Category Archives: Opinions

My opinions on news and other articles on BPOs

No Smoking

BPOs and the smoking ban

BPOs have always been character assasinated. It is in the news for all the wrong reasons, rather BPOs are made the reason for all the wrong news.

When I joined the BPOs, I was told that one cannot work in a call center without smoking. You have to smoke to cope up with the stress you encounter in a BPO. But its has been 8 years now and I have never smoked. Is it that the BPO is the one who brought the smnoking culture? I do no think it is, but a lot of people have their own reasons to believe that it is.

So how would the smoking ban impact the BPOs? I do not think it would make much of a difference. For that matter, no-smoking in any company would not make much of a difference, because the ones who still feel the urge to smoke would go out and smoke and the ones who can avoid will avoid it. But can smokers quit smoking all of a sudden. No, not really.

So will the smoking ban be effective. I have my reason to believe that it is not. I am of the opinion that if the government is so committed towards prevention of smoking, why don’t they stop the production of cigarrettes.

What is your opinion? Post a comment and lets start a discussion.

Photograph courtesy ilker

Safety of the Woman Employee

Another murder of an employee working in a BPO, another news for the media. Is it anything more than this?

Perhaps this is a question worth discussing. What are the initiatives that we took when the first such incident in Bangalore happened? Did we formulate enough measure to ensure that this doesn’t happen in the future? Probably not.

It is easy for the organization to say that it was not our mistake. It is even easier for the employees in these organization to say that the Company is not taking adequate care of them. But actually the fault if from both ends.

Organizations formulate policies to esnure safety of Women employees like – No female employees to be picked up first or, dropped last and tracking of cabs etc. etc. But they fail to do a random check to ensure that these policies are being adhered to. BPOs fail to understand that the kind of population that they are dealing with are the most immature ones mostly aged 22-23 years who are fond of flouting rules and breaking policies. These organizations have to ensure that the policies are being adhered to. A strict random checking would surely help this. So organizations should not just be making and framing policies but also be ensuring that this is adhered to.

The employee population in BPOs is fun-loving, just out of college, new-to-job youth who often find pleasure in flouting rules. Jumping red lights, speed driving, shouting through the darkness of the silent night is thrill for them.But are these things worth the thrill? I would say “No”. Safety – yours and the society’s; comes first.We need to understand that these policies, though at times seem very useless and punishing, benefit us in the long term.When these basic safety instructions are passed onto us, we need to ensure that we follow them, thus ensuring our safety.

It is only with a joint effort from both the employees and the BPO organizations that we will be able to ensure that these kind of unfortunate incidents doesn’t happen in the future.

Whose responsibility?

It seems newspapers are now realizing that BPO is a huge news generator for them. You would find some or, the other news in almost all of the leading dailies. Some of them are absolute crap and are baseless and stinky opinion of some individuals who are okay with sitting in the stadium and watching people play and who would then want to criticize them. But some of them are thoughts that one would ponder on. These prompt you to think.

One of these leading dailies came up with a news that the “Government is working on framing a health policy for BPO employees”.There was a minister’s comments which read, “It is sad to see BPO employees falling dead at the age of 30″. What else could I do but laugh at this comment. Finally I felt there was some minister who wanted to show that he was concerned. But was it real concern, or was it the eagerness to get into something that is the most happening thing in town. I would say it was more of the 2nd aspect mentioned above.

There was a comment from the newspaper itself who said that these things should be left to the discretion of the organization itself, which sounded a bit more logical to me. Why should the government interfere into the functioning of a company, more so when we know the state of the organizations that were being managed by these governments? People in these organizations would do everything but work. A few of them saw a drastic makeover after they were privatized. So is it apporpriate for the government to get into the functioning of the BPO industry.I feel, no. Rather what the government should do is frame a policy framework around which BPOs can frame their individual work culture based health policies, which would in turn not only help the employees but the industry as a whole also.

What are the major health problems that the BPO employees face?This is another important and interestin topin of discussion, which we could take up sometime later.