Whats wrong in IT?
Neeraj Shinde Wednesday, November 23, 2005 AnalyticalIndia’s sunshine industries or more specific the IT sector doubtlessly has a vast scope to grow for the years to come. With the ever increasing fame of the Information Technology and the service industries pertaining to it, every fresh graduate today dreams to occupy a respectable position in the industry. IT giants like TCS, Infosys and Wipro have already started hiring people from all education backgrounds. So it doesn’t really matter if you do not get admission to Computer Science or related streams. The basic idea is that these companies search for the real talent irrespective of their educational domain, hire them, train them and build them into professionals who can give the industry great returns. In turn the employee is rewarded with a much deserved respect and a fat salary the amount of which was not even thought of by his father when he was of his age.
Everything here looks fine, sounds great. But it’s not that easy owning a dignity and a handsome remuneration. There is a lot more to be analyzed that is hidden behind the scene. I have one of my roomies whom I meet only at the weekends. Just because he comes beyond 2 am and leaves at 7 am. We sleep in the same room but never see each other. Sometimes I meet him in the food-court or in the elevator. A weary body, a sleepless face with ungraceful eyes is what he seems to me. But he looks to be so contented by his work. He thinks this is his ladder to fulfill his dream, the dream to go onsite. Probably the difference in the IST and EST working hours force software engineers to wait and work for more than 14 hours a day. But that is not the only reason for long stretched working hours that I could think of. Employees are many times forced to work just to keep promises made to the customers. After all it is not only the customer satisfaction which the industry expects but it’s the ‘customer delight’ what it want for which it can make its employees walk an extra mile. In most of the cases this extra mile implies long working hours.
One of the persons hosting the technical excellence awards ceremony, while presenting the best employee award remarked, “He is the most excellent, diligent and hardworking persons in the company. When ever you come to office you will find him toiling on his laptop. He is the most deserving nominee for the award.”
Words like these encourage the practice of working till late hours and weaken the morale of other employees. Here I do not state that rewarding excellence is not a good practice but it does not necessarily mean that working beyond usual office hours means more work is done. Thus an excellent job done by an employee who works only for normal 8 hours a day becomes dim. I admit the fact that not all men are equal. Different men have different understanding and grasp over things. An employee who is not good in documentation might be a very good coder or vice versa. It’s not for how long you work but how good you work in your usual official time slot. If the company encounters an improper time estimation or lack of sufficient time for the promises being made to the customer, it should not make its employees force work beyond normal working hours. Here, the art of saying “No” would solve great problems and the current project statistics can be very well used to reframe the man hours required to quote estimates for future projects of similar nature.
The sector is rapidly growing with its diversified roots all over India or rather the world. It is quite natural that you will not get a job in Software Company in the same city where your family resides. A huge population working in this sector prefers to leave their homes and live in houses which are quite far from their dear ones. It is a matter of great prestige for their parents for their child being working in this respectable white-collared field. So much so that they don’t know what they are really missing in this course. Most people or rather colleagues I come across everyday seem so lost in their work that hardly could they realize that there is a world beyond their cubicle and projects. You ask them how a particular issue was resolved. They know it but never would they be able to answer questions that are irrelevant to their domain. The stress levels are so high that they seem lost in their own cave all the time. Neither could they enjoy their favorite sport nor a movie. Several stress management sessions and workshop prove futile over this. Most of the software engineers are normally below 25 and they could tolerate any kind of mental stress and physical stress caused to them. But the effects are not immediate. Senior officials have reportedly found suffering from physical disorders, back ailments and mental fatigue. A bulging stomach is not at all a new thing in them. It is simply because not even 10 percent of them ever think of things like exercising and physical fitness. Asked to most of them the excuse they give is that of heavy work load and busy time schedules.
No matter whatever you gain here, it is for sure that you loose more than you gain. After all we work for our betterment and a healthy future. We all are professionals, but just ask the human within you. How much time you devote for your family, to your hobbies, to your friends, to your girlfriend? You are someone’s son, someone’s brother may be someone else lifetime asset. Work, but do not loose your identity. I am happy that company has started analyzing employees who are in on time and who are out on time but still I wonder the foolproof ness of this initiative. It is not only the customers’ satisfaction but also employees’ welfare that a Software Company should be concentrating at. These are some serious issues and need to be handled in its initial phase before they could develop deep roots in our lives and make it a hell.
Just give a thought!