A new survey claims that a staggering 98% of Indian office workers would keep working even if they win a lottery.
Another 83% said they love their jobs, with access to cutting-edge technology being the top contributor to their overall satisfaction, above perks like food and slick office design, according to a just released Adobe-Edelman Intelligence survey.
Amazingly, Indian workers emerged as more positive and flexible overall, when compared to those surveyed in the USA and UK.
Better still, pay is not everything, the office workers told the surveyors. Nearly 50% would choose to move to their `ideal’ job even for less pay. Another 74% of the respondents said they would rather work long hours doing the work they love, than shorter hours doing work they don’t enjoy.
A surprising 85% said work defines who they are. Not surprisingly, 63% of waking hours even on a day off are spent working or thinking about work.
The findings have been collated in the “Work In Progress” report which surveyed more than 500 Indian office workers who use computers as part of their jobs everyday. The survey focussed on finding out more about attitudes about work and the future of technology in the workplace.
Its not all hunky dory though, particularly if you are the manager or employer reading this. More than 1 in 2 workers hold 1 or more jobs in addition to their primary profession. The primary reason attributed for the moonlighting (as this phenomenon is termed) is gaining new skills and not additional income, they respondents claimed. To round off, 68% of the respondents said multiple jobs will be the norm in the future.
Is this what Indian companies are about or is this a full-blown case of survey fantasy ?
To start with, these findings should sure warm the cockles of every business owner and manager’s heart, since you have (apparently) a high degree of loyalty to company and cause, a solid sense of ownership of the function and role and a guarantee that the wheels of the organization will be lubricated and running 24X7 by colleagues who are thinking about work all the time, even on vacation.
But then, are you working with hard workers or losers ?
Increasingly, the feeling is that the more you are 24X7 connected with your organization, the less productive you are. Most research seems to suggest 40-hour weeks are best for you and longer hours lead to depression, heart attack and heart disease. The sample here cannot be extrapolated to all of India but the fact is that India is severely underperforming its productivity potential.
Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam pointed out in this brilliant speech that India underperforms its productivity potential by at least 3 percentage points and the opportunity to grow this is at least 4 percentage points, which would lead to a productivity growth rate of 7 percentage points.
The numbers might be a little obfuscatory but ask yourself: are you or your company as productive as the world’s best in your area of business or expertise ?
So, saying we are thinking of the company all the time may not necessarily a big deal.
On the flip side, it would appear that the same employees are working harder because they have multiple jobs and tasks or aspire to them, either for reasons of skilling as stated here or additional income.
In the past, I have used the services of moonlighters. On the face of it, they are well qualified because they usually work for big brands or companies and thus have good quality experience.
But it ends there.
Every experience of mine has been a disaster, not because they are not good but it can be frustrating for any organization to deal with an individual who works like a satellite that only comes into contact at the fixed times it orbits above and responds only when the primary organization’s needs have been met.
So if I was the HR manager, I would be thinking furiously about how to ensure people focus on one job being the one they get guaranteed pay and benefits for and forget the rest.
Now the $64 Million Question. Will we work after we hit a lottery ?
I do find the part about 98% of us continuing to work even if we hit a lottery very, very interesting. The funny thing is if you ask me right now whether I would work post-lottery, the answer will be a straight yes, regardless of the amount.
I also suspect everyone says this intuitively because it’s tough to visualize not getting out of the door at 9 am every morning, particularly if that’s what you’ve been doing all these years. But probe and think deeper, you might have a different answer.
By the way, I have noticed that children sometimes are the first to turn up their noses when Daddy and/or Mummy who have been going to work suddenly stop.
Actually I do know folks who have stopped working – in the sense of a 9-5 job with a boss – after they hit the lottery. Do I know how much they specifically made ? No. But I can see massive life-style changes. It’s not that they are lazing around. They invest wisely in the stock market and some tech startups chasing the same billion consumers, `consult’ here and there, dabble in some hobbies and usually lead a chilled life. Good for them.
Finally, the survey talks about the role of technology. Some 91% respondents said technology that helps them connect to colleagues more efficiently is an important part of their ideal workspace. I do hope all the above is not code for time spent on Facebook and Twitter.
Nevertheless, some 93% say technology makes them more productive, improves work-life balance (83%). They also seem to feel that 61% of menial tasks will be done by amachine or technology in the next 20 years.
Well, on automation, they are right it will happen, they are wrong it will take 20 years. It will happen much, much faster and will hit us harder then we expect. And all our love for our respective organisations will not save us.
Tech Is the New Perk
- Almost all respondents (91%) said that technology that helps them connect to colleagues more efficiently is an important part of their ideal workspace.
- Similarly, workers believe that technology makes them more productive (93%), improves work-life balance (83%) and makes their workday better and easier (91%).
- Workers predict that over half (61%) of the menial office tasks will be done by a machine or technology in the next 20 years.
No Really, People Love to Work
- Almost three-quarters (74%) of the respondents said they would rather work long hours doing the work they love, than shorter hours doing work they don’t enjoy.
- 84% of waking hours on a workday are spent actively working or thinking about work, and 63% of waking hours on a typical day off are spent working or thinking about work.
- The survey indicates that Indian workers are very invested in their work life. A large majority (85%) said that work defines who they are.
- While the need for money to support themselves (86%) and their lifestyles (77%) plays a major role in why they work, workers also consider recognition of their success very important (80%). Making an impact on their society or community was also a very significant factor (67%).
In Search of the Ideal Job
- A majority of Indian workers (68%) predict that most people will have multiple jobs in the future.
- Other than money, gaining new skills is the number one reason moonlighters in India have a second job. However, moonlighters are more likely to be overwhelmed (47%) and disconnected (16%) than non-moonlighters (39% and 8%, respectively).
- 68% of Indian office workers say they’re likely to leave their job for a new opportunity, and even among the respondents who say they love their job, well over half of them (65%) would make the switch.
Source: Adobe Work In Progress report.