All Play, No Work

Posted: December 13, 2013

Running a business in Bangalore? Hear from successful entrepreneurs how they grew the business, and you can too: REGISTER NOW!

A survey report titled “Indians choose money over holidays” in The Times of India reported that a whopping 85% of Indians were pleased with their jobs even though their jobs allowed them no  time for leisure or holidays. The survey omitted to state that work, for a majority of Indians, is one big holiday! So who takes holidays or breaks in a holiday? Well, when one is enjoying leisure and that too paid for, why take a vacation & lighten the pocket(s) ?

In any workplace in our nation, employees are on extended breaks: tea, lunch, nap to name a few. If indeed Indians worked without breaks, all work would have got done many times over! Reality check: anybody and everybody will tell you how many times they have had to go for every single task like Aadhar card, passport, bank account details, insurance policy etc. Mind you, this is not just the public sector. The private sector’s forays into insurance and banking have made us realise that the private sector is one up or maybe many steps above the public sector in terms of discourtesy, customer dissatisfaction, complaints and many other things!

In offices around our country, employees opt for power naps to get set for overtime. Why overtime? Because salary is paid for office attendance and therefore to get work done, overtime needs to be paid! Why should  any employee enjoy vacation when he can earn double or triple the salary by doing overtime? Indians are willing to exchange paid leave for money! That is the reason for a corrupt India. Not only are we corrupt in terms of money,we are corrupt all over – our mind set, which makes it all the more difficult, (nah, impossible!) to imbibe or even appreciate any new ideas.

Moreover, how can we Indians take vacations from work when we are enjoying the work, no, the office ambience? The workplace has so much to offer…free electricity which runs the air conditioners, the fans, the lights, the laptops, computers et al. In some offices ,some sites are blocked. Hence, employees seek such workplaces which allow free, unlimited access to all sites on the net! At our homes,we choose to install the most efficient power saving devices but in office, since we are simply enjoying them, we care a damn! So we misuse it to the maximum. Not only will the air conditioner be on, the fans will be on full speed too, to keep our heads cool.

Employees clock undertime by using office phones for long chats regarding everything but work! The net is used to chat up friends, relatives and rarely, for mundane office work. Some people type question paper sets for testing their kids. Some women are busy knitting sweaters in winter to keeps fingers nimble. Then, they get so nimble that they refuse to do work in office. Still others are exchanging recipes, tips and so many other things. Please do not be under the impression that this is indulged in by the ladies only. The amount of undertiming by men will lead to interesting revelations about cooking, knitting and other skills of Indian men! Whoever said that Indian men do not like housework….they love it. Men will undertime by arguing, discussing  housework so that the undone work has to be done by getting paid for overtime! So undertime and overtime are complimentary and supplement incomes!

The survey also revealed that Indians refuse to take vacations as they want to be part of every major decision taken in their workplaces. Now ,that is so that  decisions can be attacked, argued against et al so that it gets nullified ultimately and that too immediately! If they went on leave, how would they ever know which   decisions to protest against?  Indians are extremely argumentative and hence, there is no need to do any work as decisions (if any) have been discarded.

We take vacations provided it is funded by Leave Travel Concession (LTC), and how! Senior executives were recently caught in an LTC scam which came to light as someone had the ingenuity to travel Delhi to Jaipur via Sao Paulo (in Brazil). As the scam unfolded, it was clear that MPs were involved as well! Just goes to show that we are a dissatisfied lot, as we want to claim LTC for a world tour – nothing less. Next time on ,we will demand LTC  on our Mars mission & other intra planetary travels.

It has often been said that in the IT industry and call centers, all are extremely busy working through nights and so on. If this is so ,why are so many employees on the bench? Or maybe, they are a nocturnal species who work only at nights!

When employment is all play, who needs vacations  in India? After all, this  happens only in  India!


I am a law graduate from Government Law College,Mumbai.I am a Fellow in

Learn More

How To File An FIR - Making A Police Complaint In India



  1. Well said..I am also checking this in office.

  2. Truly said Vasudha….I agree with you 100%

  3. Shyamalika Dutta -

    Perfect observation Vasudha!May your article bring a little improvement in the mentality of these work shirkers!

  4. It is one of the best articles from VPRao.
    Work culture at many places in India exposed with
    a magnifying glass and reflected against a Belgium
    There is always much scope for improvement in the work culture.
    Read the humour in between lines. Take all into his or her -good- stride.

    • Thank you,Nakahateji for being so generous in your praise!

      There is enormous room for improvement provided there is intention to improve.Of course,there are some who work sincerely as well & seldom take leave.

  5. True Vasudha ,
    Sadly in India working strictly as per the working timings is just not done, It would raise eyebrows if employees were to leave office on time ….thus all these tactics leading to lower productivity .Surely seen in the Govt and public sector. Taken with a pinch of salt

    • You have rightly said Medha that bosses seem to believe that unless employees are sitting beyond office hours,they are not working !

      Believe me ,this happens in both private as also public sectors.Voucher payments ,& other perks like out of turn promotions are motivations used to make employees forgo leave,work overtime ,Remember ,the tag line of a multinational bank, which says it is always awake .It means, that it has employees on call, all the time !

  6. Very well written, M’am. Though I am just a student and haven’t had a full time office employment but I have had brief stint at offices during internships. The most efficient people (very very few in number) came in at sharp 9 and left by 5.30 but ALL the others came before 8 am and left I do not know when, but definitely not before 8.30 pm and I am sure would have claimed overtime and pretended busy every moment doing God knows what. All of their clan flaunted marriage rings on their hands. I pity their hapless families.

    • Thank you,Anindita ! You have been very observant !

      There are some, who are sincere in whatever they do…work or play. Exceptions prove the law more than anything else,isn’t it ? !

      Sadly, a majority, just while away their time & disturb others as well.

Share your thoughts! [Be civil. No personal attacks. Longer comment policy in our footer!]

NOVEMBER's Best New Books by Women Authors!

Get our weekly mailer and never miss out on the best reads by and about women!

An All-women trek