In Chun Eng's words...

Friday, January 19, 2007

An Interesting Speech

Got this article from a colleague. It's pretty interesting, especially the last part...

Extract of Mr. Narayana Murthy's Speech during Mentor Session :

I know people who work 12 hours a day, six days a week, or more. Some people do so because of a work emergency where the long hours are only temporary. Other people I know have put in these hours for years. I don't know if they are working all these hours, but I do know they are in the office this long. Others put in long office hours because they are addicted to the workplace.

Whatever the reason for putting in overtime, working long hours over the long term is harmful to the person and to the organization. There are things managers can do to change this for everyone's benefit. Being in the office long hours, over long periods of time, makes way for potential errors. My colleagues who are in the office long hours frequently make mistakes caused by fatigue. Correcting these mistakes requires their time as well as the time and energy of others. I have seen people work Tuesday through Friday to correct mistakes made after 5 PM on Monday. Another problem is that people who are in the office long hours are not pleasant as company. They often complain about other people (who aren't working as hard); they are irritable, or cranky, or even angry. Other people avoid them. Such behaviour poses problems, where work goes much better when people work together instead of avoiding one another.

As Managers, there are things we can do to help people leave the office. First and foremost is to set the example and go home ourselves. I work with a manager who chides people for working long hours. His words quickly lose their meaning when he sends these chiding group e-mails with a time-stamp of 2 AM, Sunday. Second is to encourage people to put some balance in their lives. For instance, here is a guideline I find helpful:

1) Wake up, eat a good breakfast, and go to work.

2) Work hard and smart for eight or nine hours.

3) Go home.

4) Read the books/comics, watch a funny movie, dig in the dirt, playwith your kids, etc.

5) Eat well and sleep well.

This is called recreating. Doing steps 1, 3, 4, and 5 enable step 2. Working regular hours and recreating daily are simple concepts. They are hard for some of us because that requires 'personal change'. They are possible since we all have the power to choose to do them.

In considering the issue of overtime, I am reminded of my oldest son. When he was a toddler, if people were visiting the apartment, he would not fall asleep no matter how long the visit, and no matter what time of day it was. He would fight off sleep until the visitors left. It was as if he was afraid that he would miss something. Once our visitors' left, he would go to sleep. By this time, however, he was overtired and would scream through half the night with nightmares. He, my wife, and I, all paid the price for his fear of missing out.

Perhaps some people put in such long hours because they don't want to miss anything when they leave the office. The trouble with this is that events will never stop happening. That is life !! Things happen 24 hours a day. Allowing for little rest is not ultimately practical. So, take a nap. Things will happen while you are asleep, but you will have the energy to catch up when you wake. Hence...


-- Narayana Murthy

Monday, January 15, 2007

The bloody sleepless night!!!

Don't know what I did or drank or ate but last night I could not sleep at all and was very fresh awake when I got to bed at 3am and dozed off around 3.30am.

So what did I do while trying to get myself tired so I could sleep? I watched one Hong Kong series which I had borrowed from my colleague and I think watched about 3 or 4 episodes.

I tried to get some early sleep by going to bed at around 10.30pm but was just rolling around my bed till past midnight. And since I can't sleep, I thought I might as well do something. Well, being too lazy to actually do some work out that would make me sweat and I had to take another bath which I may backfire and make me awake again, I just watched the movies.

One episode leads to another and I soon found myself still awake at 3 in the morning. So I had to force myself to go to bed which still took a while before I doze off. Had such a difficutly to wake up this morning. Sigh...

Friday, January 05, 2007

What's so new of new year?

New Year is a time where people makes wishes, New Year resolutions and some may perhaps make changes to their lifes. Others may compare what they have done over the past year and how they might improve in the coming year. For over 20 years of living in this world, I've never done any resolutions nor had I thought of what I want to do or achieve. All my achievements are spontaneous.

Going into the 5th day the 2007, I've been thinking (as I've always do)... what I want to achieve in life? What are my objectives? I may follow the norm in making New Year resolutions but what's good in it when I don't know what I want. Well, I'm still looking though, and hopefully I'll know what I really want in life.

I honestly can't remember much of the happenings over the past 2006, especially those happening in early of the year. All that I could remember was that work was the only focus. Due to a project, my team members and I spent many late nights in the office. Going home at 10 -11 pm at night was a norm. So was working on Saturdays and Sundays but it was fun. Work was enjoyable. There was also a weekend where we spent overnight in the office rushing prepare for UAT. And I had to leave the office by 8am because that Saturday as I had to visit my grandparent's grave for Cheng Beng.

Yeah I know, work should not be like that... even my boss said there should have been better ways than spending the night in the office like that. All of us were tired, but at least we were satisfied with the results... though we have to admit, we can't go on working like this.

Occasionally, the whole department would gather for hiking, movies, etc. When you can blend if the team, work was like a leisure.

The much more memorable happenings was during the later half of the year. The whole department was sent to attend Tech-Ed SEA 2006 held in KL Convention Centre. The department was soulless for a week and left my boss lonely in the office.

Then, it was China for a week for the World Traditional Wushu Championship. The trip was great. Made some visits after the competition before returning home. If possible, I'd want to visit the rest of China. China happenings can be found in the other blog. During the same week when I was in China, my company shifted to Menara PanGlobal.

Shortly after that was another compeition in Singapore. I rocked the world man... but victory didn't mean as much as it used to.

In like a blink of an eye, I've been working in my present job for more than a year now. And the year did not end really that well career-wise. It's been 4-5 years that my company has been making a loss which means, again, no bonus and increment. The Head Office have thus decided to merge my company with another sister company. Along would be a major restructuring, a change of superior, and most likely job scope as well. I've yet to decide whether to stay-on and see how it would affect me, or to start looking for another job.

I was quite reluctant to leave because of the team but I'll decide after the CNY. Ever since we moved to our present office, the environment hasn't been as warm and comfortable as it used to. Then, office was like home. Everyone worked with the company. Now, office is just an office and just work for the company.