A Change Of …

So in my previous article I shared different type of hours in a professional’s life. You can read it here.
In this article I would like to share and discuss some problems that we face as an organization, individuals and community/group/family because of some misconception and misunderstanding about these different type of hours. And how can we make a smaller change in our understanding, approach, culture, etc. to overcome these problems.

A change of Job contract or structure

Let’s discuss first about a problem that most of the organizations which work as service providers in Information technology and software development have to face. These organizations set goals/deadlines to serve their customers. These goals/deadlines can be anything like completion and launch of a software or a module/part of that software, get certain number of memberships or registrations for any service, get certain number of customer or projects by end of a quarter, etc. All of these goals/deadlines initially estimated by some team members within that organizations by making some assumptions and calculations. One of those calculations is number of hours that a person or team will spend working towards that goal.
So usually they assume 6-8 working hours for one person which make it total 30-40 hours a week. Now as per organization’s perspective if a person spends 9 hours in office it should be able to spend 8 hours on his/her actual job. But, usually this is not the case. Every single person working in an office usually take at least 1-hour break for lunch, prayer, etc. Although, it’s more than 1-hour actually. Then there are some who love having a phone conversation with their family, friends, ex-colleagues and loved ones during these office hours. Then some love to check social media, chat on WhatsApp and other IMs, watch video tutorials, discuss GOT or any other hot season and movies, smoke, tea/coffee, playing table tennis, mobile games, etc. A total of all these small and big breaks turn up to 3-4 hours or even more, which is alarming. As most of the employees are not going to work for 30-40 hours by following this routine and breaks. And most of these organizations are going to miss goals/deadlines and in the end will fail to serve clients.
The point here that I want to make is that organizations should discuss required number of working hours very clearly with employees. Most of the organizations put total number of working hours in their contract or discuss with new team members very casually in first HR meeting. They need to make sure that required number of working hours is very clear to employees and they need to emphasize it by randomly discussing it with employees or by putting a big sign board in their workplace to set expectations.

A change of Mindset

Let me ask you something. When you started your first job what was the question HR or interviewer asked you regarding weekends, late night sittings, etc.? It should be something like:

  • Will you be willing to spend extra time and go extra mile to complete your task at hand?
  • Will you be able to do late night sittings to meet deadlines?
  • Will you be able to come on weekends on need basics?
  • Etc.

Most of us usually say “Yes” without discussing or asking a simple question from our interviewer. I have asked almost similar type of question in most of the interviews from potential candidates in past. As I wanted to check two things. 1. If this person is really willing to be part of our team. 2. What is his/her concept of working/productive hours. And most of the time I were actually expecting a question. That question would be “What are your (organization’s) expectations from me in term of number of weekly working hours?” or something like that. So that I can explain them expected number of working hours. I am not so sure why. but, very few candidates actually asked me this question.
So point here is that even if most of the organizations don’t emphasize on required number of weekly hours. We should still try to meet this for our own interest and benefit. Because, by doing this we can meet most of the targets and deadlines. But, it will also help us achieve personal satisfaction. As we do have a very important belief of Hilal and Hiram in Islam. If we are doing a full time job and we are getting all the benefits of that job. But, we are not actually working for required number of hours than we might not actually deserve to be on that place and also our salary is not Hilal.

That’s why a change of mindset is required on individual level. And believe me with this change you will start seeing a different level of energy in yourself and your performance will start improving automatically which will result in greater success for you.

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