Working Hard or Just Working Late?

Sometime back, I came across this exceptionally brilliant e-mail sent by N R Narayan Murthy to all Infosys employees. The letter is an instant eye-opener. Working late doesn’t always mean working hard or giving your one hundred percent, rather it raises a question on our performance, efficiency and accuracy. Here’s the letter, I would like to remember.

To: Dear All, 

It’s half past 8 in the office but the lights are still on… PCs still running, coffee machines still buzzing… and who’s at work? Most of them? Take a closer look…
All or most specimens are? Something male species of the human race… Look closer… again all or most of them are bachelors…
And why are they sitting late? Working hard? No way!!!
Any guesses? 
Let’s ask one of them…
Here’s what he says, “What’s there to do after going home. Here we get to surf, A/C, phone, food, coffee. That is why I am working late..” 
Importantly no boss! 

This is the scene in most research centers and software companies and other off-shore offices. Bachelors “time-passing” during late hours in the office just because they say they’ve nothing else to do. Now what are the consequences?

Read on…

“Working” (for the record only) late hours soon becomes part of the institute or company culture. With bosses more than eager to provide support to those “working” late in the form of taxi vouchers, food vouchers and of course good feedback (oh, he’s a hard worker, goes home only to change!). They aren’t helping things too. To hell with bosses who don’t understand the difference between “sitting” late and “working” late! 

Very soon, the boss starts expecting all employees to put in extra working hours. So, my dear Bachelors, let me tell you, life changes when u get married and start having a family. Office is no longer a priority, family is…and that’s when the problem starts… because u start having commitments at home too.
For your boss, the earlier “hardworking” guy suddenly seems to become an “early leaver” even if u leaves an hour after regular time. After doing the same amount of work. People leaving on time after doing their tasks for the day are labeled as work-shirkers.
Girls who thankfully always (its changing nowadays, though) leave on time are labeled as “not up to it”. All the while, the bachelors pat their own backs and carry on “working” not realizing that they are spoiling the work culture at their own place and never realize that they would have to regret at one point of time.

So what’s the moral of the story?
Very clear, LEAVE ON TIME!!!
Never put in extra time, unless really needed.
Don’t stay back unnecessarily and spoil your company work culture which will in turn cause inconvenience to you and your colleagues.
There are hundred other things to do in the evening.
Learn music. 
Learn a foreign language. 
Try a sport… TT, Cricket.
Importantly, get a girlfriend or gal friend, take him/her around town, and for heaven’s sake net cafe rates have dropped to an all-time low (plus, no firewalls) and try cooking for a change.
Take a tip from the Smirnoff ad: *”Life’s calling, where are you??”*
Please pass on this message to all those colleagues and please do it before leaving time, don’t stay back till midnight to forward this!!!


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