Narayana Murthy now says he worked 85-90 hours: But is it really productive? | Mint
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Business News/ Companies / People/  Narayana Murthy now says he worked 85-90 hours: But is it really productive?
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Narayana Murthy now says he worked 85-90 hours: But is it really productive?

It was Narayana Murthy's parents who taught him that working hard was the only way to escape poverty. According to him, this is when one gets the most productivity from each hour.

Earlier in October, Narayana Murthy told Infosys' former CFO Mohandas Pai India must boost its work productivity to compete with China and Japan.Photograph by Harikrishna Katragadda/ MINTPremium
Earlier in October, Narayana Murthy told Infosys' former CFO Mohandas Pai India must boost its work productivity to compete with China and Japan.Photograph by Harikrishna Katragadda/ MINT

Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy has said he worked 70 hours a week when setting up the company, and he suggested young Indians work at least 70 hours per week. Murthy told The Economic Times that he worked more than 85 to 90 hours a week until 1994.

"I used to be in the office at 6:20 am and leave office at 8:30 pm and worked six days a week," he told ET in the interview. "I know every nation that became prosperous did so through hard work."

Also Read | India Inc divided as Narayana Murthy calls for 70 hour work week; Bhavish Aggarwal, Ronnie Screwvala weigh in

It was his parents who taught him that working hard was the only way to escape poverty. According to him, this is when one gets the most productivity from each hour, the report further added.

"During my entire 40-plus years of professional life, I worked 70 hours a week," he reiterated. "When we had a six-day week - till 1994 - I used to work at least 85 to 90 hours a week. That has not been a waste," as quoted by Economic Times.

Also Read | Narayana Murthy's 70-hour work week advice reaches Parliament, Govt tells MPs…

Earlier in October, Murthy told Infosys' former CFO Mohandas Pai India must boost its work productivity to compete with China and Japan.

Is productivity equivalent to the number of working days?

Earlier this year, Mint reported that a UK-based trial concluded that 'less work' has improved the productivity of the employees and their work-life balance. Britain conducted an experiment in over 60 companies, allowing almost 3,000 employees to work one day less per week while retaining the same salary. The study found more than nine out of ten firms will continue with the shortened working week or plan to do so due to an increase in efficiency and productivity.

Meanwhile, the idea of a 4-day working week is gradually gaining popularity in India as well. For instance, the Karnataka Assembly has passed a bill under which an employee who works for 12 hours a day will be allowed to take off for three days a week.

As reported by Sora News 24, Microsoft Japan ran a trial in August 2019 in which employees were given paid holidays every Friday. This resulted in a huge increase in productivity. In August 2019, workers were almost 40% more productive than they were a year ago, based on sales per employee.

Indian entrepreneur and film producer Ronnie Screwvala, countering Murthy's view in a post on social media platform X, said, "Boosting productivity isn't just about working longer hours. It's about getting better at what you do - Upskilling, having a positive work environment, and getting fair pay for the work done. Quality of work done > clocking in more hours."

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Published: 09 Dec 2023, 01:44 PM IST
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