Is the youth of to­day is no longer bound by the se­cu­rity of a 9 to 5?

Citadel - - CONTENTS - BY PROTIMA TIWARY ci­tadel@mag­na­m­

We live in a day and age when the quest to search for the un­known and un­der­take risk is greater than ever. Does that mean the youth of to­day is no longer bound by the se­cu­rity of a 9 to 5? Ci­tadel finds out what Pune had to say.

John Hope Bryant said an i nter­est­ing t hing – Let your 9 to 5 (work) fi­nance your 5 to 9 (dream). Work is al­ways about ful­fill­ing your dreams. Un­less you have big dreams to do some­thing dif­fer­ent, chances are, you will be do­ing the typ­i­cal 9 to 5 job. It’s what most as­pire to­wards. Look around you and you will re­alise just that. But as they say – change is the only con­stant thing. As we change, our at­ti­tudes change and so do our con­cepts of how work should hap­pen. These days, an­other trend or rather thought process has been hit­ting more and more mil­len­ni­als. And the city of Pune is not in­dif­fer­ent to the trend. We’d like to say that the 9 to 5 rou­tine is un­der at­tack. The con­cept of work

has changed, thanks to the in­ter­net. To­day, the 9 to 5 is seen com­ing to an end as start-ups pop up like acne on a teenager’s skin. In­ter­na­tion­ally, peo­ple have gone on to call a 9 to 5 rou­tine ‘bar­baric’. What does Pune have to say about this? Be­ing a young and in­dus­trial city (yes, it has be­come one), one as­sumes there is a lot to be said and heard.


There must be a le­git rea­son be­hind many mil­len­ni­als rid­ding them­selves of the 9 to 5 tag. “A lot de­pends on your field of work. If you’re in the cre­ative field, maybe a mar­ket­ing agency or brand, re­mote work­ing is some­thing you can take up and not be bound in a 9 to 5. I have a lot of friends who’re do­ing so many things at once. It sounds like an ex­cit­ing life, be­cause I am bound to my job!” says Sa­marth Ahluwalia, a So­cial Me­dia Ex­ec­u­tive at a lead­ing dig­i­tal agency in Pune. The tag or tim­ing is not the sub­ject of im­por­tance to­day. It is about what you want to do, what you think is right and the fi­nal out­come.


Work-life bal­ance is now be­ing taken se­ri­ously. Peo­ple are tak­ing out time for their hob­bies, health and fit­ness regimes, and even va­ca­tions, and are even go­ing ahead to plan their en­tire ca­reers around it. While you have the reg­u­lar boy next door leav­ing his 9 to 5 at a bank to study for a fit­ness cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, there are some who’re even tak­ing up run­ning marathons and com­pet­ing in body

build­ing com­pe­ti­tions, trav­el­ling, cook­ing or even blog­ging full time, and of course this leaves them with no time to com­mit to a 9 to 5. It’s might be all about liv­ing your life once. There is so much to do. You want to do what makes you happy. The present gen­er­a­tion wants to move away from an im­posed rou­tine. The mil­len­ni­als in Pune to­day are seen opt­ing for part-time and free­lance roles. It is the right kind of free­dom. “I’ve done the cor­po­rate route, but didn’t find it ful­fill­ing. Work­ing re­motely – free­lanc­ing – is risky be­cause there isn’t any kind of job se­cu­rity, and the pay isn’t as steady; but it’s worth it. It’s worth it to be in charge of your own ca­reer, to have flex­i­ble work hours, and to work from wher­ever you like (ie, not a cu­bi­cle). Per­son­ally, it also gives me more time to do things like cook my own meals, and wake up at a more rea­son­able hour,” agrees Divya Desa, a free­lance writer from Pune. In fact, it is not just in­di­vid­u­als who are think­ing in this man­ner. Many com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing top play­ers like Buf­fer, Google, Ama­zon and Con­ver­gys, are warm­ing up to the idea of fluid workspaces, and they even al­low em­ploy­ees to work from any­where in the world. Em­ployee hap­pi­ness is now the top­most pri­or­ity of such com­pa­nies. The kind of pro­duc­tiv­ity after this is quite phe­nom­e­nal. “The fu­ture of work lies i n the free­dom to bal­ance work and life. With free­lanc­ing, I got the op­tion to step out of my cu­bi­cle and con­se­quently a dead end job, t o pur­sue what I love and trans­late that love into a pro­fes­sional com­mit­ment. There’s no ei­ther/or here. It’s ev­ery­thing that you want to do and be!” says Apurba Bandy­opad­hyay, who cur­rently works re­motely for a con­tent agency in Pune.


But it isn’t as easy as that. There is a lot of dis­ci­pline needed to ace your game as a free­lancer or con­sul­tant. As mentioned be­fore, you are on your own for a lot of things and need to fig­ure and fight things out re­ally well. “You might think that free­lanc­ing means you can do what­ever it is that you feel like, but no! You need to get your­self a rou­tine that suits you, and then sched­ule all your work around it. If you don’t have a plan in mind, if you’re not or­ga­nized, and if you’re not dis­ci­plined, you’ll never be able to make it big in this field where you’re all on your own. You need to stay mo­ti­vated too, so you need to find work that you like, and you need to work re­ally hard for it,” says Rad­hika Swamy, a free­lance writer from Pune. “Re­mote work­ing is filled with un­cer­tainty, so you need to plan your fi­nances too! Pay­ments are de­layed, some clients back off, some refuse to pay you enough…there is a lot of strug­gle in­volved too!” it is not a bed of roses for most of these dif­fer­ent thinkers.


With chang­ing times, new ways of work­ing are com­ing up for those who think dif­fer­ently and work un­like the next per­son. It is about find­ing the right space for one­self. Co-work­ing spaces are open­ing up too, which means the con­cept of part-tim­ing and re­mote work­ing is def­i­nitely pick­ing up. Min­istry of New, The Daf­tar, The Mesh, The Hive and WeWork are just some of the names that are cur­rently rul­ing the mar­ket. These spaces es­sen­tially bring to­gether peo­ple from dif­fer­ent back­grounds, and open op­por­tu­ni­ties for col­lab­o­ra­tions and new work, along with pro­vid­ing for ba­sic office needs like WiFi and work­sta­tions.


Mil­len­ni­als to­day are work­ing at part-time jobs, ex­per­i­ment­ing with their ca­reer choices and tak­ing the risk to tread the path less taken. Pho­tog­ra­phy, so­cial me­dia, blog­ging,

paint­ing, shoe paint­ing, bak­ing are just some of the ex­am­ples of what the youth to­day en­joys do­ing. Flex­i­ble work­ing does in­volve a lot of trust. You can­not aim to achieve suc­cess with­out es­tab­lish­ing trust. Com­pa­nies will ini­tially re­sist change, but over the years we have slowly seen so many brands opt­ing for the re­mote work­ing model. This leaves scope for em­ploy­ees to ex­plore other op­tions too, be it a hobby or an­other job. A happy em­ployee equals to a happy work en­vi­ron­ment and dou­ble the in­put. As an em­ployer, Sheetha Chacko feels work­ing with free­lancers (after es­tab­lish­ing trust of course) helps them get bet­ter mo­ti­vated em­ploy­ees as com­pared to the reg­u­lar 9 to 5 ones. “Gone are the days when we would mea­sure pro­duc­tiv­ity by the sec­ond. Lunch hour, time wasted in com­mut­ing, all those meet­ings, all of this is just wast­ing our time! Plus we save a lot of cost if we work with free­lancers. It’s the age of the free­lancers and work-life bal­ance! Let’s work to­gether and grow to­gether,” says Sheetha, who heads the PR di­vi­sion at a com­pany in Pune.


To­day, we’re all con­nected to other peo­ple thanks to the in­ter­net; we have our emails, smart­phones and so­cial me­dia to al­ways stay in touch. Re­mote work­ing has be­come easy be­cause of the in­ter­net, so why would you want to spend money and time in com­mut­ing, sit­ting at a fixed job, and go­ing back home to prob­a­bly just sleep at the end of the day? Back in the 1940s, when the con­cept of 9 to 5 started, it was be­cause post 5 pm, peo­ple had the time to re­lax and en­joy a work-life bal­ance. To­day, there is no down­time any­more, which is why flex­i­ble work­ing has taken cen­tre stage. En­joy­ing me-time is a pri­or­ity, and why not? Happy em­ploy­ees are bet­ter em­ploy­ees! They pro­vide bet­ter work if they are happy. Bi­o­log­i­cally, peo­ple are wired to be pro­duc­tive at cer­tain points of the day. Now what if that hap­pens to be late at night for Per­son A, and early in the morn­ing for Per­son B? If they have a flex­i­ble job, they can work their sched­ules around their rou­tines! Dif­fer­ent folks, dif­fer­ent strokes! Leav­ing you with some food for thought – do you en­joy work­ing in a reg­i­mented 9 to 5 office job, or would you rather work on your own terms, at your own space? It’ll be in­ter­est­ing to see how many com­pa­nies and in­dus­tries start giv­ing their em­ploy­ees more free­dom with their work sched­ule. We’ve got our eyes on the mar­ket!

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