even when i was working with Rajat Sharma in India. (Which happenned to be my first job as well.) This concept does not take one far in terms of career growth.

It is a silly concept and i think no management should encourage it. To stay in the office for the heck of it, doesnt make any sense. Ofcourse if you have work and you have to stay in till late then its fine...

Rather its better to be done with work on time and then enjoy other things in your life, which also require equal priority.

Aabha Gandhi.

BarryUno said...

Absolutely right Aabha!

But having just given it another thought one has to admit, it's the employees that should be blamed as well. After all they're the ones that start it and set (bad) examples for other to follow. Bad examples for managment to encourage!

Rayboy said...

For workaholics like me, Kuwait dont have anything else to offer than the "beauty of working " ... ok ok i might have slowed down after getting married....

But what else can you do in kuwait?

apart from the above woes from me. What i dont like is the following

People who dump work on others

People who mess up work big time, that its useless distributing work , so you end up doing everything yourself.

Companies , who dont appreciate how much you work.

Companies , who dont pay you for the efforts you put in.

anything else?