By Swati Bhattacharya
I leave work at 5.30.
This is a dirty little secret of my work life. In my 22 years in advertising I have not given JWT my nights. I know how bizarre it might sound. It’s a pretty Ripley’s believe-it-or-not fact but it’s true. Almost as scandalous as doing drugs or sleeping with the boss. There have been times I’ve romanticized people who work late, often found them cooler, sexier and more talented than me. And still I have found myself picking up my bag and tiffin box latest by 7 pm. I can’t do this night lagana in office.
And I know many, many of my male colleagues have judged me and hinted that I’m a slacker. They’ve looked at the watch pointedly around 5.30 pm and said, “Isn’t it time for you to pack up?” Men often think it’s a very cool provider thing to stay back in office. They even get that President Of The World tone when they call their wives and girlfriends to say, “I’ll be late”. The tone suddenly acquires a fireman at work or a doc in ER urgency. The call is always brief. Tight. Compressed. But right after the call I have seen them saunter into the smoking area, send the canteen guy for an errand, debate endlessly on Sachin’s retirement, slowly sip a cup of tea — more slowly than you would in a Polish art film — and then maybe huddle on some work issue very, very, reluctantly. They play games on the computer, get to know the new people, reunite with the old ones but all along with a sense of purpose. Work is a corporate club of a different kind but a club for sure. (You have food and games and also dim lights. Only no swimming pool.)
Why can’t women enjoy the afterwork hours like men? Here’s why. When we return late we feel guilty. We imagine the anguish of our kids when they are waiting. Or our girlfriends. Or moms. We know that when it comes to our work life, even our girlfriends are not so empathetic. They expect us to be there. Like our kids and our dogs. Our maid. Or maybe even the mali.
For men it’s a different story. Every Indian mother thinks mera beta khoon pasine ki kamai karta hai. Mere bete par bahut work pressure hai. Bada heavy stress hai. And that’s why men like this staying-at-work thing. It helps them perpetuate this myth of hard-working male provider. If you spend just 2 hours extra doing just about nothing at work, you’ll get a hero’s welcome at home. The wife will get the tea. And the mother will hush your children rudely if they are running around in the living room. If you come home by 9 pm, the children are already in bed and obviously you cannot help them with their homework even if you wanted to. And if you come home at ten, it’s even better. You don’t even have to walk the dog.
For men coming home late has all kinds of privileges. It’s a badge of honour, a moment of quiet pride. And that’s why they are proud to stay late. Proud to hang in the office. Proud to be absent. It doesn’t work like that for us. We want to kill ourselves if our kids go to sleep without seeing us. We are scared of what the class teacher might think of the shabby homework. We feel terrible if our kid goes to a birthday party without a gift. So we come home on time to do the stuff we have to do. And then stay up at night to do the work. We do it privately. Quietly with no show and tell. That’s the way it is with us. So next time you pick up your bag at 5.30 pm, do it with your chin up, chest out! We women do double shifts. Men don’t.
Swati Bhattacharya is the national creative director of JWT India.
Image credit: happyworker via Flickr
July 8, 2013 at 6:01 am
Terrific observation, Swati! Many of the night-out work habits were formed in an era without the internet, with tighter resources and perhaps tighter deadlines in a competitive environment. It became urban legend (Sample ‘Mad Men’). But across mass media, resources and technology options have now increased in the past decade. A lot of the creative types — I’d include writers like me too — have been pampered. Internet is a distraction, and it’s our fault. Time has taken a killing to the point where despite putting in “more hours,” productivity and quality of output have fallen.
July 8, 2013 at 6:47 am
Lovely piece. I’ve never admired those who stay back late. The real man is one who balances both work and family with equal panache, rather than choosing one above the other. But, but, but. How do you handle situations where the boss wants you to stay back, because the client brief comes in at 5pm? Have plenty of friends in advertising who secretly bitch about the boss leaving office at 6pm, leaving them behind to do the dirty work which has to be shown for approval, “first thing tomorrow morning”.
July 8, 2013 at 10:25 am
Hey Swati, this is exactly what i faced all along and i cannot believe that after so many years, things are still the same! I mean, i dared to have a career and a life as a mom – and it never went down easy with anybody else. Cheers to you for daring to say what’s on all our minds! Thumbs up, Sangeeta
July 8, 2013 at 10:34 am
Loved the observation Swati, especially the vivid capture! This is something we all know and have been in agreement with but never did get around to voicing! However I think the Ad male stereotype spoken of is more the single-ready-to-mingle or single-with-no-one-to-go-to type who comprises 60-70% (if not more) of the male workforce in agencies. For that matter even the fairer sex in the agencies in the above two types are no exception. I believe the married ones on an average stick around mostly for genuine work and sometime or the other genuine work does befall everyone. I have been one of those and I have seen some of those 🙂
July 8, 2013 at 10:38 am
Loved the observations! Very true.. What’s worse is when male bosses make you stay late or call you on weekends, only to waste time chit chatting, taking long, lazy lunches on company expense, and generally avoiding going home…
July 8, 2013 at 10:49 am
Although I really liked what has been written and I can understand where the writer is coming from, there’s one more fact which needs to be highlighted. Many of my friends who are into IT do not work till late just because of the reason stated above. They are the ones who even go to offices on Sundays. Many IT companies have strict policies that girls won’t do night shifts so its the guys who do that because remember there should be any downtime. Yearly appraisals of these guys depend on just how many hours they have spent in the office. And believe me when they come back home, late as in really late, I don’t see any badge of honour on their faces. What I do see is helplessness of working in a service industry.
July 8, 2013 at 10:53 am
I so agree with you. Of course because women are in such a hurry to get back home, we lose out on ‘networking’ opportunities — going out for drinks with the boys for example — often at the cost of careers. Loved your post!
July 8, 2013 at 11:04 am
Enjoyed it from the core of my heart!! Sentiments, emotions floating all around. Great work. Really appreciate the effort and keen observation of yours and at last but not the least great respect for women!!
July 8, 2013 at 11:24 am
Every word and letter in this piece is very true. I had one boss during my days who will call me after I get into my car to discuss on some work. The rest of the day they just do PR giri…
July 8, 2013 at 11:28 am
A very broad generalization…
May I submit – I know a lot of male workers here (IT – not advertising though) – who pack up on time – take the office shuttle to be home in time – just so that their wife gets time off in evening to attend a yoga/aerobic class… and tons of them get their kids homework done – before they sit down for late night conf calls running past midnite…
yaar… kabhi kabhi thoda generalization meter tone down bhi kiya karo…!!
July 8, 2013 at 11:35 am
I am a man. I work in advertising. And I get furious whenever I have to work post 6 pm.
While I know what you’ve mentioned in your post is true for a majority of my fellow men, I must mention, not everyone should be included in that category. Even though I’m not married, I would on any given day, rather go home than spend an extra minute of my time in office.
Pride is a matter of priorities, and mine are well defined. I give my best when it’s time to work and try to give my best outside work. In my case, like many more at my level, going home depends on how good my seniors are at managing time (and work). I might finish my work well before 5:30, but what’s the point if there’s no one there to approve the work till 8 pm? My time has been taken for granted several times.
The point I’m getting at is fairly simple. Agencies should being more stringent about its policies on working late. Bosses should set a good working example. Clients (also different departments within the agency) shouldn’t be able to take the agency and its people for granted. Maybe then we’ll (women and men) be able to enjoy our lives outside office without additional tags being attached to our names.
hopeful early leaver – Tanuj.
July 8, 2013 at 11:42 am
Okay. Here’s what you probably wanted to say:
My bosses are lazy. Because I work in advertising.
People in my office work late, because clients are unreasonable and creative are creative. Because I work in advertising.
The men in my office waste too much time, but I don’t. Even though I work in advertising.
My children are going to grow up to be awesome, despite the fact that I worked in advertising, while those men’s children probably won’t, you know, because they work in advertising.
Fuck this, go home early.
Either way, I’m glad you get home and get time with your kids. I don’t have any, and it’s almost 530. Time for that discussion about Sachin’s retirement.
July 8, 2013 at 11:54 am
wow! can’t agree with you more… thanks for saying all this on behalf of all the women… I know there are hundreds of thousands who all feel this way!
July 8, 2013 at 2:02 pm
You must hold men to one more sin. Gossip. Men gossip and gossip and gossip. That’s another secret. MEN LOVE GOSSIP. And even with the internet and all that, why do men work late? Gossip again. On the net too. In addition to the face to face variety. So 5.30 is a good time to leave. If you don’t gossip, you can leave at 5.30. But, men will be boys!! (P.S — I’m a man!)
July 8, 2013 at 4:14 pm
I was forced to stay late in office. I had to work on a pitch with this beautiful girl. A flirtation got out of control and I ended up offending the girl. I am too chickened out to display my name. But yeah! Freaks like me are one more reason for not staying late.
July 8, 2013 at 5:40 pm
I am a woman, I work late, and yes I have a life. And while reading through this I was repulsed by how deeply entrenched the idea of gendered roles is — in your mind. And I was also reminded that sexism and male chauvinism are enforced by both men and women who buy and sell the stereotypes.
July 12, 2013 at 8:13 am
This! This summarizes everything that is wrong with the article and all that is wrong with one sided, shallow sexism (not feminism).
July 8, 2013 at 6:30 pm
Agree. Except that this has nothing to do with men vs women.
There are men who love to be home on time. And there are women who love discussing Sachin’s retirement.
July 8, 2013 at 10:21 pm
This is so so true….when I finished my MBA after 3 years of experiencing the ad world, I never had the gumption of going back just so I cud have a sane life! Choose to change tracks to Hr…n when I had my daughter I remember working right thru the day, without any tea/ coffee breaks just so that I cud pick her up from the day care by 6:30…..n I do remember my male colleagues did pass some sharp snide remarks on why I dont socialize any longer …
Today I stay out of India n observe all genders having such a great work life balance… they walk into office by max 8 n work straight till 5….follow active hobbies…n weekends is just n just for the family….bosses mostly dont disturb…
Leaves me wondering is this an Indian habit?
July 9, 2013 at 5:28 am
July 9, 2013 at 5:51 am
Excellent. True. Perfect. This is wat exactly i feel!!
July 9, 2013 at 6:29 am
Hey Swati, Very Well written.
Just to share my experience. Contrary to what you’ve written, if I’m home late, I have to fix my own dinner and obviously NO Coffee, coz I’m expected to have that extra cup at work. However, if I’m home early, my incentive is that my wife gets me the coffee… Trust me, it works fine. That really pushes to me to ensure I maintain the work-life balance. And NO, I don’t wile away my time at work discussing Sachin’s retirement over a smoke…. 🙂
July 9, 2013 at 6:33 am
Very nice article. Well put and well said. However, we might run a chance of generalizing here a bit. There are exceptions everywhere. But, often women tend to work harder on the work-life balance. Men have the freedom, women don’t thanks to the patriarchal society we live in.
July 9, 2013 at 6:39 am
Some good points Swati but as is the norm with such opinion pieces, I think you took it too far in some areas. Not all guys working late are slackers or absentees.
Also, there are times when I would prefer the environment of office, or the lack of it, to complete my work rather than take it home.
and by the way, there’s no debate about Sachin’s retirement, the God will do so when he wants to 🙂
July 9, 2013 at 7:18 am
This is an Indian habit. Those who work the hardest are those who stay late after work hours. I have worked abroad too and haven’t seen this habit with other nationalities.
My boss long ago used to say that if you can’t complete your work in 8 hours, there’s something you are not doing right.
July 9, 2013 at 9:06 am
Swati, loved every bit of it. I especially liked the guilty feeling of the mother in us. Could relate to it instantly. 🙂
July 9, 2013 at 9:55 am
Sweeping generalizations. From the title I thought it is a work life balance post, but unfortunately it turned out to be a feminist one. And perplexed to note its only kids and dogs that wait for you and you take care of 🙂 Nobody else.
July 9, 2013 at 10:13 am
So men are douches and mothers are martyrs? My my!
Is it still sexism if mommy is being sexist to daddy?
While there might be a certain charm in casually imaging all men as loungers and smokers and chai-drinkers (no coffee in the office?) while cooing over the valiant sisters-from-other-mothers who go home to ‘be there’ for the little munchkins, the droll truth is that the only reason it is easy to think this way – other than laziness – is because it is a stereotype.
A shoddy one admittedly, but still a stereotype.
Unfortunately reality is rarely quite so monochromatic.
Many men, and I am sure every one including the author knows such men, dote on their kids and love their wife. Many a woman places career before her family.
I assume, and it is just my assumption here, that this is just how some of the men in the author’s work place behave and this is her personal reason for going home on time.
Well good for her, mommy power for the win and all that.
But to say that all men are “proud” to stay back and all mothers leave on time “with your chin up, chest out” is stretching credulity so far, I may have to stay back late tonight to reel it all back in.
July 9, 2013 at 12:27 pm
Good piece of analysis… And agree to every word. Well…5.30 pm is one thing..but how about leaving early, inspite of finishing the work? And not just this, women working has to have financial needs to suppot the man as a cause but men work for dignity. So many hypocrisies and we strive!
July 9, 2013 at 4:06 pm
Way to go woman….honestly if you were a part of any other line of work id believe you in a jiffy but choosing to not work nights in advertising deserves a serious pat on your back…
July 9, 2013 at 5:18 pm
Presume the colleagues concerned have read it and are looking peeved!
As for the critics above, they need to take a deep breath and not assume that you’re generalising.
July 9, 2013 at 5:30 pm
Ever worked in a startup?
There ain’t no gender biases there. It’s a great leveler actually. You slog it off at work, then you head back home and slog some more. Wake up again the next morning (before your grandma does), and the slogfest repeats.
You do not have a social life. Yet you do not complain. However, people around you do though.
You try your best to keep your loved ones happy. You work harder and longer just so that you can be there for your kids birthday party or attend an important wedding in the family. You are drowsy, look like shit, and if you are single – you are the definition of an outcast. You see the job doesn’t pay you – at least not yet, your company ain’t making money either and your eligibility status is almost non-existent.
But at end of the day, you continue doing what you do, hoping things would change for the better.
So you see, there is another breed of humans – not men – but people – not workaholics – but inspired folk who are working towards something they are extremely passionate about. They do not waste or wile away their time at work. They do not do stay back or want to go back home late because it’s a “badge of honour”. And sometimes and very rarely they do it with the support of their loved ones.
July 9, 2013 at 5:32 pm
Ah, my husband gets a raw deal then, fo sho ! Everytime he comes home late (read after 6:15pm), he gets a scowl from me and kitchen clean-up duties 😛
July 9, 2013 at 5:58 pm
I totally agree and empathise. I belong to the IT industry on the sales side, and have done both; late nights as well as normal hours. Not just all nighters; I have done weekends for more than 6 weeks at a stretch, with many nightouts thrown in. And then I fell sick due to stress and was hospitalised. When I came back home, colleagues called, oohed and aahed, and then asked ‘can you please forward this email, send that proposal, talk to that customer?’. It was my wife who spent sleepless nights. I obviously had my priorities wrong. I changed it, and actually tasted more success than before, at work. And now I know my son’s friends’ names, help him with mental maths, and discuss stories.
And finally, some lines from my elder brother ‘if you are unable to complete your job within office hours, then you are either incompetent, can’t manage your time, or are in the wrong job. In all cases, you should be kicked out’. Thanks Dada.
July 9, 2013 at 6:46 pm
very true – its something that bothered me daily. i had a boss who actually told me that he knows i leave on time with my work complete but its bad for group morale to see me leave as it makes them feel inferior!
inworked in a company filled with young mostly single employees and as you rightly pointed out, most late night workers were busy socializing.
July 10, 2013 at 2:19 am
I have never ever in my life responded to an article or a blog or anything! However, I love everything about this piece. You could not have said it better…
July 10, 2013 at 5:07 am
Hi Swati! Refreshingly direct straight from the heart work! I must admit, I may have spent a couple of years being the errr…. “gentlemen” you so aptly describe! But I am happy to inform you that I have evolved! How? Fell in love! Couldnt bear to stay away from her, still cant! Then fell in love again! Twice! A beautiful daughter and a brilliant son! So with three to love at home, the Marlboro men lost out!
July 10, 2013 at 6:03 am
Its the age old question of working hard vs. working smart. Do we men believe that putting in more hours will give us the Brownie Points??
But extra/late hours also points towards bad work-flow planning, bad understanding & little or no delegation….
In a way, YES.
But thats my take n if u don’t agree………….KFPH
July 10, 2013 at 6:26 am
The problem also lies with the office culture – in most places the person who sits late is considered to be doing most work and gets promoted fastest and in turn rakes in most money. While in Indian culture … the man must make more money than the woman else its a huge embarassment (and no woman will marry him either) so he would prioritise this crap sitting late as a way to compete for his more money instead of doing housework or family work for which society doesnt hold him accountable anyways. Nice article though… would love for all CEOs and MDs in India to read it!
July 10, 2013 at 9:01 am
Maybe if you didn’t generalize the term “men”. Though i’ve seen this characteristic mostly in guys, i also think its because men have lesser responsibilities at home like cooking, homework, laundry etc.
Also, there are times (esp in the media) when work plops on your table at 6pm (a story breaks, an overseas client starts his day, a client remembers his boss’ order). Then there’s no point looking at the clock
July 10, 2013 at 9:29 am
so true………….I can go on & on with this.
ppl ……………both men & women need to make a time chart & see how much time they ACTUALLY work in office…….or even home.
I work from home & believe me………….I put in less hours and much much higher output is there.
July 10, 2013 at 6:07 pm
Wonderfully written. In my short stint, I’ve realized the same thing. People stay late in office to have another chat, gossip, another cup of coffee, which could’ve actually been better at home, with family. I wonder how they don’t realize. And truly, we do double shifts. Cheers to us.
July 11, 2013 at 2:05 pm
Drama Queen – Please stop moaning and stay at home ..
July 12, 2013 at 10:30 am
Lovely! Btw, I have another reason for going home early or late if that golden time has passed! Beating the traffic jams in NCR!
July 12, 2013 at 12:23 pm
If I were the editor of a national newspaper (Times of India / Hindustan times), I would print this blog entry in my newspaper. Excellent, so true and very well articulated.
July 13, 2013 at 6:46 am
lets hope some moms and mom-in-laws also read this and have their eyes opened.
July 13, 2013 at 10:28 am
from Lahore Pakistan….much the same here!
Spent long hours at agency (jwt asiatic btw).
Always always it was because of the same reasons you quote. Occasionally a man has resigned because he wanted to have his own life too. Women usually did. I hung in there because of a false sense of heroism. Regret it. Regret not being home in time for my own daughters dholkis. Not worth missing out on anything family or friends. Prove nothing. No medal at the end of the day either. The guys? Dysfunctional families, unhappy joint family situations…but respected as bread earners. Love your dare. Later as a boss elsewhere I almost forced people to leave for home or wherever by 6pm. Never lost a client.
July 13, 2013 at 1:10 pm
I think it was kinda of unfair that it was generalized as men. should have been the slackers…
July 16, 2013 at 5:39 am
wow.. you have hit the nail right on the head… hats off to you …
July 20, 2013 at 6:25 am
I am a first-time reader of your blog..from the name of your blog to this article..all is very Creative..but well honestly, it all is buying & selling of stereotypes..
July 25, 2013 at 7:41 am
couldn’t agree more with you!
December 13, 2013 at 1:01 pm
We women do double shifts. Men don’t.-Perfectly said. I was trying to decode, why am I feeling anguished when I return home late after marriage & a kid. It was the opposite before that.
You pointed out correctly.
September 17, 2014 at 7:16 pm
Nicely written and very creative. Men seriouly stay late at offices deliberately. I myself have been seeing this as i have worked with biggest sales offices LG and Asian Paints. The basic finding is that men are waiting for dust to ring an alarm that gets snoozed till 9 pm usually. After 10 it bites them and they release their pressure by drinking, partying, shouting, rash driving etc.
But then there is a second breed of men. They finish all damn shet by 5. Drink a tea or coffee. Go to their team. Take the status for the day. Deligate work and priortise it. They keep their cell phone away on weekends and yes they create weekends instead of spending a comp off earned for tuesday. They have plans for the evening. This is the pedigree of men that is less materialistic and has very less loans on their head. They live free and dont give a damn. I am one of them.
September 18, 2014 at 7:10 am
Nicely written but this surely sounds dated. When i entered the so called corporate world staying late was norm and people who were always there in office were considered heroes. The thought has definitely changed. In my workplace (we are bunch of sales guys only some 75 of us) it will be difficult to find anyone at work after 9 and there will be only a few after 8. I leave office by 730 reach home, help my six year old learn his spellings. Ya i still dont help him in HW and i feel guilty of that.
Post that I feed my 9 months old daughter. Give her the regular night massage, change her diapers and put her to sleep. I go back to my six years old, read him a Roald Dahl chapter and put him to sleep.
It will be 11 by now. This is the time to sit with my wife and catch up for some time before going to bed.
N trust me i know enough guys who have the same schedule. ya we do get away on fridays for a drink and at times for client dinners but hey they are part of business and can you really say no to them. I am glad that these outings are more an exception than routine
September 18, 2014 at 11:36 am
VijayMak There are always exceptions. 99% of the men I have worked with are like the men described in the article. In fact, I had to hear enough jibes for leaving on time because my cook came home at 8 pm and I worked out in the gym post work
September 19, 2014 at 4:07 am
hello, swati. thanks for writing this. i am an ad man of sorts. can relate a lot to your professional lifestyle. i always believed staying up late was uncool. it was portrayed being unproductive, despite some well known myths that the best ideas are generated late evenings.
it is also not about being a man or a woman. the real question is, how purposeful are we beyond our professional lives? do we have something more exciting to look forward to beyond our business cards? are we yearing to go back home and give our little ones a hug or help the spouse prepare dinner? or just be home for the sake of being home? do we have hobbies and passions beyond professional calling?
i for one am a firm believer of come to work early, work hard during the day & get out early. it has been 5 years of being in business. can proudly say for most of half of this period, i have ended up picking up kids from school, around 4pm and operated from home post that. no complaints whatsoever. 🙂
it certainly isn’t about being a man or a woman or the perks that come with “staying up late at work”! it is about a life beyond work!
my humble views.
September 20, 2014 at 6:49 am
Agree 100%…..and gr8 that u neva burnt the night lamp in office….ur work shud speak for itself..nt ur work hours!
September 20, 2014 at 6:54 am
boogerworm VijayMak : Very true….i always suffered cos of men who wud sit late in the night and then come late in the morning. I would come on time and my work wud get stuck up cos of dese “Late leavers and consequently late comers!”
September 21, 2014 at 7:10 am
True swati…. we women like to dump gulit on us every now on thn….. sincecwe become daughter, wife, mother, mil, dadi, nani…. we know how to feel gulity….because we hv forgot how to feel like a women.this is how we bring up girls in india.. with guilt!
September 21, 2014 at 7:28 pm
Shut up! Ask your reportees on the amount of work you give them and they can’t help but stay in office late to complete that, to make your life easy, to make you feel what you were feeling while writing this post!
Some people do it to achieve excellence, in your words, we care about what the client might think of the shabby work, or if it is delivered late. We give up our priorities which makes your life easier!
September 21, 2014 at 10:49 pm
I don’t think it is a male/female thing. I honestly think this was a corporate culture of the 1990’s, where coming in early and staying late made you look productive and people thought you were a high achiever. However,that is slowly changing with people realizing that performance needs to be based on execution and output, and not on how long someone stays in the office. In fact, in my workplace men and women who come in and leave early are the ones who take their work very seriously, don’t chit chat with other people, or wander off from their desk for hours for no reason. They are also the ones who get promoted. So chin up and stop feeling guilty.
September 21, 2014 at 10:53 pm
lp100389 A) You don’t have to be rude B) Maybe you need to say no the person who seems to be dumping work on you C) There is no correlation between efficiency, excellence and the amount of time spent at work. D) Maybe you need a xanax to calm down. E) I don’t think there is any medication for self-righteousness, so I cannot help you there.
September 21, 2014 at 10:56 pm
VijayMak I think there is a general trend towards an emphasis on work and life balance. I also think corporations are now realizing, work is not a sprint but a marathon.
September 21, 2014 at 10:57 pm
gauravkumar007 And are probably creative and innovative, as well.
September 21, 2014 at 10:58 pm
@Preddster actually those are the ones who stay late at office because they have spent all day complaining, gossiping and sapping off everyone’s energy.
September 21, 2014 at 11:04 pm
@Praveen totally unrelated. What’s your point? Yes, everyone knows how startups work, you self-righteous moron, which is why it is not for everyone. There is a reason why start-up founders work 24/7. A) Because they wear a number of hatsB) They cannot hire a lot of people C) It is their god damn company. Working for a corporation is different and you don’t have to put in ungodly hours and most of the time is wasted in chit chatting with other people about their wives, girlfriends or politics. That was her point. You came here to brag about how you have start-up experience.
September 22, 2014 at 7:46 am
Awesome awesome awesome you spoke my heart out….n am surprised how some women or mommies like us have the same damn issues at work…..
September 22, 2014 at 9:28 am
What an awesome piece to read. Well! I don’t have kids who’re waiting for me after work hours, neither I have a dog to pamper nor a maali to say “hello”. However, I do have a “Life” which states “jitna paisa utna kaam, na kam na zyada”… I have 9 to 6 Job! no wonder at times I have to stay up late..but that is definitely not for chitchatting with canteen boy or playing games on computer.
I prefer a cup of coffee with my fav’books in the most comfortable clothes 😛 am sure I have many of my kind!
September 23, 2014 at 1:56 am
Feels so good to know my story is your story.this feeling of connection beats all feeling of not being understood at work.as long as we are together..we are fine
September 23, 2014 at 6:02 am
Awesome!! right on point. After reading this article men will say, “ouch, it hurt me”.
September 24, 2014 at 10:27 am
Swati….Ahoy Captain …
every word you penned down is true to its spine sense…..and our wishlist remains same
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me….I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings..ever though we know we are bounded by our constraints…never the less read you article and shared it in here (i stay in one of the emirate) we women folks shared the same feeling and felt good that we are not apart when it comes to task/chore a women does ….globally we face this kind of rut ….dint want to sound like an oprah !!! keep writing….
September 25, 2014 at 6:04 am
With the way our country is growing in to nuclear households with both partners working, its important for both to balance work and life! Manage time in a better way. Wonder why people perceive and form prejudice that staying late hours equals hard working and dedicated team!
I think in Japan its customary for some one to be perceived doing well doesn’t enter home before dark!
September 25, 2014 at 10:08 am
SaritaPandey boogerworm VijayMak : True that, I work in two offices and try to efficiently utilise my time 9-6, one day I was leaving at 6:15 and one of my colleague walked upto me and asked you are leaving so early, I asked him -you and your entire team sits in the office till 9- 10 p.m and do you still manage to finish your work and the golden answer was no because they had too much of work , I politely asked him then better train the team efficiently to utilise office hours and have a life other than office. I am sure he didn’t like my answer but I was surprised that rather than asking how do I manage to finish my work by 6 pm at two work places , the man asked me..why am I leaving early! I don’t know when people will understand- working till late doesn’t mean working hard
September 25, 2014 at 10:42 am
I am a woman, I don’t do double shifts. I don’t think women ‘naturally’ feel guilty for not being there. Or that women are ‘naturally’ more empathetic than men. In fact, I know some men who feel the need to rush back home. As long as my parents or partner or dog are not stranded somewhere, dying or in an emergency, I am happy being at work late. Or with friends. Or anywhere else for that matter. I love to go home late. The later, the better. And I know several women who live this way. No guilt. It’s time we repair the fractured narratives people like to dish out as being ‘natural’ for all women-kind. There are all sorts of women who are living on their own terms and it’s time their stories were ‘naturalised’ rather than being deemed as exceptions.
September 25, 2014 at 12:35 pm
something related I penned some time ago http://www.expressitfreely.com/gender-games/
September 26, 2014 at 5:33 am
I have faced this too…few of my male colleagues (mostly bachelors and 1 married) used to stay back late nights and chat with our boss overseas (GOD knows what were those topics).. which gave an impression that ONLY they worked for the organisation. But all they talked was about lame issues like “one person wearing a TIE everyday to office”, “finishing their executive MBA assignments” etc. End of the year…. ta dahhh….. a surprise….they were promoted.
I never stayed late and never repent for that too. I am contented… at least I have some self respect professionally and sense of responsibility on personal front.
Grow up top management……. time to understand that those who can’t effectively utilize the 9 hours of work are simply inefficient enough to be sacked. Icing on top is that they utilize all the official resources (Internet, pantry services, Electricity, reimbursements for late night drops etc) for personal gains with no productivity to the organisation.
October 8, 2014 at 9:12 pm
Here’s one more thing! Maybe they don’t feel the necessity to get back home as much as females do. This could probably come from lack of attachment maybe? When I broke up with my the-then boyfriend during my first few years of work, I would prefer staying at work for over 12 overs just to keep myself involved into something which I felt was more productive. But when I gained back my composure, I went back into my normal working hours without having to compromise on any productivity.
October 18, 2014 at 11:39 am
Kudos, on a post which calls a spade a spade. I agree that men deliberately work late for many reasons. I have found most people waste their time during the day and then put on a big act as if they are working late when the truth is they actually commence working only after 6.00 p.m. However, I for one, prefer to complete my work by six or six thirty and head back home for some quality time with the family. If only people stayed focused at work and avoid gossip and chit chat they can finish more than a day’s work before six in the evening.
November 11, 2014 at 3:22 pm
Brilliantly said, Hats off!
November 12, 2014 at 6:53 am
Well said Swati, I think most of the working women faced this situation day in and day out. Staying late never mean that you are doing more work or you are more productive as human brain has a capacity beyond which it stops working. And of course they don’t do double shifts, rightly said. Kudos
November 14, 2014 at 11:45 am
I think women go home early to catch all the TV SOAP operas rather than the so called double duty. double duty is watching TV non stop!
November 14, 2014 at 11:46 am
abcd_90 I think women go home early to catch all the TV SOAP operas rather than the so called double duty. double duty is watching TV non stop!
November 14, 2014 at 11:48 am
SaritaPandey boogerworm VijayMak I think women go home early to catch all the TV SOAP operas rather than the so called double duty. double duty is watching TV non stop!
November 14, 2014 at 11:51 am
@REKHA I think women go home early to catch all the TV SOAP operas rather than the so called double duty. double duty is watching TV non stop!
November 14, 2014 at 11:52 am
MamtaTalwar I think women go home early to catch all the TV SOAP operas rather than the so called double duty. double duty is watching TV non stop!
November 20, 2014 at 3:07 pm
dineshagarval And all of the housework and child care gets done by whom? Elves?
November 22, 2014 at 11:13 am
SwatiBhattacharya i agree with a lot of things you said, like the ‘hardwork’ tag you receive when you stay back late and actually do nothing.
But sadly, the ‘male bashing’ was unnecessary. Lack of content? If it was me writing about you, i would have praised you profusely for your efficiency (till I read the last paragraph where you said you work privately at home!) not apply the late working tag on male gender.
My ex-boss used to work 18 hours a day and 7 days a week for atleast 10 years now. And I respect her for that, because she takes more responsibilities than she can do in 12 hours. So for her and me (when i used to work with her), late nights was a necessity.You don’t believe me, i can arrange you talk to her 🙂
Also, Dineshagarval’s response below is very much in line with your post. Just to give you a feeling of the other side of river 😉
Late working is bad, it shows ineffeciency or over-burden, either ways a manager is not working right. It also kills social & personal life. It kills effeciency at work. – this much i agree with you.
June 17, 2015 at 7:04 am
Reading this article only tells me what and how the women of today think. Why so much of male bashing off-late ? Feminism is OK, but unreasonable, unsubstantiated claims made qpurely on the basis of observing a small section of population which doesn’t even qualify as a sample population doesn more harm than good. This only tells me that the author is so not in-tune with the current time; but wait is it a creative Head I am talking about !
This country has already wasted a lot of time over gender equality or inequality, whatever we may call it. I say wasted because no legislation can help us unless we ourselves are willing to. And this piece is certainly not helping. One, whatever has been written is no where near the truth- my workplace and many of my friends and co-readers would vet this. I say this piece is confined because I work for an organization with ladies at important positions- and guess what- we all stay late.
Instead of choosing a more pertinent and relevant article on the work culture, this is about how ‘men’ work … I have heard all sorts of complaint s on men-behaviour, now I am going to add one more to that list. Clearly, it is about how we perceive things- only our perception of each other has the ability to bring about the change we intend to see.
I hope the creative team is not at dearth of ideas, I hope the articles to follow are not just creative, but creative and sensible
March 4, 2016 at 12:27 pm
What bout us women who do not have kids waiting for us back home? Not all women who work are married or have kids. Some us want to leave office at a reasonable time because we want a LIFE outside of work. Some of us like to go home to stare at the walls, not do more endless work. There are things called priorities and sometimes, just sometimes, our priority can be just US. Being constantly exhausted because I work 10 to 11 hours a day is not my ideal situation, but I would change it because I want time for ME, and whatever I want to do with it. Why must me leaving work early be validated by motherhood and/or household chores?