Working for 6 days a week is never a particularly appealing idea. Most people would agree that a single Sunday is not enough to wash away the fatigue of working throughout the week.
Till recently when my spouse had a 6 day work week, life outside of work was dreary, almost non-existent as the weekends were generally spent on routine household chores, stocking stuff for weekly consumption or for occasionally watching a movie. Others with a 6 day work week would admit to having a similar lacklustre schedule.
Surprisingly, now close to 100 years after the 5 days, ’40 hours’ work week was first instituted by Henry Ford, to boost productivity among workers, many Indian companies are still hesitant about adopting a 5 day culture.
It is interesting to note that from time to time, number of studies have indicated that working for long hours over a period of time does not increase productivity. Quite the reverse, productivity is supposed to drop beyond 40 hours of work per week (as per a research paper published in 2011, by the International Labour Organization).
Working for long hours over prolonged periods are known to cause strain, fatigue and burn out among the middle-aged people, thereby impacting cognitive performance and productivity, shows a study published in the American Journal of Epidemilogy [i].
In wake of the knowledge that productivity does not increase with a longer work week, the question arises :
Why are some Indian companies still on a 6 day work week?
Collaborative attitude vs. individual brilliance has always been a matter of debate. The subject elicits different responses depending on the socio-cultural context.
Countries like Japan,with team driven culture, have made remarkable progress in technology, thanks to their collaborative attitude. The American system and the European systems have been able to drive innovation with the help of their educational and legal frameworks that allow for collaboration between various people, encourage out of the box thinking and risk taking.
In the Indian society though individual brilliance is highly admired, but team working skills do not receive the desired consideration. Read more
Very few people will dispute the fact that managing expectations is critical to the success of any relationship, be it a business relationship, a professional relationship, or a personal relationship. A business that manages to balance the customers’ expectations with its product/service emerges successful. On the other hand, a business that fails to live up to the expectations of the customers, loses its customers to the competitors. At work, employees are rated on how often they exceed expectations, meet expectations or fail to meet expectations.
Managing expectations does not imply giving in to all the wishes of your clients or managers which you may think of as unreasonable, but it is about being objective, subtly putting across your views, setting the right expectations, communicating those expectations, and meeting the expectations. At work people need to manage expectations at different levels to ensure that their efforts are directed towards the desired outcomes and their performance gets noticed. As such those who can manage expectations well are often more productive at work.