Optimizing time for support team

E2 - A Global Human Resource issue - utilizing Idle Time

A lot of people are facing occupational hazard in the form of idle time, leading to frustration and disillusionment. This is not just in India, but its worldwide. Below are some categories, in following three employment modes: -
  1. Government organizations 
  2. Private organizations
  3. Self Employed or entrepreneur
Car Drivers - The office executives arrive in the office at morning hours say 9 am or 10 am, and then leave by 6 or 7 pm. In most cases the drivers are having long hours of idle time everyday. Self employed people like like Cab Drivers, Tempo drivers, rickshaw drivers etc. situation is worse, as the travel requirements have reduced due to pandemic. And, they know they will not get paid at the end of the day if they do not have sufficient passengers, business for goods etc. I have been asking them what they do, and the answer is they talk to their friends or family members and listen songs when they have a basic mobile phone. And if they have a smart phone with data they would watch random videos on Youtube or facebook.  Hence, we can easily conclude that in case of corporate drivers, most companies do not have any formal policy to utilize idle time for them. They simply ignore this issue, and do not consider it as a problem. This also means that there is no prospect of future growth of income for drivers apart from the routine annual hike. And they cannot aspire to lead a better life for their family. 

Security Guards - Life of a security guard in small residential complexes, where the guest flow is less, is uneasy. For a security guard the only saviour is a smart phone & internet connection. Some people play mobile games, others are busy with watching Youtube, and others are busy with Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram consuming all unproductive gossip. Recently, I asked a security guard to listen something productive. He asked what is productive for him. Then I shared the audiobook of - Autobiography of a Yogi in Bangla mp3 version to him and later checked with him - he liked it very much. The only drawback to the above action was I saw he was posting new WhatsApp status everyday and started sending me "Good Morning" and "Good Night" messages, also send me a friend request on Facebook!!! (Since our mobile numbers got exchanged)

Its the retail segment has the biggest hit, whether its a retail showroom, or salon, or hotel or restaurant.  Sales persons, Restaurant cooks and stewards are getting more idle time in this pandemic due to shift in online purchases. Stress keeps on adding up both for employer and employee. 

Retail Showroom Salespersona typical retail showroom in a high street mall opens from 11 am to 8 pm (all 7 days a week). But most of the sales happen only on weekends between 6 - 8 pm. Apart from stock reconciliation or some training on new products, they do not have anything to do. So what is the salesperson supposed to do on the rest of the days? 

Restaurant Staff - The food serving staff and the cooking staff are also idle on weekdays if their location is not on a prime business location. 

The new employment for the unemployed. Getting into the delivery business. 
Delivery Team - Whether its food delivery by Swiggy or Zomato or delivery for medicines, grocery and other stuff, there seems to be more delivery boys and lesser orders to deliver in some cases. In this case, the mobile app company doesn't stand to loose anything, as they pay based on the total orders delivered.  

These are some of the categories of people who are essential for a company operation but are mostly under-utilized. Organizations can save billions of dollars if they have active programs to help utilize the idle time during work for something more productive. 

Their monotony needs to break and they should be guided with some compassion. For example - Companies can implement job rotation for their drivers by giving them office filing and other tasks which they can do. They can also offer some training on using computers by just sitting beside their colleagues in office.