Sunday, February 21, 2010

The bane of second saturdays, forced shutdown hours on the current trend of business ...

The bane of second saturdays, forced shutdown hours on the current trend of business ...

These days when every business is ushering to service the customer 24x7 and set up virtual offices by leveraging the benefits of Internet as their extended office, I observe that our government organizations and offices of the state-central administrations still cling to the age-old practice of second saturday holidays and forced shutdown hours during lunch break. Typically I would like to draw the attention towards the following observations:

  1. Take any private bank for example like ICICI or HDFC. You can see the branch services from dawn to dusk without any break. The staff does take tea/lunch breaks but in turns so that the business as usual does not stop for the customer. The customers who walkin anytime during the period the bank is open can avail the same service at the same time period without any typical effect of 'particular hour of the day' (like lunch hour). Whereas in the case of a nationalized bank when you walkin between 12.30 PM and 2 PM, you can see most of the chairs empty and someone sitting in a remote chair would tell that you ought to wait for an hour when the staff resume their duty after thier lunch. I would appreciate them if they say they are trying to promote 'team spirit' by having a group lunch but I would not say it should be at the cost of the business and unhappy customer who might turn towards the competitor witnessing their misdemeanour. The private organizations too encourage their employees to go on 'Team Building Trips'.
  2. I had an opportunity to check with ICICI Bank once that they have services of a few branches open during New Year too. But state owned organizations like BSNL still cling to the practice of 'Second Saturday Holidays'. I still can not figure out from where on earth did these guys pickup this innovative culture of taking off on a second saturday. The most closest result of research on this second saturday can be found here.

I believe business establishments clinging to such practices should also bring some renaissance into their practices so that it is apt for the current day business trends and benefits the business the most.

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