Work Hours, Productivity, – 70 Hours Work Per Week – Tools to Improve Productivity and Create Surplus for Enterprise

The recent statement by a prominent Indian entrepreneur, urging young people in India to work 70 hours a week has ignited a national debate on work hours and productivity. The said proposal has prompted a wider discussion on the correlation between working hours and economic development. Here is a quick overview of a few notable responses to the topic.

Entrepreneur’s Perspectives

Ronnie Screwvala, an Indian entrepreneur, emphasizes that boosting productivity is not solely about working longer hours but involves upskilling, fostering a positive work environment, and ensuring fair pay. His view is more on Quality vs. Quantity.  Achieving a balance between quality and quantity requires effective time management. Enhancing productivity involves prioritizing tasks and concentrating on high-impact activities.

Business Leaders’ Perspectives

CP Gurnani, CEO of Tech Mahindra suggested individuals to invest time not just in their jobs but also in personal development and national progress.

Sajjan Jindal, Chairman of JSW Group, argues against a five-day week culture, and supported higher working hours. He stated that it is not about burnout, it’s about dedication. We have to make India an economic superpower that we can all be proud of in India 2047.

Legal Perspectives

India’s current labor laws prohibit a 70-hour work week, with the maximum allowable being 48 hours. Implementing 70 hours work schedule per week would necessitate a significant legal change, a process likely to face opposition from labor unions and other stakeholders.

Conclusion

The debate on working hours in India is multifaceted, encompassing concerns about productivity, employee well-being, and adherence to labor laws. Striking a balance between a competitive work environment and ensuring the welfare of workers is crucial.  Many Clinical psychologists argued against long working hours by pointing out number clinical cases which they handle related to work pressure.

According to reports published by ILO – Over one-third of the global workforce consistently engages in more than 48 hours of work per week, while a significant portion, accounting for a fifth of the workforce, operates on the opposite end, working short (part-time) hours of less than 35 per week. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), Indians already have one of the longest average work weeks globally, with an average of 47.7 hours per week per employed person.  Some developed countries, such as Belgium and the UK, have experimented with four-day work weeks to enhance productivity and employee well-being. Reports from the UK suggest extensive benefits, including improved well-being and increased productivity, leading to a potential shift in attitudes towards shorter work weeks.

Ultimately, it is for the individual to decide about the hours they need to work to build up a career/ profession for them, and in turn strengthen country’s economy.  There are many who work more than 70 hours not only in India but worldwide. Many of the entrepreneurs revealed in multiple platforms about the long hours which they put in to make their enterprise successful. Definitely they would have mixed quantity matching with quality to achieve such successes.  Elon Musk’s’ routine mentions that by dividing his time between four companies, he works anywhere from 80-100 hours a week, averaging about 16+ hours a day.  As soon as he opens his eyes in the morning, he gets straight into the action.

Further, in India, one can find many street vendors, taxi drivers, delivery boys working more than 70 hours per week to meet their daily needs and create surplus. Not only in that segment, the most successful doctors, professionals, politicians, and entrepreneurs stretch more than 70 hours per week to ensure full buoyancy of their services rather than to create surplus in their income.  The work life balance in the above segment is not a matter of concern for many of the Human resource professionals as well as Clinical psychologists.

Working more hours while maintaining same level of productivity would have positive impact on the bottom line of an enterprise.  It is for the management to bring effective productivity tools which allow employees to prioritize tasks and concentrate on high-impact activities to bring balance between quality and quantity.  The legal structure is modifiable in any country, and now the labor act permits working up to 12 hours per day.

Finaly, it is for the individual to decide on hours needed to work and the management should be flexible enough to allow employees to decide about the working hours. At the end of the day, one who could bring out more quality work in higher hours would meet success in their work sphere.

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