Why We Need to Pick Productivity Over Punctuality


Why We Need to Pick Productivity Over Punctuality

Illustration: Arati Gujar


Another morning, another train missed. I wish I could kill punctuality. That’s what I told myself when I missed the first local on my way to work. But by the time I’d missed the third train of the morning – the 9.26 am local – I knew I was screwed. You see, when you’re someone who works in Mumbai, the city’s network of local trains and the crowd inside them dictate the kind of work day you’re about to have. And it was clear that I was going to have a work day that’d make me want to give up on life, pack up my belongings, and move to the hills. For there was no way in hell that I’d reach my office before 10.30 am, the time when the brows of my boss begin arching to form a perfect frown.

The chief tenet of professionalism hinges on an employee’s punctuality, especially his/her ability to reach office on time. And unfortunately, in an Indian office your dedication is determined by what time you get to work. Which means, that you get labelled a “bad employee” for reaching work at 11 am instead of 10.30 am, but not if you’re one of those people who reaches work at 9.30 am and yet does not meet deadlines. The employee of every year is the guy who is the first one to enter office.