Home work is more fun

December 19th, 2011

I have never been able to understand the fixation bosses have with their teams working eight hours in office. Why should there be a swipe-in and swipe-out time? Why do you need to show your face in office all the time?

Why can’t more and more organisations allow people to work from home? And how do you know that people spend all the time in office working?

A few years ago I had met a senior journalist from the US at a training programme. An auto correspondent and a mother of three growing up children, I was surprised when she told me she never thought of quitting journalism to manage her family and home. What worked in her favour here, was that her organisation gave her the freedom to work from home.

A friend who recently changed her job tells me how her boss’ annoying habit of keeping a tab on her made her look out. “I like doing my meetings early in the morning. So I prefer leaving work early. But my boss would never consider that I have been out since morning and always want me around. More than anything else, this annoyed me,” she said.

HR consultants will tell you how employees today like multi-tasking, so they can listen to music and finish their work at the same time. They can meet their targets/deadlines in time and if not, will not mind burning the midnight oil to complete the task assigned.

The chief editor of a newspaper tells me how she understands the working style of the new generation and uses this as a retention tool. When she recruits people she tells them how working for her does not mean spending one’s life in office. “I am alright with my colleagues wanting to catch the latest film during office hours. I know people these days long for freedom. I ensure I give them that. This does not mean they take their work lightly or are irresponsible. I not only get my copies in time but also know I have honest employees,” she says.

One may argue, as many of our seniors in the industry do, that it’s important to be around in case of a news development. Fair enough. But how do you know we would not try to work from wherever we are. Its as much our job.

It may also be argued that this kind of freedom may make the team members lazy and irresponsible. Well, how do you know?

I think, today if its about money, it is also about working at a place where people are mentally at peace. Employees know they jobs and know that the same will be in line if the targets are not met and performance is not satisfactory. So may be the bosses can work with the human resource departments to re-look at their strategies and give themselves and their employees a chance– at freedom.

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