What motivates a person most? If you put your faith in Hollywood or Bollywood films, it’s always (not very insane) amounts of money. Characters, usually the evil ones, are willing to go through convoluted schemes (and the consequent danger of bodily harm) to get their hands on the prize – which more often than not is an amount that does not justify the risk.
Anyway, our point is that, outside of films, it’s rarely money that acts as the sole motivating factor. And that’s kind of the same with employees, while everyone thinks of earning in millions, people soon realise that money might not be the only thing in this world. Of course, it depends on individuals, but usually some of the other motivating factors are
- Job profile
- Job responsibility
- Work environment
- Relationship with colleagues
- Scope for growth
- Achievements and recognition
- Personal life
We would, for the purpose of this opinion piece, like to focus on ‘Time’. Time is an often ignored factor. Companies have worked on the fixed time principle historically, you clock in, and you clock out and based on that you get paid. Obviously this system is historically rooted and that’s how most firms work. But how much time is a question that is rarely asked.
During the industrial revolution, when conditions ranged from ten to sixteen hour work days, six days a week, the eight hour day movement gained steam. And although the aim was to get a total of 40 hour per week, the actual conditions, in a lot of countries, almost two centuries later, remains none too better.
However, loads of companies and countries now understand the benefits of more flexible timing. Research has shown that happier employees improve productivity and it is pretty obvious that anyone who works above a certain amount of hours per week isn’t going to be too happy at her job. France has enacted a 35 hour week law besides, no work related calls or communication after 6pm to ensure that an employee’s free time is actually her. Some other companies prefer a more flexible approach, where they reward smart work over fixed timings.
More companies now have other recreational facilities, like gymnasiums, pool room, gaming rooms and such so that employees may take a break and be happy even while at work. Obviously, these frameworks may not be applicable to a lot of industries, like hospitals as an example. But even these industries, try to compensate for the long hours and not just in monetary terms.
The world is waking up to the importance of personal time of an employee, and it’s about time too. As more and more companies are realising, that a happy employee is a more loyal, focussed and productive employee.