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Indians tend to work long hours; men for ‘influence’ & women for ‘promotion’
HRK News Bureau | Bengaluru | Friday, 10 June 2016

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Around 76 per cent of the respondents cited ‘prospect of a higher income’ as the primary reason to work long hours. ‘Promotion’ emerged as the second most important factor with 55 per cent votes, while ‘personal development’ came in next with 42 per cent votes.

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As per Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an international economic organisation of 34 countries, Mexicans put in more than 42 hours per week at work, and this tends to be on the higher side. In France, Denmark, Norway, Netherlands and Germany, workers put in less than 30 hours a week.

Compare this to India. As per a recent study by Randstad, 40 per cent of the respondents (46 per cent men and 32 per cent women) claim to put in more than 45 hours a week at work. However, the average duration of work per week is 39 hours for men and 35 hours for women.

So, what motivates Indians to work long hours?

Around 76 per cent of the respondents cited ‘prospect of a higher income’ as the primary reason to work long hours. ‘Promotion’ emerged as the second most important factor with 55 per cent votes, while ‘personal development’ came in next with 42 per cent votes.

However, when one segregates both men and women workers, the reasons also vary. Women are motivated to work more for ‘promotions’ while men want to increase their influence at work.

Similarly, younger workforce is motivated to work more for ‘promotions’ and ‘development opportunities’ while for those aged 45 years and above, the main motivation for putting longer hours at work is ‘higher income’.

Interestingly, people also put in more hours at work to avoid household chores. Though, only 6 per cent of the respondents cited this as a key factor, it emerged as a popular reason among people with lower education background. And for those with higher education, working long hours was primarily for ‘promotion’ & developing ‘greater self-esteem’.

If there are motivating factors for people to overwork, there are also reasons, which stop them for doing so. The study reveals that a healthier work-life balance and less stress emerged as the primary factor influencing employees not to overwork and around 61 per cent of respondents voted for the same.

Around 54 per cent of respondents also cited ‘more free time’ as a key reason for not overworking while 51 per cent of respondents also mentioned they would not overwork to be able to attend to a family member or relative. Around 42 per cent also said they wanted to spend more time with their children.

Between men and women workers, the latter refrains from overworking to be able to spend more time with their children, whereas the former does so to get more leisure time or to pursue studies.

Similarly, the younger workforce want more personal time and it’s the primary reason why they avoid overworking but for those above 45 years ‘engaging in voluntary work’ is what they want to do when they have time off-work.

The survey observes that around 8 per cent of the respondents prefer to work longer days and shorter weeks, while more than 4 per cent prefer to work variable workdays every week. Close to 37 per cent of respondents would like to work variable hours every workday, however, the remaining 50 per cent prefer a standard hours workweek.

The study also indicates that more number of people prefer telecommuting than working from office. About 53 per cent of the respondents from India said they prefer telecommuting, while 47 per cent prefer to work from the office every day.

Almost equivalent number of male (52 per cent) and female (54 per cent) respondents mentioned that they would prefer telecommuting and this preference was high among those aged 45 years and above. Around 34 per cent prefer telecommuting occasionally and 12 per cent prefer a fixed number of days.

© 2016 HR Katha
Last modified on Friday, 10 June 2016

3 comments

  • Comment Link Kameswara Rao S Saturday, 11 June 2016 posted by Kameswara Rao S

    Most of the employees are not ready to work for long hours but the facts are:

    to please the boss, incompetency of the employee in clearing the work in the allotted time, incompetency of the boss in making the employee to understand the work, failure of the boss in assessing the work & required manpower resulting in overload on the available employees, Employee wasting time in normal working hours and working for extended hours & finally employee having family issues.

  • Comment Link Sinoy John Saturday, 11 June 2016 posted by Sinoy John

    Informative data. A further split of industry wise break-up would be more interesting.

  • Comment Link Binod kumar singh Friday, 10 June 2016 posted by Binod kumar singh

    Very Good data collection and analysis.

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