So after a long ride we finally reached our weekend destination – THE FARM HOUSE near Lonavala. This was a long awaited break for the six of us.
Where our sole agenda was to party hard and catch up on good old times. How I wished that it stayed this way. Now let me tell you what actually happened. We all work in software environments at mid management levels. All was well, which means great exchange of what each of us were up to, future plans, and good food and beverages. But suddenly I have no clue of why I popped the question of ‘How’s work going?’ …. That was the mood dampener moment, since I was not at all prepared for the onslaught of concerns that rained upon me (and still bothers me in some way or the other). The discussion intensified as my friends shared worries like micro management, unfair appraisals, work life balance, career growth etc.
The weekend ended and we got on with our respective routines, but the entire ‘Work Leela’ stayed with me for long after. I realized these are very basic questions which typically we working professionals seek answers for. I thought of sharing my views on a couple of them here.
a) Freedom at Work
We are all expected to work for 8 hrs a day, with many offices now asking for 9.5 hours and even 10 hours, but honestly, do we? I admit I don’t. Also, can we? I mean it is not possible to work at a stretch like a machine. Of courses I need my refresher breaks every now and then. For me, these mean ecommerce website (just can’t resist the festive offers) & the social networking of course. Now I obviously don’t want my boss to see what I do in my personal time, yet I do want him to be convinced that I am working hard enough doing my job right. I know of so many bosses who resort to micro management to keep track of things. I never really understood this concept as it neither helps the manager nor the team, and moreover it kills the trust factor. Since I became a manager I realized that all that matters is whether the deliverables are being met in time? The concern should only kick in when this is not happening.
A tool which gives you the freedom in your workspace and also highlights all the effort you put in to get those numbers rolling. I will explain how. As an employee it tells my manager the ’EXACT’ amount of time that I have been putting in on actual work in office or at home, without worrying about my physical time in office. At the same time it will be my ‘MIRROR BUDDY’ and not let him know all my ‘REFRESHER ACTIVITES TIME’, bringing it only to my attention. Don’t you think it’s an awesome win-win for me and my manager? All he needs to be assured is I am doing justice to my job and at the same time I get to enjoy the free feeling . If at all I get carried away by the festive offers and end up spending too much time there, my Sapience Buddy will be there to remind me gently.
b) The ‘How’ part of going up the ladder a.k.a Appraisals
Come March we all will be frequenting temples and praying for a decent hike or that much awaited promotion. How much thought do we give to how they get decided? To be very honest, it is based on plain manager perceptions, like it or not. I will throw a TYPICAL scenario – People who do a regular 9 AM to 6 PM shift are considered as clock watchers v/s people who are in office for 10 hours or more and who are thought of working really hard. Now let me ask you a question – who according to you works more? An obvious answer would be the latter. What led you to assume that more time in the office must mean more work put in? So who gets a better appraisal? Has it made you put on your thinking cap?
Sapience will provide an objective ‘REPORT CARD’ about work effort – in office and at home, and as a long term average, ignoring details of all personal time. So maybe the 9-6 person is so focused that she is delivering more work than someone staying till late, taking lot of breaks and doing plenty of personal browsing. Ain’t that great? Perception is now shown the door
Never ever ask ‘How’s work’ when on a fun trip with your pals.