Late sitting in software companies

life_is_callingIt’s half past 8 in the office. but the lights are still on…
PCs still running,
Coffee machines still buzzing…

And who’s at work?

Most of them??? take a closer look…
All or most specimens are ??-something male species of the human race…
Look closer… again all or most of them are bachelors…and why are they sitting late? Working hard?

No way!!!

Any guesses???

Let’s ask one of them…

Here’s what he says… “What’s there to do after going home… here we get to surf, AC, phone, food, tea, coffee.. that is why I am working late… importantly no bossssssss!!!!!!!!!!!

This is the scene in most research centers and software companies and other off-shore offices.
Bachelors “time-passing” during late hours in the office just because they say they’ve nothing else to do…

Now what are the consequences… read on…

“Working” (for the record only) late hours soon becomes part of the institute or company culture.
With bosses more than eager to provide support to those “working” late in the form of bus fair, food vouchers and of course good feedback, (oh, he’s a hard worker… goes home only to change..!!).
They aren’t helping things too… To hell with bosses who don’t understand the difference between “sitting” late and “working” late!!!

Very soon, the boss start expecting all employees to put in extra working hours.
So, My dear Bachelors let me tell you, life changes when u get married and start having a family… office is no longer a priority, family is… and that’s when the problem starts… because you start having commitments at home too.

For your boss, the earlier “hardworking” guy suddenly seems to become a “early leaver” even if u leave an hour after regular time. .. after doing the same amount of work.
People leaving on time after doing their tasks for the day are labeled as work-shirkers…
Girls who thankfully always (its changing nowadays…though) leave on time. The later is not applicable to them. All the while, the male bachelors pat their own backs and carry on working not realizing that they are spoiling the work culture at their own place and never realize that they would have to regret at one point of time.

So what’s the moral of the story??

  • Very clear, LEAVE ON TIME!!!
  • Never put in extra time ” *unless really needed *”
  • Don’t stay back un-necessarily and spoil your company work culture which will in turn cause inconvenience to you and your colleagues.
    There are hundred other things to do in the evening..
  • Learn a foreign language…
  • Try a sport… cricket….or even running
  • Make friends…go on outing

Take a tip from the Smirnoff ad:

*”Life’s calling, where are you??”*

Lets see, how many of us act upon it. Hope for the best 🙂

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9 thoughts on “Late sitting in software companies

  1. Dear Tahir,
    I love you.

    You have written an excellent observation and attitude of both people (bosses and employees). And the problems that it results into.

    I will do a detailed post later. (a bit sorry, for not now)

  2. Pingback: Late sitting in software companies | Career Blog

  3. Some part of this post is pruned or structured rewrite but later part is about an economic policy to solve some real problems.

    I conceive two types of late sitters, from your post;
    1. Who choose to sit late
    2. Who are required to sit late

    Although first type is rare, but there are only two possibilities:

    A. Someone very hardworking and really enthusiastic to learn, want to spend his early life in so hard work, so that he could get to some good position very soon, or can establish his own business. Normally, these guys are in their first 2-3 years of career, and don’t have any family responsibility.

    B. One who in fact don’t want to sit late, but he sits, so that boss can know he is very hardworking. There can be many other reasons, for example, let his boss to think to increase his pay, respect him more, upgrade his designation sooner, and to impress the colleagues, etc. Normally these are very fresh, even in their first 2-4 months of job period.

    Although both are correct in their own philosophy, but they create problems for other colleagues. They cause to:

    A. Disturb the office atmosphere
    B. Increase the bosses’ expectations in general (i.e. from all employees)
    C. Disturb the other colleagues personal life who can’t sit late
    D. Change the overall in/out timing
    (And the list goes on …)

    – They should realize the problems they are creating unknowingly (even very soon they are going to suffer themselves).

    – Both of them should spend their extra hard work time at home (or flat), so that others could remain peacefully. Even in this way they can impress their bosses, i.e. by showing more performance. (I personally do not recommend even this, because there are also some other than family responsibilities in life, if one could understand).

    – The bosses (or organization) should strictly follow the timings, so that every one could enjoy all aspects of life. And everybody could reach next day very fresh. (This is recommended).

    Note (overrides all above):
    The above is all because of organization’s policies (or you can say organizational psychology). Consider if organizational policy openly declare that nothing is going to be counted for such efforts, bosses are not going to impressed by it, and every one is allowed to do whatever he want (leave on time or sit late), and it will not effect the organization policy or attitude toward other employees.

    Everyone will be free to choose whatever he wants. The people, who want to leave on time, can happily or comfortably leave without feeling any non-sincerity to organization’s-interest, and those who want to stay, can stay as much they want.

    But this is possible only if organizational policies openly declare it and then appreciate morally (See, Google’s informal atmosphere, for example.). Otherwise nothing can happen like this, and if this whole is implicitly expected, will create disturbance.

    I understand this is a big step an organization can take. Or software industry in Pakistan need some time to understand and get on to this level. Basically the bosses need to understand the human psychology in more depth.

    This is all about the first category, i.e. the employees who choose to sit late.

    So come to the second category, the employees who are required to sit late:

    This is done in two ways; first, a person is assigned some tasks and ordered to sit late and complete. And other style is, assign enough work and tell the short or unrealistic deadline, so that he must have to sit late to complete the task on time.

    The base mindset is, using the existing human resource in such a way (or you can say in over-optimal way) that the organization can get more profit from same human resources. This mindset does not care about the personal lives of humans.

    Basically there are two types or possibilities.
    a. Late sitting is paid
    b. Late sitting is unpaid

    As far I know (from some of my fellows), type “a” is rare. But when the late sitting is paid, a person can convince himself to sit late (although to a certain time limit).

    The real problem is of type “b”, which is very common. The question comes into mind, how a person can convince himself for the effort required to put when he is not being extra-paid.

    If you really analyze, this mindset is a product of capitalism that require treating the humans like machines and getting maximum profit from them at minimum expense.

    I think a lot, and come to conclusion that our actions are derived by our thought. Unless we are convinced (or own) some thought, we can not act (sincerely or realistically). So here, the real question rises why an employee should heartedly work for the sole interest of an organization when he is going to get fixed amount pay for sure, even when he was inputted very hard. Or in other words, what thought should drive this action.

    The most sincere person with the company is the owner of that company, and only he has the most interest in the growth of that company. And only he plans to increase the revenue of that company, after-all he owns that.

    So if we could create some policy that every employee could feel as he owns the company, only then he can input maximum effort. His ownership is not necessary, the thing that counts is, how much economic benefit he will get if his hard-work causes to increase the company revenue.

    I concluded, it is only possible if companies share their profit with employees, after-all they were the main source of that profit. In this way, everybody will work in more interest of the company, because he knows he will get the profit later.

    “I propose or request to companies to share only 10%-15% profit with their employees annually, with the ratio of their pay”, and see the results.

    I believe it is not necessary that all economic policies should be enforced by state; we can create by own to develop the friendlier and sincere atmosphere. In this way we can help to make such policies defacto standard, and it also increases the circulation of money. Please note that, such policies does not apply to all organizations, for example the tax collection departments.

    For discussion and reference of this theory, I name it Asif Economic Theory (AET) (after-all, I am a mortal and wished to be known). It might be AET is not new, but I addressed as a solution to very common problem.

    Although the scope of this post was organizational policies and responsibilities, employees should also put maximum effort hence the company is sincere enough to share even the profit. So they should also participate in the organizational growth by sharing innovative product ideas, business strategies, and the organizational continuous improvement in general.

    I request the readers to comment in general and on AET in specific. You can catch me at

  4. Tahir, i am really impressed with your writing ability and observation. And i believe that its your narration style that has really made this very interesting. Boy i know you for almost 3 years now but i never realized that you have such a good writing germs.

    Keep up the good work.


  5. Thanks Haroon.

    Its just like you come up with some thought, its late night and you dont have anyone to say it. Go write it down on the web. And you will get relevant readers for correction, criticism, suggestions and appreciation.

    Its a very old post. Lets make noise whether its a web or real life. hehehe and YOU know it how we did in real life. hehehe

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