Thursday, May 26, 2011

48 hr/wk working time

Here in India, most people work on Saturdays just like we used to work on Saturdays in Japan. I remember going to school on Saturdays (only half a day), but it was a standard until the government changed it to be every other Saturday some time in the mid 1970's. And I think it was in the 1980's, all schools, public services, and companies adopted the 5 working day system due to the pressure from OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) and ILO (International Labor Organization) that were regulating the max hours per week to be less than 48 hrs/week.

I found a recent report by OECD about working hours in each country and found it rather interesting. 
According to this article, Mexico has the longest working hours of 9.9 hrs/day doing paid or unpaid work. The unpaid work which mainly is the housework (such as cooking, cleaning, caring, and shopping), it sort of makes sense. If you only take a look at paid work hours, Japan comes in first, and India seems to be 7th out of 29 countries.

I am not sure how they gathered the data, and certainly it is interesting to realize that the US only came in 8th or so in terms of paid work hours. Why? Because I know how much Americans work, especially in the IT industry and startups. In the past, my American boss's email typically started to come in around 5am and stopped around midnight. Certainly working long hours does not mean that productivity is high, but as business becomes more global and 24-hour business flow becomes an essential factor for most of the companies, it was inevitable that the managers at global companies end up working long hours. After all, it is a job, which is a part of our lives. But yet, we all need to find the way to balance work and private life. Maybe yoga before going to work, 15 or so mins of meditation in the evening, etc (okay... these are on my wishlist ^^).

Anyway, I've been watching this man (well, I can see him no matter what, because he is right outside of the window of our hotel) for a while now.... Literally everyday, he has these wonderful of napping hourS.  Boy wouldn't it be nice to take a nap and get paid?  Maybe the manager can plan better to utilize his time a bit better, too (maybe giving him a bit more challenging work??). 

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