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Home > India > Business > Business Headline > Report

Here comes the chief fun officer!

Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore | December 07, 2007 12:01 IST
Last Updated: December 07, 2007 22:22 IST

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Take, for instance, the case of the business process outsourcing units. This industry not only put India firmly on the global IT map, but also generated thousands of jobs with attractive pay packets for the nation's teeming youth.

Things, however, are no longer all hunky dory. Of late, BPOs have been swamped under myriad complaints about the jobs: the oft-recurring refrain is that the job is getting monotonous, with the result that many of the employees want out and seek a change in profile.

Keeping these factors in mind, Brigade, a Hyderabad-based BPO, has come up with a new idea: it has appointed a 'CFO' -- Chief Fun Officer.

The CFO will be charge of all the fun and will not have to rack his brains with the usual pressures of the outsourcing industry. He has been entrusted with the responsibility of keeping employees happy. He will also be in charge of organising office parties.

Murthy L S, human resources manager, Brigade, says that there is a need to give employees the freedom of mixing fun with work. He says that this is the brainchild of the group chairman, Sri Dasari.

The Chief Fun Officer will also be in charge of organising weekend outings for the employees. The basic task of the CFO will be to keep the employees happy. During the week he will have to organise games and short parties for the staff. The idea is to provide frazzled employees with stress-busters. The fun includes dancing, singing, various competitions and games, et cetera.

Thomas Raj, an employee of the firm, says: "We do look forward to the events and it helps us take our minds off our busy schedules. It was high time that we had some fun at work. The workers were stressed and many had even contemplated quitting."

An employee with another BPO firm in Bangalore says that several people were quitting of late complaining that they were stressed at work. "Money was no longer the only lure for the employees. . . all they sought was a break from the mundane chores. We need to have more fun at work as it will really help us de-stress."

The concept of a Chief Fun Officer, however,  is non-existent in other BPOs across the country. Says Uma Srinath, a manager at a Bangalore-based BPO: "We do not have any organised parties in the office. At times we plan out something during the weekends. But it would be better if the office organises it. It would also be an indication that our bosses too want to mix work with fun."

She says that fun is a key ingredient at work, especially in business process outsourcing units, where daily tasks can become exceedingly boring thereby adversely affecting productivity and quality.

Uma says that in the past one year at least 14 people have left her team complaining of stress. With attrition rates at BPOs rising, it is absolutely necessary that people have more fun at work: this can help companies retain employees and the staff in a jovial mood.