Wednesday, August 27, 2008

All in a days work

There was one comment from Luv2Cook (Thanks Luv2Cook, you gave me a topic to write about ;) )

Ok..Divya..I was talking to someone about work hours in India and since you talked about work in this post..thought I would ask you...

When you were in the US did you have a regular 8-5 schedule? and if yes did that change a lot when you moved back to India i.e. are you spending more time on work in India than when you were in the US?

Well, my work hours haven't changed drastically. Mainly because Cisco is a very flexible company in terms of work hours (read, you are expected to work anytime of the day ;) )

I used to "try" and get to work by 10 AM when I was in San Jose. Invariably it would be 10.30 or 11, sometimes even 12 (sigh!). Some days I would work from home, mostly I would avoid it (an empty home is not very appealing). When I came back in the evening really depended on what I was doing around 5 PM. Sometimes it would be 5.30 sometimes it would be 9.

Summary is, so long as I got the work done and in time, no one cared when I came or left. Of course if I had a meeting, and if i was expected to be present in person, I had to drag myself to work.

Cut to Cisco India. Pretty much the same. Thanks to me still working on my older project with my ex-team, I get to escape most day meetings @ work. But that translates to taking calls at night. I don't really mind unless I am extra sleepy and feeling extra lazy;)

But I get to work by 8.30AM and get back around 5 PM on days that I don't hit the gym. If I do go to the gym, I end up coming home around 7PM. And this is regardless of whether I have worked till 9PM previous night or 1 AM ;)

But I guess I would fall under an exception. Since I don't take office transport to work. AND since Subhash has to get to work by 9.15 AM. He drops me off in the morning and so we HAVE to leave at 8.15.

Otherwise in Cisco most people take the Cisco cabs and get to work in one of two cab shifts, either at 8.30 AM or 11 AM. The ones that come in the 8.30 AM cabs leave by 4.30 PM and the ones that take the 11 AM cabs leave by 7 PM. Of course, more or less everyone goes home and logs in to work some more ;)

I guess with most Indian product-based IT companies this is true as well. Fixed timings because of office transportation. Now for companies like Infy which are huge and can afford to have a range of timings, maybe hours are more flexible. But for smaller establishments, it is usually one, at the most two cab shifts.

So to cut a long story short, no, my life-story hasn't changed at all. But yes, in India, typically in the IT firms, since people get to and from work in official transportation having fixed hours, hours are a lot more restricted. Without meaning that you work only in those hours. Same as in the US. Of course those who come on their own, are masters of their own destiny ;)

All in all, I don't find much of a difference between India and the US. The popular perception is that people in India work more than in the US. If you ask me, the main difference is that a majority of the Indian IT work-force as we know it is in the Services sector (TCS, Wipro, Infosys etc). And a majority of the workforce in the US is product-based (Cisco, Intel, Microsoft etc). And invariably people in the service-oriented IT indistry put in more hours than the product guys. And that is where this perception originates :)


Laksh said...

Nice analysis. I would tend to agree since I used to work for services (read Wipro) in India and now work for a product based company in the US. I notice that the hours are what I choose. Earlier it was what the business demanded.

DivSu said...

Thanks for endorsing it Laksh :)

Luv2cook said...

Good post, Divya and thanks for responding :).

Sadly in the US I work for the state and so we have pretty non-flexible work schedules partly because we are expected to work when our customers work and they work when their customers come in :) (between 8-5) and unless I want to be extra productive and gain some "brownie points" with the boss or customers or something needs to be done THAT VERY SAME DAY, I do not need to login after 5. There is more than 90% of the office that doesn't login and provide ANY support after 5:00 unless they are notified of it prior. The 'desi' in me logs in after 5 to check on things. All in all, if I were to move back to India, from most people I heard this wouldn't continue for long i.e. logging in from home at my job is abnormal and not the norm! And I don't think anything beats the 2 min commute to the gym and 3 min commute to home here :-p.

DivSu said...

Ha! But then that is the advantage in working for the state :) Well, here too, you can work for the AP State Govt and continue with the trend ;)

Commute times, yeah. For me those are also not very different because I used to take the very notorious CA highways to work. If I mismatched my times to land on the road in sync with traffic, then a normal 10 minute commute would take 45 minutes sometimes even an hour. Its the same here. My clear road commute is 10 minutes, with traffic who knows how long it might take. Gym commute is still 2mins (its inside the Cisco campus;) )

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