BANGALORE: Technology firms are increasing working hours and monitoring the hours worked far more rigorously than ever before in a bid to squeeze
more out of employees in these difficult times.
Some are even going to the extent of checking the recess hour of their employees, to make sure that lunch sessions and coffee breaks do not cut into their per-day productivity.
TCS has recently increased the working hours by an hour a day to 9 hours. From January 1, 2009, Accenture India will do the same, becoming perhaps the first MNC in India to move to longer working hours.
Wipro employees already put in 9.5 hours (8.30 am to 6pm) a day including a brief lunch break, while it's 9.15 hours in Infosys. But these weren't implemented stringently; until now.
“It's sort of mandatory for us now to put in 9.5 hours of work a day. Our HR seems to be monitoring it very closely these days and even a 15 minute shortage/delay is being noticed,” said a Wipro employee who got a reminder for short-swiping a few days ago.
Infosys Technologies head (HR) T V Mohandas Pai said the company has stringent measures to make sure employees put in the required 9.15 hours every day.
An increase in working hours will directly impact productivity and revenues. For instance, by increasing work hours by an hour a day an employee works an additional 22 hours a month. If an hour of his/her work is billed at $20, the company makes an additional billing of $440 per employee. That means, in rupee terms, a single employee can bring in additional revenues of Rs 22,000 a month for the company.
Such work time extension works well for projects that are on what is called the ‘time & material' model. Around 70 per cent of tech projects are currently under this model, while the rest are fixed price projects where the service providers may resort to pruning the size of teams to bringing cost down.
“Companies, by and large, are targeting a per employee productivity enhancement of 15 per cent,” said a strategist working with an MNC firm. Employees are, understandably, unhappy. “Some people are good and are capable of finishing even the extra work that is given to them in 8 hours. So they are wondering why they should hang around for 9 hours,” said an employee of Accenture India.