A recent statement by Infosys Founder Mr. Narayana Murthy raised a lot of debates. There were many deliberations on capitalistic intent of CXOs to acrew wealth at the cost of welfare of junior employees. Similarly many deliberated about the adverse impacts on family, personal well being and health.

Some experiences I saw on this debate: in a discussion in certain whatsapp groups, this was brought up. One group which had a lot of academics resisted this idea. Another group which had mostly MBA practitioners from one of the top B Schools of India, but size of the group was much larger, there was much less flutter.

Many of us in different industries (including academia) who continue to push, will be working easily for 70 hrs a week. However there are many who do not as well. Many come to academia to seek a balance between personal and professional life. Similarly I think same holds for all industries, IT or otherwise. However academia often provides us the flexibility of choice, that other industries may not.

I however am inclined to feel that returns of perspiration with perseverance builds up over time to make returns non linear. Many stop before the curve of non linear returns start showing up and end up feeling that the work done is for the growth of the organization and not for personal development. Others who continue to work may see the benefits of non linear returns and become inspired.

I always feel I am working for myself in my organization. Many others may feel they work for the organization. Maybe thats the missing link? What are your thoughts?

Returns many not be financial or tangible always. There may be untangible returns.

My top 3 thoughts on what is lacking.
1) Advocating to work in a certain manner should have demonstration from the top. A lot of debates happen because there is a lack of demonstration of the values we profess and what we practice.
2) There should be both short term and long term benefits that are clearly articulated and documented. It helps in generating that often missing inspiration.
3) It always helps to have HR policies that allows this flexibility through a suitable compensation model. Fixed compensation can be low, higher variable compensation which is objective outcome based, may help.

P.S. I work in an industry where salary grows at a fixed rate of around 5-6% per year. Changes in the job DO NOT lead to sun hikes. Neither does promotion lead to major hikes in salaries. However I personally advocate that working for 70+ hours weekly has non linear benefits, especially in the formative years till one hits 50, if one is working in an inspiring environment. It has some adverse impacts, agreed.

It is the nature of the ecosystem of the organization that should pave the thoughts for this rather illusive answer.

By Kar

Dr. Kar works in the interface of digital transformation and data science. Professionally a professor in one of the top B-Schools of Asia and an alumni of XLRI, he has extensive experience in teaching, training, consultancy and research in reputed institutes. He is a regular contributor of Business Fundas and a frequent author in research platforms. He is widely cited as a researcher. Note: The articles authored in this blog are his personal views and does not reflect that of his affiliations.