Initially it was the removal of licensed user friendly software like MS Office. It was shit-on-a-keyboard, but I was familiar with it. Yes, I know it was a Micro Soft product. I know about all the torture it put us through. I know the endless nights I have sat up with the sole purpose of ranting about the inadequacies of the software suite. People have made jokes about it. Some of which are actually good. Take this one for example:
Q. What would Bugs Bunny say in Office 2007 mode?
A. Whats up DocX? (courtesy ChUcK)
See, funny wasn't it? Those who didn't get the joke have obviously never used MS Office 2007. And now, I have to reinvent the wheel and learn how to use Open Office.
But thats not what I started out to say. The latest cost-saving measure to affect me at work is the “enabling” of internet access to “Bands 4 & 5” (read my bosses). I was shocked to read that. I had no idea that these poor poor people had no access to the internet so far. Then I switched on my workstation. And realised the truth. The truth that “Bands 1,2 & 3” now officially had no more internet.(Yes, I am a Band 3 employee). Which meant no more Gmail. Or Facebook. Or the mother of all websites, GOOGLE!
This resulted in one of the worst disasters to ever affect my organisation. Increased productivity. No one knew how to cope with the levels of useful work that actually got done. Imagine the plight of the poor souls who actually had internet “enabled”. No longer could they remain in their comfortable, cozy little offices with no more worries than just surfing the Internet and finding raw material to appropriate for the next pep talk they would have to give to increase productivity and improve morale! Now productivity was at a level so high they would have to think of ways to bring it down to a level, where they could then go ahead and give those same re-hashed pep talks that they knew so well.
It is a basic human fact. People don't like change. Unless it is for the better. And even then, not always. Or at the very least, very grudgingly. Inspite of anything Mr. Obama has to say on the subject. My IT technicians couldn't do anything but sit by helplessly as people worked through stacks of filing, wrote business-related letters they'd put off for months, and negotiated record amounts of goods and services over the phone."
Shortly after office workers found their webmail, and instant-messaging capabilities disabled, reports of torrential productivity began to reach the corporate office.
My first thought was 'My God, this has to be some kind of mistake. My e-mail wasn't working. Wikipedia wasn't working. Blogspot.com was down. I eventually found out that the company web site wasn't working, either. But by that time, my inbox was filling up like you wouldn't believe. My actual physical inbox. It's this gray plastic thing on my desktop—the top of the desk I sit at."
"Our office was working at roughly 95 percent efficiency," said a reliable source "It's problematic to have the rate jump like that—it sets a precedent that will be impossible to maintain if the Internet ever comes back."
He said his department failed to reach 100 percent productivity only because employees stopped work every few minutes to see if Internet access had been restored by some miracle.
"This is terrible," said an employee I spoke to. "For two days, I've been denied access to the vital information I need to go about my workday. In the absence of that information, I've been forced to go about my job."
According to the Chief Statistics Officer, the Internet outage generated an estimated Rs.4 to 6 gazillion in extra revenue.Enough to restore internet access for the next 100 years or so. But a cost saving measure is a cost saving measure is a cost saving measure. Right?
Financial experts say they hope to have detailed data on the economic impact of this latest cost-saving measure within the next 24 hours.
"When office workers are denied access to vast, complex streams of ever-fluctuating and evolving information, they tend to get a lot done," said a business-information analyst employed by the Bombay Stock Exchange. "The internet access restriction may or may not have had something to do with the economy taking a sudden turn for the better. I'll have to, you know, check the web for a few hours and get back to you."
If this has affected the way you work, please do write into us to let me know how exactly, and I just might feature you in next week's Star Performer column!