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Dinesh DivekarDear Chaitanya,
In what capacity you have written this post is not clear. Are you an HR professional or a victim of work-life imbalance?
At the end of your post, you have suggested, "My wild imagination suggests hire twice the amount of employees for the team halving the salaries and hours per week or some similar solution."
I don't know what your exposure to the job market is, nevertheless, getting the right kind of manpower even with a full salary is difficult. Now you suggest that halve the salary and double the manpower. However, in such a scenario, will the cost of recruitment not go up? Secondly, more people would require more supervision as well. Who will fund the additional supervisors' or managers' salaries?
Yes, a work-life balance is important for a healthy work culture in the company. To promote work-life balance, HR professionals can:
a) Study the pattern of work-life imbalance and identify the departments in which it exists most. Do the time and motion study and find out whether there is understaffing in any department.
b) Identify the root cause of the work-life imbalance. The imbalance may not be due to low manpower but maybe because of wrong systems and processes. Find out are the people putting a cart before the horse?
c) People work extra hours because they spend time doing rework. Identify what % of the time is spent on rework. Are the people adequately skilled?
d) Identify the infrastructure bottlenecks or inadequacy of the physical resources, if any.
e) Find out whether or not people have adequate IQ to execute the jobs. Don't expect error-free work from the dumb folks!
f) Lastly, identify the cost of work-life imbalance. The management understands the language of cost only. They need to be presented with the facts and figures on how the work-life imbalance impacts the business.
g) Notwithstanding what I have written (f) above, in a large number of companies, the bosses expect people to stay at the workplace for a long time. If the bosses themselves are crazy about working for long, no amount of grumbling by the staff will work.
h) The bosses like to work long hours in the office because they have a penchant for managing the people rather than managing the business results. To tide over this problem, the HR professionals may find out the cost(s) and ratio(s) associated with the business and focus only on optimising ratio(s) or cost(s).
I hope the above suggestions are fine with you.
One more point about unemployment in the country. By doubling the manpower, you feel that the problem of unemployment can be reduced. Nevertheless, those who are in the business organisation, do not have to worry about unemployment. How to reduce unemployment should be the worry of the government of the day. Our job is to satisfy the customers or improve the competitiveness of the business enterprise by bringing innovative products and services.
From India, Bangalore
Harsh ShuklaHi Chaitanya,
As usual an excellent response from Dinesh.
In my organisation, we have introduced, flexible working hours and one day working from home on condition that targets and KPI's, etc. must still be achieved, if not then the benefit will be withdrawn.
Obviously this will not work for all businesses.
From United Kingdom, Barrow
assharmaI think work life balance may be your planning. Take sometime off sit calmly and mentally deliberate on this issue. Pen down your thoughts. You will get some solution.
From India, Gurgaon
Dinesh DivekarDear Mr Harsh Shukla,
Thanks for your reply. The cause of work-life imbalance is inordinate or too long working hours. Whether the fixed hours or flexihours, as long as the employees leave on time or work exactly for the scheduled hours, the imbalance does not occur.
The work-life imbalance disturbs the personal life. It leaves no room for the leisure or hobbies. The energy is drained out to such an extent that the employees do not enjoy their weekends. They cannot spend quality time with their loved ones. The side-effects of the imbalance are many.
From India, Bangalore
Work Life Balance - The word came from Western Countries in the last few decades and popularly discussed for several years. But in my 30 plus years of experience in the filed, no one is able to provide a right solution to such problems of employees in most of the commercial / business driven organizations except nearing to or showing to provide some mitigation measures. In the economic burst out activities all business houses running to achieve their profit and expansions in their business to survive- grow. I strongly believe that in any organization in the mode of SURVIVAL or GROWTH, there is remote possibility of Work Life Balance but we need to run and run and run until we are part of such organizations. In case of STAGNATED organizations or GROWN organizations, there is possibility to think for scope of Work and Life Balance. Hence it all depends on what type of mode the organization is in and what type of competition they are facing and so on. Many may differ with this view but this is my experience which with all humble feeling I share to this forum.
I recall when 20 years back when I worked for a GROWN company, ( Head Office) we had a policy that the Lights and Computers electricity connection is switched off at 5.30 PM and only will be on next day at 9.00 AM. The security ensures that all the employees leave the premises at 6.00 maximum. Even in some of the offices of this company still follow the same practice and no work on Saturdays and Sundays. You need not worry about replying to mails during week end and you are not bound to any compulsion to pick up phone calls after working hours. It is HEAVEN like. But coming to Manufacturing Plants of the same company the scenario is entirely different from those days upto now that people run and work like with mantra " WORK IS LIFE" They provide all good facilities and benefits considering the hard work of people. We can not find any wrong as the factories only provide profit and provides salary, life style to thousands and thousands of employees.
Hence in case of Employees working in GROWING or EXPANDING or SRVIVAL mode then no choice the employees need to tune themselves from WORK LIFE BALANCE to WORK IS LIFE Mode. I am saying this from practical point of view as we spend nearly 25 years of age to enter into job and in present scenario we can only work maximum upto 50 years in recent times.( Or maximum 55 years of age) Hence productively we work for only around 25 to 30 years which is very important to gain as much Wealth as possible as an Employee ( As we are in the state of Tax and Tax and further Tax ) and also to save possible balance for our after career time. Hence WORK IS LIFE is order of the day.
I share few thoughts on this important topic:
- No company will afford to keep Double number of employees ( say in place of 500 needed number to keep 1000 employees) as it is huge cost impacting to the company and may lead to so many other aspects like under performance, idle mind- devils workshop and will bring the health of the organization too much down. Even we will not do this as a Common Man. In our house for a small work to be done by 1 person we will not keep 2.
- If you closely observe the problems in WORK LIFE BALANCE it is mainly arise from the IMMEDIATE MANAGER as they pass on their total pressure down the line and expect the employees to work like MAD SLAVES which is totally wrong.
-In another organization where I worked few years back, I saw a scenario on my joining that people suffered work life balance very badly and they were not able to do justice in their family front. Many employees kept all their leave in balance till year end and they get lapsed mercilessly and for some people they loose their full leave as they were not able to avail it due to work pressure as they called. I took 2 years to correct the systems by ways of :
- Monthly Leave balance circulation to all employees by text and mail and ensure that the Managers allow their team to take leave and when one is on leave the other employees of the same department balance the work.
-In case of machine operation, substitutes were organized to the required number off roll and provides on call support.
-In case of Middle and Senior level where the Work Life Balance Challenges were more, we fixed a small help desk like taking their family members to Hospital, Booking tickets, paying bills and buying provisions and so on and they were providing help desk service to all the members who book for the service
- We also identified people who did underperformance because of whom the others' work life balance was affected and given time frame to improve their work performance. Some were trained, some were put under PIP and some were given alternate work etc.
- People were given option to avail company cab for use of spouse and old age parents of the family for their needs as the employee is busy at work
- Large amount of Waste elimination like unwanted reports, unwanted meetings, unwanted activities eliminated with careful study. We also brought that all meetings will be STANDING MEETING only other than monthly review meetings. So that long meetings discouraged. We brought a policy that unless the Business leader allows no Meeting, VC can go beyond 15 minutes a day. The meeting agenda has to be circulated 24 hours before any meeting and to discuss to the point etc.
- Silent Leave policy for at least 1 day in a month where the employee was not disturbed for 24 hours by any one but the employee to be on his own with his family.
- We also automated many manual activities and gone with IT infrastructure to ease the work to be done with lesser time frame.
- We took it as a drive that every alternate employees know at least 2 more jobs in the organization and within the team they were rotated to take care of the other man's job during his leave. Such employees work as Support Hand were given additional remuneration once in a quarter to compensate their work extra mile.
- We adopted such more measures and within 2 years we could success to a large extent. Recent times I came to know that the employees never talk about " WORK LIFE BALANCE" now a days in that organization.
Hence we can not change the world running for economic and other needs, we can not change persons around who are running along as it is the order of day and everyone is a simple victim. Hence try to balance internally within and arrange activities that are to be done to balance and be in the race as long as we can be productive. Take family support to be free from family worry and elders help in this regard valuably. Like parents help in most of the domestic work as we should value them and take their support in taking care of children and so on. I am not completing this as many more authors will contribute on this important topic and take a collective reading. This is my view on this subject and take the best possible points.
From India, Chennai
indu 182Dear Dr. P. Sivakumar
Really appreciate your reply in detail and sparing your valuable time. Let me contribute something ( I am not much expert) as you grow in your career may be in Job or Business 24 hours of the day look less to complete your work. With every growing step our responsibilities increased. And one can't complain that he/she want achieve the Everest but without investing time and bearing the hardship of climbing. I have seen many people in my life who refuse promotion for the sake of spending good time with family or taking care of old aging parents. It is one has to decide him/herself what one want from life. Money and time both are opposite in direction. If you have money than time is short. If you have time than money is short. So decide yourself how to manage the show without complaining. No one else is going to help you. Just think calmly and sort out the issue.
From India, New Delhi
As Dinesh mentioned, your question is not clear.
If you are an employee struggling to maintain a work-life balance, here are some simple ways you can do it:
#Take time off between your work
#Plan and manage time properly
#Encourage a healthy lifestyle
#Encourage new hobbies
#Decide no work policy after work hours
On the other hand, if you are an HR manager/employer, hiring twice the number of employees will not help you. Instead, encourage a with the following measures:
#Offer flexible working hours
#Allow working from home
#Provide paid vacation time
#Take work-life balance surveys frequently
#Give maternal and paternal leaves
During COVID-19, companies like HROne have included gamification to encourage and engage employees.
So, you should primarily take good care of your existing employees and provide them with a work-life balance.
From India, Noida
HROneWork-life balance may seem like a new idea or concept in the corporate world, but it has been in the conversations for more than a decade now. In simple words, Work-life balance simply suggests the idea of carving out appropriate time for personal and professional life.
Now, coming back to the topic of hiring twice the amount of employees for the team, halving the salaries and hours per week seems a bit like an unorganised thought process.
When it comes to work-life balance, there are few workplace practices that employees must adopt to support their employees achieve the right balance.
#Offer flexible and remote working
#Managers must focus on productivity rather than hours
#Employees must be encouraged to take breaks
#Regulate the workloads
#Employees must be given time to volunteer
#Ask your employees for insights
It is crucial that managers and supervisors also share and enjoy a healthy work-life balance too.
“You can’t have everything you want, but you can have the things that really matter to you.” —Marissa Mayer, former president, and CEO of Yahoo.
From India, Noida
saswatabanerjeeThe solution given by the OP is interesting
He says double the people and half the working hours
That would also mean half the salary to those employed
I wonder how many can afford or will accept that as a solution?
From India, Mumbai