Tata Motors Pune has yielded to the demands of the times. The company has moved its weekly off to Sunday from Thursday, its standard day off for nearly five decades, enabling over 25,000 employees to enjoy a relaxed Sunday at home.

In addition to aligning with the company’s other plants across India, the immediate tangible outcome of the move will be greater employee satisfaction, that could go some way to help the firm retain talent.

“This had been a demand for a long time, especially amongst the younger set of employees, who found it irksome to work on Sundays,” said a senior manager. The sentiment is echoed by the working wife of an employee who said that she urged her husband to move to an organisation that had the same weekly off as her own. “Otherwise, we hardly ever met,” she lamented.

“With work-life balance emerging as a key driver towards a more engaged workforce, given a competitive environment that we operate in, the need for a “Sunday off” became very pertinent. Hence, the change,” a spokesperson for Tata Motors said.

According to the manager, operations at the company’s plants in Jamshedpur, Pant Nagar, Dharwad, Lucknow and Sanand are closed on Sundays and Pune’s alignment with this will make inter-company communication easier.

The practice of Thursdays off has been existence since the Pune plant became operational in the 1960s and stemmed from the power outage because of load-shedding and maintenance closures.

Such outages still happen on most Thursdays, but the plant now functions with adequate captive power generation capacity, though at a higher cost.

(This article was published on July 25, 2012)
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