SEA recognises that many of the current working norms in our economy have roots dating back to the industrial revolution and are not necessarily 'human-friendly,' i.e. they are not conducive to individual happiness nor wellbeing in society in general. Amongst these are spending long hours and one's best energy at work, leaving little over for important functions such as leisure, family, personal growth and community, as well as removing parents from children for most of the day to go to work. While these are widely accepted practices, their serious negative impact on individuals and society is increasingly being recognised (see the growing global Work-Life Balance literature base) and measures are being adopted by more and more corporations (and even governments) around the world to change this.
As part of SEA's commitment to being socially responsible, the organisation has become proactive in this area too, and has instituted various measures in this regard, including a 7-hour work day, a 'Happiness Index' to keep abreast of employee wellbeing, flexible working arrangements, facilitating working from home (particularly important for those who commute long-hours to work), maintaining a flat decision-making structure such that all can have a say in the functioning of the organisation that impacts on so much of their lives, and several other measures. Interestingly, over the 2 or 3 years that we have introduced these measures it appears that productivity and commitment of employees has increased - this mirrors the experience of other organisations. We intend to continue this important and pioneering work.