Saturday, January 6, 2007

Offshore : Working Extra Hours

I don't now work in the offshore industry, but come from such a background. I can't stress enough the importance of this industry for all the involved parties. India has already proved that it can be one of the main national income sources. Philosophically, free trade is beneficial to all parties involved even though there are many criticisms. (Criticisms against it in developed countries highlighting facts such as job-cuts,low quality is a whole new discussion)

Another side of this industry is general need to work long hours, which is not healthy for employees, but the other side of the coin is the fact that key business drivers of this specific industry such as less cost and time for deliveries and the time difference in operational locations require long hours of work. I found following article to be pretty interesting on this topic but very HR oriented.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/ew/2004/01/07/stories/2004010700110200.htm

However, I do not think this covers the whole lot of issues. For example, many companies face resource issues (including top brands such as Infosys) but still they take on any new worthwhile project on board regardless of whether they have resources or not. Offshore scene is filled with immature leadership from company management through to project management including account and location levels due to the quick promotion patterns. So these are the people who preach importance of work-life balance but shoot the concept themselves by taking on whatever the project that comes their way to make sure they do not loose the last cent possible and also come-up with unpractical project plans. Doing such plans due to client pressure could be minimised by internal (eg : Allocating more people or distributing work within team more efficiently) or external (eg : Getting client agreement in to a later delivery date) solutions. These kind of issues can not be answered by HR solutions only, but they need to be driven by core business principles.

This is a brief thing on a very complicated and vast issue and there are many more relevant things in here to be discussed.

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