Working late in office – what’s the issue and who is responsible?

Day 1, 10 pm – Mr. X is present in office, ‘working’

Day 2, 10 pm – Mr. X is again in office, ‘working’……

Day 5, 10 pm – Mr. X can be seen in office, ‘working’….and the pattern continues in his job life.

Ever thought about the reasons what makes Mr. X being frequently seen working late in the office.

I can understand such peak pressure periods..say month-end, year-end reporting, statutory compliance on a specific date, client visits etc but surely this schedule of Mr. X’s routine cannot be ongoing and forever.

That brings to me the few reasons contributing to this grave situation.

1. More work is being given to Mr. X to turnaround which would take more time than usual 8-9 hours a day.

2. Productivity of Mr. X is not good and as such he has no option but to sit late in the office to complete his work.

3. Peer pressure has made Mr. X to sit for long hours considering if he is not seen in the office during late hours he will be considered to be not working for enough time or not considered to be a good Team player.

Well, there are some serious problems to address but I wonder how many of us, as Managers, really consider this as our responsibility to ensure that a reasonable work-life balance is being provided to our Team members.

Now, the burning question would be what should be done about the 3 situations outlined above.

Can we ensure that the workload is distributed evenly among the Team members? If you are encountering scarcity of resources it should be dealt with in a timely manner!

Can we think of taking help of technology in order to take care of certain steps in the process which time consuming? Can we think about building on skill set of the individual on technical side, time management skills, prioritization, scheduling if that is where the challenge lies?

If the culture in your team is such that working for late hours is considered to be business-as-usual then my friend, you need to rethink – think it from the effectiveness standpoint!
Q1. Does that help in a long run if people continue to show up for long hours but actually as a Team, we are not able to demonstrate quality/results/improvement?

Q2. What if people start asking you for more incentives just because they sit late in the office?

Keeping great Team culture and providing right vision for your Team is your responsibility, isn’t it? More of a concern is if this results into health issues and is detrimental to the well-being of your employees!