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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Man-hour vs productivity

This is a response to another of my brother's post. See if you agree.

We should be careful about equating man-hours with productivity. I hope you took into account the time spent in front of the water-fountain or coffee machine, at lunch or at sutta breaks and the likes. What we need to develop is a stronger work ethic. That every hour we put in should be useful- this will also help us learn more efficient ways of doing things.

I have seen employees spending 14 hrs in front of their workstations- logged in with their cards, getting paid overtime for chatting with their neighbors at work. And I have seen employees who concentrate on their work, finishing more than required for the day, spending hardly 8 hrs at work and yet, getting ' Employee of the Month' month after month after month.

The philosophy should be different, the focus shouldn't be an easily measurable ' man-hour', but more important productivity factors like effectiveness and efficiency. What are we doing? Is it productive? In alignment with the firm's strategy? More than satisfactory for the customers?

If I had a mother who asked me 'How many hours have you studied today?' instead of 'Did you finish your homework and are you prepared for tomorrow's class?', I'd be worried.

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