Monday, August 14

Why work late?

During nightimes when you drive along ECP, the stretch from Keppel Road to Suntec City, do take a look at the office buildings.

You will be able to have a glimpse of plenty of Singapore's beautiful landscape - full of office buildings.
Now, find out which lights are still on, and tell yourself, "I shall not work there as it has long office hours"
That's what someone told me in the past.

Singapore has an official recommended cap of 44 work hours, which is considered high compared to many countries, a few of which only recommend a 35 hour work-week.

And on top of the already long work hours we have, professionals are working overtime. Why do you have that much work to do in the first place?

If you claimed that you are overworked, why isn't the company employing more people? I understand there are peak and lull periods. But I do not understand why there are perpetual peak periods.

One of the interesting findings I have learnt in the midst of coporate life is that people create work for other people, some of which are totally unneccessary. The boss ask the manager a casual question, "Why is our productivity so low these days?" The manager wants to give a good reply to ensure his promotion will be ASAP, and gets his workers to dig out data and revert to him ASAP. The worker spends 2 hours digging the data, spends 0.5 hour discussing the findings with the manager.
The manager in turn, spends another 0.5 hour carefully drafting his results to the boss.
And the boss spends 5 seconds typing a "Thanks."

Total time spent to get an answer for the boss:
Manager: 0.5 + 0.5 = 1 hour
Worker: 2 + 0.5 = 2.5 hours
All these work just to get a "Thanks" for the boss?
If the question was not asked, the manager will leave an hour earlier, and the worker 2 hours earlier.

The next month, productivity goes haywire again.
And the boss ask the same question all over again.

I am not encouraging people to shun work, just work that is meaningless.
Asking is the easy part, following up is time-consuming.

One of my friends who was way overworked walked into his boss office recently and demanded a $600 pay rise. Congrats, he got it.
Now he can continue to work insane hours for the rest of his life.

Are you working late because everyone else in your department is?
Why is that so?


Dumbo said...

Good one. Liked the raise bit (at the end).
I work in advertising, so we work like dogs. I told my boss "I'd rather you hire some more people than give me a pay rise". So he hired some more people.
And he plonked the whole bunch of them heavily on one other account.
So, we're still stuck at square one.
Now I'm not speaking to my boss.

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