Workplace Innovation~ investing into people

NoteRecently i read a very interesting article on 37signals blog on workplace experiment. 37signals an Innovative company focusing on building products for the web invests into it employees and works on finding ways to improve work productivity. Its not 37signals that invests into it but as we all know Google is famous for its Google Plex, free food policy and 10% of time for creative ideas. Investing on employees is on rule that every CEO & co founder of the company knows about it. Its a basic theory that the success of a company is depending on its workforce and its the investment in People thats build big companies.

Though this rule has been around since ages but unfortunately very few make any effort to follow it. Some might say big companies with big cash flow can afford such luxuries but is it all money that matters. Generally if I compare to our local market in Pakistan there is hardly any company that invests in such regards. Most believe in giving health insurance, annual bonus and paid leaves as an innovative way of investing into there employees. Even with that people do switch jobs , such things do support employees financially but it does not add up into any way of adding efficient & creative working environments. 90% people still hate there Job and Monday is a nightmare to them & of course all companies want overtime from there employees.

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Keeping weekend as there core motivation for all of us as every Monday in our mind we calculate till Friday 37signals decided to make 4 days of work week rather then 5 days i.e. Monday – Thursday and of course increased working hours to probably 11 hours a day which means that being a programmer the longer you code the more work gets done rather then breaking it into less hours on code and then next day first reading through what you had done previously and then start again.

The feedback from 37signal ” Three-day weekends mean people come back extra refreshed on Monday. Three-day weekends mean people come back happier on Monday. Three-day weekends mean people actually work harder and more efficiently during the four-day work week”.

On the other Hand Yahoo introduced resting room during the day if you are working long hours you can take a nap at the rest room which in some people thought is abusive as humans are treated as machines but a 30 minute nap in the after noon scientifically freshens you up. These are a few things that wont add huge cash costs to the company but will definitely improve productivity and employees motivation to work.

On our end companies in Pakistan focus on finding ways to increase work hours, trying best to make employees work late hours (5 of my close friends state that if they try to get out of office on time there boss’s face swells and there are bad looks)… and if i talk in terms of work hours and analyze the productivity time between an 8 hours shift i would say people only work 4 productive hours during an 8 hours shift and rest is gone in drain on lunch / facebook/ orkut / newspapers and many such activities.

This is a huge topic which need research and continuous innovation the way the people work, how to make work environment enjoyable rather then cubical torture rooms …. make them color full & casual like Google and of course such stuff do reflect what the company comes out with ..

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2 thoughts on “Workplace Innovation~ investing into people

  1. Good effort dude. Actually we have to change the way the way we think and stop being a Baniya

  2. Well said. The basic problem is with the “mentality”. Today, organizations can easily afford to pay $1000 USD to their employees but they don’t. At least they can use it to motivate their employees and actually GIVE them this amount. Along with stressing on productivity rather than increasing work hours. To be honest, it’s still the paindoo mentality that since we have employed the person, so we own him now. I’ve seen people who seem “reasonable” do this.
    Also, just like this kind of mentality does not believe in quality of life, similarly they don’t believe in “quality of service” either. The things they build SUCK as it all comes down to this:

    1. Happy Employees = Productive Employees
    2. Productive Employees = Profit++

    But may be someone with a typical mindset reading this comment must be writing these things down on a piece of paper to understand the relationship … ha!

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