From the business point of view, it is kind of win-win case for the organizations. Paying bench employees with no utilization is profit loss. At the same time, getting projects from client is not easy. Many client first ask, do you have enough resources standby to handle the new project.
Effort estimation and resource forecast are the two major areas, which leads to unclear employee requirements. In many situations, organizations hire a particular skilled person and later end up releasing due to wrong forecast, which they had. Those employees are kept on bench or they are forced to take up entirely different technology project, not the one they were recruited for. In this scenario, employee is forced to learn and cope up with the new technology or will be rated low.
Many organizations have started working towards the better bench management. They are trying to utilize bench people for internal tasks to keep them engaged. Some surveys indicate that profitability has increased with this. HR experts believe in contract employees as an alternative to reduce bench resources. These days some young IT professionals are ready to accept contract based work culture not like few years back. However many prefer full time jobs over contract based jobs due to job security.
In the initial days after joining, every employee enjoys doing nothing and being paid for the same. Slowly the impact of being idle starts. People start getting frustrated at everything including personal life. Few employees go into deep depression and start searching for a new job.
Find opportunity, keep yourself updated on the latest technology, think innovative; these are the common advice available everywhere for the bench employees. In general many will be having the fear of losing the job, along with that giving too much advice makes them panic.
The more the person is idle, the more they get demotivated. Employees try to learn new technology whenever they get news about any opening in a team. Once that is not working out, immediately they stop learning that particular technology, start waiting for new opening, and start to learn another new technology. This is a continuous process until they find a position for themselves in a project. By the time they get fit into a project, they have too much half cooked knowledge inside and finding it very difficult to unlearn those.
When it comes to an employee who is a single earning person in the family, the stress is more. Employee will push himself into a self-doubt state. In addition, the self-doubt driven fear of job security leads to many issues like high blood pressure and permanent headache, stomach unrest, depression and anxiety. Work life balance deteriorates. Some even undergo relationship breakups due to enormous stress from being in bench. Few employees tend to smoke and drink often thinking that it will reduce the stress. However, this makes them addicted and spoils health along with existing stress.
Keeping employee idle for long time does not only affect their mental health, it affects their performance. With reduced performance, it will be very challenging to achieve the quality of the work.
Organizations should consider the facts about the emotional state of a bench employee as a higher priority.