Is the youth of today is no longer bound by the security of a 9 to 5?
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.
MORE TO IT
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.
WHAT GOES INTO IT
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.
NEW AGE TECHNIQUES
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.
IT’S ALL ABOUT EXPERIMENTING!
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!