Thursday, February 28, 2008

Are You Having Fun @ Work Place?

On my way to a meeting this morning, I heard over the FM radio a special program on work place culture. The Radio Jockey (RJ) was reporting live from the office of a particular organisation, sharing all the fun the employees were having. She interviewed a number of employees and you could catch the excitement as the employees narrated the various fun activities at work that the management promoted..The list seemed endless . . . The RJ too was impressed and she wished she was working there.

This made me think about my own workplace and I found myself asking the question , 'AM I having fun @ work ? I work in the virtual world with a team that is on the other side of the globe.Very rarely do I have meetings with people sitting in front of me. What fun can you have when your life is a series of conference calls, chats and endless emails ? All of this happens in a small corner in my house that I call 'Home Office'. Time zone is the other challenge, I need to work late at night to be connected with my US colleagues .

By now you may be feeling sorry for me . . . but Wait a minute, I am not complaining or mourning my existence in the virtual world. Yes I would love to work in a regular office and be involved in the fun activities there . However I feel that more than fun at work, the question is "Do you enjoy your work?" I like what I do and that coupled with the fact that I don't have to commute two plus hours every day to get to a physical office makes me a envy of many. One of the other 'plus' in my job is the creative freedom that I enjoy to turn out outputs that is needed by the business. The list does not end there, there are lot of other privileges that I enjoy at work (I am not talking about Pay& Comp or other perks) All of that keeps me at work and makes me jump out of my bed every week day morning with the thought, 'Wow a new day, another opportunity to be at work!"

I am aware of the specially appointed 'fun Officers' in many BPOs, whose main job is to make sure the workforce in these organisations are having fun at work. The fun officers are constantly on their feet coming up with more and more new activities that will induce fun in the work environment. Over a period of time what was fun at one time looses its fun quotient and it becomes business as usual activity.

I am for fun in the workplace but then if you don't have fun activities at your work place or cannot take part in it, don't worry, find a job that you enjoy doing. Job satisfaction which gives you the joy of work is more lasting than fun !

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Progress @ what Cost ?

The other day I watched the fiery debate on TV between the auto lobby and the environmentalist following the launch of TATA Nano, the smallest car in the world. Both sides had some very good arguments for and against the motion of whether the car was a boon or burden. Having priced at 2500 US $, the manufacturer was trying to offer a small car to the lower rung of society who could not afford a car.

The environmentalist felt that the car would clog the roads and create lot more pollution as almost everyone could afford the Nano. It was difficult not to take sides during the debate, Bina was for those who were fighting to keep the pollution out and the earth green. Although I love the earth to be green and clean, I was with the car maker . . . I was of the view that owning a car was everyone's right and thus if someone could make an affordable car, that is goodness. It was only next morning as I went out for a walk that the effect of auto caused pollution hit me . . .

That morning I decided to explore a wooded area close to our home. The huge property is owned by a church and is deserted most part of the day. On entering the property I found a winding path and took it . As I started walking I noticed the dew on the grass and heard the birds chirping. I slowed down enjoying every minute of it, it's been a while since I had heard so many birds in one place and that too so close to our home! I continued walking enjoying the nature, the peace and the security that the birds of the air were enjoying in this abode.Soon the magic was broken as the path finally wound up on the other side, the main entrance of the church. The tree-cover disappeared and a stately Church and the concrete parking lot came into view. The chirping of the birds gave way to the distant sound of traffic and as I continued walking the main road appeared swollen with all kinds of vehicles with its monstrous noise and pollution. I shook my head in disbelief, what a difference . . . Yes truly I can agree with John Milton, 'Paradise' has been lost !

You may argue that progress comes at a cost and depleting tree cover, global warming and all of the other ill effects that come with it are the cost we pay to have a better, faster and a more comfortable world. I may have agreed with you earlier but I am not so sure about it any more. Though I don't want to be a prophet of doom, all the run away 'progress' has put us on a roller coaster ride to a bottomless pit. Maybe we won't get effected by it in our life time or our children's life time but what about the generations after that? Imagine them having to buy and cart around a personal oxygen pack or going to see the trees and stuffed birds in a museum !

I strongly feel that we can make a difference to conserve this beautiful earth and give it atleast the way we found it to the future generations. Every bit counts, and so I am going to do my small bit rather than crying about 'Paradise Lost'

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The New Year Prayer

I am sure you have come across the saying that time and tide waits for none, what that really translates to is that days,weeks, and months wait for none. Before you know it, the year has come to a close. Eight days of the New Year has already flown by and soon we will move into February and the pattern will set in and the true automatic process will take us to December. The question that comes to my mind is what have I done with the 8 days of the New Year? Have I lived it well? Have I utilised every waking hour to its full potential? Have I touched lives ? Have I added value to others? Have I done things that I really love to do ? . . .

An excuse that I can always come up with is, hey it is only eight days and it is too early to be asking all those questions but I won't hide behind the excuse. Looking back on the eight days, although I have had full days and have been able to honour many of the things I decided to do differently this year, I still have not been living up to my full potential . Other than work ( which puts the bread and butter on the table) I did do couple of activities to touch lives, build lives and release the potential in others. These can be counted as just three times in the last 8 days. I must confess that I had more opportunities in this area but I could not find time to accommodate those requests . . . Sorry that is another excuse . . . 'No Time'

Any one who has been to a Time Management session and listened, will know that, if you want to do some thing, you can find time for it . Looking back, last year I did not do too well on Time Management. The good news is that I have done better on that front in the last 8 days. In my last post I had talked about wanting to be walking in the park more often and I was looking at how to make time for that. I worked on that and made time by cutting off weekday TV and doing away with the second Newspaper with a lot of local news. (which I had got accustomed reading, to keep in touch with what was happening in my city.)

Going back to my earlier questions on how I have spent my days thus far this year, I realise that unless we plan in on a daily basis all that you want to do over and above your regular work and find time for it, it is not going to happen. So it is back to the drawing board and the thinking cap to work out a plan to live for others, at least 5 days of the week! The weekend is for recouping, family, friends and church.

My prayer for this year is that I live for others and make the best use of time and in all that make sure that I live and enjoy life to its fullness.