Wednesday, Dec 08, 2021
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workplace

9 to 5, The Happy Hours

To attract young talent and to bust stress, new economy firms are going all out to make work fun

9 to 5, The Happy Hours
Satish Kumar
9 to 5, The Happy Hours
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

It wasn't a one-off carnival either, at the call centre office. Chilling out at the workstations is as natural as coffee and nicotine breaks. The lanky Reyner Furtado, 22, who works as e-relationship officer (also a trained DJ) ensures jazz and rock muzak streams. The dress code is as cool: jeans, tees, bermudas, sneakers. If you feel like it, you can even wear hippy strings of jasmine flowers. And sometimes a beach shack sprouts, selling tender coconuts and ice cream.

No stuffed shirts and memo-pushing all day long please. These are men at work—who have a lot of fun at the office. Chilling out in office to ease stress is de rigueur in today's new economy companies, especially in these difficult times. The new paradigm in work culture is catching up like wild fire at IT and animation firms, as well as medical transcription and call centres. Fun, games and camaraderie are apparently as important as rising revenues. Bosses and employees believe that humour is the best medicine for fatigue and boredom that rote work brings in. They also believe fun increases creativity, improves interpersonal communication, helps in workplace conflict resolutions and slows down attrition rates. As Bob Hoekstra, CEO of Philips Software Center, Bangalore, says: "Fun eases stress. Having fun together is a great enabler for people to work together. It breaks communication barriers and creates friendships." His facility organises funky Friday dos where geeks boogie and let their hair down. At annual festivals, fashion shows and sports events are organised. The budget for fun and games at the software center: Rs 30 lakh a year.

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