An IT company is laying a running track around its 30-acre campus for its desk-bound employees to stretch a leg, while another one is subsidising pedometers for its employees to count the calories they burn with each step. Almost all companies, which have their own campuses, build an indoor shuttle court. Employees can go there to unwind any time they want.
New-gen companies want their employees healthy. They arrange for yoga and meditation classes as well as health check camps in the office. If employees do not want to go to a doctor, the doctor will come to them. There are routine checks on BMI, BP, ECG, lipid profile and so on.
This is particularly true with companies, which demand employees to work for at least 10 hours in the office. The logic is simple. Healthy workers would work more actively. And they would need fewer sick leaves. Overweight and diseases among employees will also add to the medical cost.
At the same time, the food court in the office dishes out items from around the world at an attractive price. Employees can relish the local parippu vada and sukhiyan to Italian pasta and pizza.
Does it make sense to sell junk on the office premises and then appealing for a healthy lifestyle? A CEO had this to say: Suppose a software engineer can write 500 lines of code a day. If he is not healthy and active, it will come down to 300 lines. He has to be well-fed to ideate. That’s why we have a food court. A healthy mind needs a healthy body. That’s why we have a running track and shuttle court. Then he might end up writing 600 lines. That’s our line of thinking. Got it?
The line of thinking has gone to extremes in the United States and several other places. The company even charts out the daily chores of the employee even after he has left for home. If you want to shop for groceries, let the human resources department know. They will get the assigned agency to deliver it at your doorsteps. They can even do the laundry for you. The worker’s time is too precious to agonise over petty household chores. He has to think about work always.
Some companies even have massage parlours. When you are stressed out, you can go and relax. There would be areas marked for that power nap. The company does not mind the off hours as long as productivity shoots up after that.
Not everyone is comfortable with the attention though. Look at this senior techie who decided enough was enough. He decided he would work for himself rather than the multinational giant. He exchanged the keyboard and mouse for a shovel and pickaxe. He chucked the suit and returned to the good old mundu. The result sprouts as yam and taro and okra and brinjal. A dozen cows produce enough milk to lead a leisurely life.