Long Work Hours Remain Persistent Problem One Year into Lockdown

Pandemic has changed the lives, has affected to all more or less. But if we speak specifically about the work from home employees, than probably they are the ones who are giving more than 200% now, as compared to the time when they actually had to step in the office. In fact as per the research and the survey conducted, It stated that the employees work hours had tremendously increased during the COVID-19 lockdown.  It is high time that employers or businesses understand that work from home also comes with the same 8-9 hours job, and not being available 24/7.

If you’re at a managerial post, there’s a that needs your attention, and it all adds to the increasing workload; apparently, significant technologists feel squeezed by all of this and are demanded to be remain present online, and constantly work for longer hours. As per one of the research conducted in the year 2020, it was found that in the remote IT jobs USA, and even in other parts of the world, employees were working for long hours and had more number of meetings. It also revealed that this lead to tensions in maintaining the work-life balance for remote employees.

On the contrary, the longer working days are necessary in this situation, says the Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy, who believes that workers should ideally put in 60 hours a week, 10 hours a day, in 6 days of the week for the coming 2-3 years in order to revive economic growth. Nevertheless, there’s no doubt that in some of the cases, long working hours would increase the productivity of the labor and the output growth. But it is a move that will shift the burden very disproportionately onto the workers. Unless the salary increases in proportion, it is only going to worsen distribution thereby reducing the wage share.  Narayana Murthy’s take on it, would imply high rate of growth and probably larger output too, where workers will be seeing no increase in the work hours. But what would be the worker’s reaction to this? If workers are expected to work for long working hours, then ideally first, they must be paid higher. 

Even if for an instance we consider that wages will increase vis a vis the productivity, wherein there’s a situation where the workers are supposed to work for longer hours in order to revive the economy and so an increase in growth and output will be seen, but not the employee welfare. It is high time that organization understands that the human body is not a machine which can be replaced if it is breaking down. Working for long hours will only lead to greater stress and eventually a lower quality of life for the employees.

Development of the productive economy truly happens when organizations produces a higher level of output, thereby also ensuring high wages for the workers, while also considering the adequate leisure time that all of us require. This is how work-life balance will take place. The redesigning of policies these days, that calls for or demands for increasing working hours treat employees as the means of only increasing output, bottom line, and the profits, and neglects how it affects productivity indirectly. Nevertheless, the situation remains the same whether you are looking for jobs in New York, or IT jobs in USA.

Lastly, during this recession period, wherein businesses are making lesser profits and workers are been facing unemployment, however, the situation is quite different. Workers have no choice and are willing to work for longer hours since they cannot survive without a regular income. But organizations make their expected profits any which way.

Organizations will be only undertaking the investments if they are expecting to make profits. In an economy where there is high unemployment and where the demand is low and is under the constant threat of a pandemic, organizations will never be undertaking large investments as they do not anticipate the ability to increase in profits. However, they would be happy to see the increased profits through the extension in the working hours. This is nothing but the growing unfairness of such policies into the stark relief. Businesses can earn higher profits wherein the working hours are also limited, while the labor would not see the rise in employment.

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