You must know if you are going to join a corporate
“Aaj main upar aasman neeche”
This song comes to mind when you achieve a milestone in your career.
Especially getting entry in a corporate world nowadays is not less than a milestone. It is a dream come true for those who are hungry to get white collar jobs and want to enjoy the glamorous and successful culture of corporate.
First lets go back and try to memorize our parents’ workplaces.
What comes to your mind??
- Staff between the age of 40-60
- Huge but unbalanced piles of files (mostly with pending cases)
- Lethargic managers and deaf peons
- Noisy ceiling fans, unrepaired old hotcases with loose electric wires
- Furniture of Baba Adam’s era, computers with black and white screen installed with Windows 98
- Hardly anyone familiar with computer usage and off course no scope of internet
- Old bosses with strict attitude
- Chirping atmosphere of women gang; knitting sweaters, gossiping home affairs or discussing food recipes
- Long queue of customers waiting outside
- Tea wala placing tea glasses on babuji’s and madamji’s tables.
Oops, the nostalgia brought me to a different era.
No motivation, no enthusiasm, fixed salary hikes as per the government policies, no discipline of office hours, no targets or deadlines, people without any hunger of growth, and competition.
Then, came the corporate world that attracted youth towards it.
Within few decades, the entire work culture and the working environment has been changed. The whole set up, policies, way of working and meaning of workplaces have been reshaped. However, in government organizations, the traditions are getting changed gradually to some extent. The work culture and execution of work at government offices too is following latest technologies and trends being followed in corporate.
Changes in Trend
An older era was following the trend “Bring the hands to workplace” so that doers should work only as per their master’s brain.
Then later it changed to “Bring both the hands and the brain to workplace” so that employees should generate brainwave ideas to improve productivity and support in enhancing growth of organizations with their innovative approach. But the brains caused egoistic views as well, hence politics and bureaucracy landed at the offices.
Now the scene is “Bring the hands, the brain as well as the heart to workplace” so that not only productivity and growth should improve but a feeling of internal love and attachment for workplace is developed among employees and management.
Lets explore, What’s so catchy about Corporate
Forget the old prototypes words like Department and Office – Corporate uses terms like process, work stations, floor and bay. Terms like meeting rooms is replaced with boardrooms. Breakout areas sound trendier than cafeterias or canteens. Assignments to tasks, computers to systems, SOPs to protocols, customers to clients, washrooms to restrooms, staff to team, employees to millennial. In a nutshell, the old daftari or lala type terminology has been replaced with new catchy and trendy terms.
The multistoried buildings, classy attractive painted windowpanes, beautiful curtain chicks, decorated corridors, spacious cabins occupied with imported furniture, flat screen computers, clean floors and fragrant washrooms, centralized cooling and warming systems. This is the look of the modern offices. The attire of workplaces has been made so lavish that it gives the feel to work in a five star hotel.
Employees and Bosses Outlook
The major changes have been seen in IT sectors. Handsome salaries and perks have altogether altered the employees’ lifestyle. Now, the bosses are not of those kinds who are overbulky, wearing thick glasses and always creating phobia among employees of “Who will bell the cat?”
The old fashioned bosses are left behind and the latest bosses have adopted modern outlook.
The entire team work accounts for every project. Bosses are young, cooperative, energetic and friendly. Workload is equally shared among doers and managers. All are paid as per their performance and outputs.
Change in Organogram
The hierarchy plans are improved and are more structured. Team divisions in first line managers, second line managers and other appropriate designations as per skills and experience have changed the “One Man Show” scenario. The gaps are reduced between workers and managers. Work environment is free from “Master and slave” trend.
Hierarchy Plan Followed in Corporate
Dressing Sense and Gender equality:
Employees follow smart dress code policies. An old image of dafter ka babu has been replaced by smart dudes. The fashion of old traditional pants or loose collared shirts has been taken by the slim fit fashionable and trendy formal dresses which have given employees more presentable and confident look. You will find few women draped in saaris, the smart western trousers and skirts are flooding the shopping malls for latest office outwears. No more Behnjis or unclejis looks now. There is no place for gender inequality as well. All have equal rights and say at workplaces. Women are emerging as equally competitive, skilled and goal oriented.
Entertainment : Team building Activities
Earlier offices were recognized as the place of earning bread only. But nowadays the meaning for workplace is changed; corporate follows the agenda “Work Hard Party Harder”
The employees are provided stress free environment with the internal fun activities, dance and singing competitions, sports activities like cricket and tennis tournaments, regular organizations of festivals celebrations, celebrating the events like family day functions and other annual or quarterly team lunch parties or motivating the employees by conducting ceremonies like rewards and recognitions are in trend. These all keep the employees knitted in a family. It helps people to enjoy their work and the workplace. Employees enthusiastically participate in such events. Some organizations also offer an opportunity to their employees to write for their office magazines. Their workplace itself gives a platform to showcase their hidden talents and such team building activities strengthen their team bonding and reduce the crops of politics and other negative vibes in their surroundings.
Work Towards social well being
CSR (Corporate social responsibility) activities being driven by few corporate not only establish remarkable pressings of noble work in society and gives corporate a new identity of philanthropy activist but also helps in building the character of their employees by giving them chance to perform some social work and charity in an unanimous way which is otherwise difficult to perform on their own.
We at Knowledge Isotopes, do lot of such team building activities to keep the atmosphere lively. Employees feel like enjoying at such a place which is a home, away from another home. Fun and work together not only reduces stress but provides healthy and balanced work culture. Some snapshots:
Training and Opportunities
Finding right job as per the relevant skills is the biggest challenge for startups. Corporate focus on diversifying the teams across levels to acquire access to a bigger talent pool. The main target is to include workforce where age, gender, physical disability, ethnicity and even sexual orientation do not matter. What is needed are; talented, communicative, qualified people who can drive the business faster. Therefore, most of the organizations schedule training plan for their employees to make them familiarize with their work, and to understand their policies and regulations well. Performance during training helps the organization to place an employee in right team as per his/ her skills. Trainings and certifications are conducted on and off by the organizations as per the identification need of trainings for employees. This not only adds value to the organization but also helps employees in honing up their skills to perform better.
Corporate are blend of learning and earnings. Trainings organized at national and international levels gives employees numerous opportunities to travel. It helps in career growth of employees. Most of the people join corporate with the dream of settling abroad. Multinational companies do give such opportunities to their employees by sponsoring them for their offshore projects.
In a successful corporate, everything goes in a systematic manner and in a well documented way. All the policies and regulations are laid down in user friendly system software. All systems are followed as per the standard protocols. Exchange of mails between employees and management or clients, requests and approval of leaves, salary issues, appraisal forms and other employees related financial issues such as PF, gratuity, bonus and incentive details are accessed with user friendly softwares. There is no botheration of manual entries, which has greatly reduced the burden of unnecessary, exhaustive paper work and also avoids data errors. It has given birth to new revolution: “Go Green” which means save papers; so trees.
Established and Successful corporate understands the need of their employees. Therefore, many corporate like Infosys, GenPact, WNS, Google provide the facility of inbuilt gyms, yoga and meditation classes, spa and saloons for the employees at subsidized rates. Provision of good quality and subsidized food facilities available for 24*7 have reduced the worries of self cooking especially for the outstation employees who reside in PGs or hostels and also give them an opportunity to keep them fit while working. Other corporate benefits such as offering food coupons, discounted shopping coupons at branded places for employees is an additional perk in the salaries. Most of the corporate have 5 days working. This is an extra benefit; employees can enjoy their weekend to their fullest. Medical benefits like insurance policies and maternity benefits by companies is a good help for employees. Earning referral amounts by referring employees nowadays is also a new way of making extra money within the organization.
Cons to work with Corporate
The darker side of corporate work culture is also not hidden.
- Extra work pressures: It’s an old saying “to get something good, you have to lose something”. It applies well in corporate. If on one side, employees enjoy glamorous lifestyle, on other hand sometimes they have to bear the extra burden too.
Most of the IT companies have International clients, therefore employees have to work in rotational shifts and to sometimes meet the timelines; they have to work for extra hours. It disturbs their family lives and impacts their health too. Working in night shifts again raises the question for women safety and security.
Cut Throat Competition:
Hunger to outshine in team makes employee overambitious to achieve more and more. It gives birth to ego and political thoughts in their minds. Employees play wrong tricks to grow fast. The greed of increments and position makes them witty and cunning. Also, their work life balance gets disturbed.
- Health Issues: Latest surveys shows that majority of people working in corporate between the age group of 30-40 years are associated with health problems of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. The reasons are lesser physical activities, stress at work, due to over workload or office politics, and disturbed family life. Such kind of running life has also raised the issues of infertility. Few Indian surveys (NFHS data) reports that working women have high infertility rates as compared to nonworking (1). The causes are time lack for family and occupational disorders deteriorating health.
- Fear of Being Fired and No Retirement Plans: Corporate follows the principle of “Squeeze the lemon”. Off course the lemon is an employee of a corporate whose future is being predicted by his performance. Poor performance always bangs an employee with the fear of being fired or expelled. Nightmares for getting low rating and negative feedback during One O one may take yours sleep away during appraisals.
It may ruin employee’s career in current organizations and could create a negative impact for his coming future. Also no scope of pensions and any retirement plans is another major drawback to work with corporate sectors.
In nut shell, life in corporate is not that easy as it seems. If the lifestyle is trendy and lavish, the health is at stake all the time. Behind the shine of branded clothes, the character of a simple man seems to be chocked for enjoying real quality time with family and friends.
The glory of high storied corporate buildings has let down the moral character of youngsters by pushing them into darkness of spoiled western culture. The youngsters are becoming hungry for finding jobs in corporate. Fascination for achieving hi fi lifestyle, is making youth to step into corporate without completing their appropriate qualifications.
Undoubtedly, corporate have given new look to old and rubbish office atmosphere. Office friends are more like family. This industry has occupied the unemployed youth. It has abolished the issues of unemployment and gender inequality to some extent. It has strengthened the backbone of Indian economy. Success and happiness while working have resolved the issues of redundant and boring work environment.
Considering its good and bad, how to live with it is your own call. It can raise you and can demolish you. So, please think before you step up the ladder of your dreams.
Shelly Arora (Senior Medical Writer-II)
About myself: I am working in corporate domain for the last 10 years. I have tried to throw some light on real and fabulous culture of corporate via this interesting article. I am grateful to my present organization Knowledge Isotopes for providing me this platform to share my experience
- Unisa SGaS. Trends of Infertility and Childlessness in India: Findings from NFHS Data. Facts Views Vis Obgyn. 2010;2(2):131–8.