Runa Maitra

Founder and a principal consultant with People Talent International

Rajiv Tewari, Media4Media for

11th February 2016

Flexi Time Jobs Generate Trust & Improve Productivity

Based on an interview of Runa Maitra, founder and a principal consultant with People Talent International (PTI). Runa is a certified NLP practitioner and has facilitated learning and development programs in various organizations including Escorts, Convergys, Integreon, and Clifford Chance. She has worked as a Business HR consultant with various start-ups and SMEs such as iProf, Elevate Services, MeraJob India, BBB Infra and M G Motors.

Workers work more intensely when they are given the flexi timing option
Technology has bridged the gap of space and time across the globe. Today, flexi timing and remote location of employees for many kind of jobs is not only possible but is known to have a very positive impact on the bottom line of organizations. A study by the Cranfield School of Management in the United Kingdom suggested that workers given flexible hours by their employers are found to work more intensely than their counterparts with fixed hours of working. The researchers concluded that the reason for this that the employees wish to thank their employer by doing a better job in exchange for the freedom to choose where and when to work.

According to Runa Maitra, "Flexi time jobs generate trusts in the relationship since both employer and employee are focussed on productivity and contribution to business rather then completing 9 hours in office. The trend is also catching up due to acceptance of senior management workforce post retirement or loss of jobs due to multiple reasons and also due to women working as freelancers post maternity leave instead of sabatticals. Many start-ups are happy to engage them since they get high-end resource with less pay-out.Flexi time allows work-life balance and ability to manage work in virtual office catering to global business houses. People are happy to meet through skype, webex, conference calls to exchange business needs and handle deliveries being focussed. There are many roles which do not require face time in office or at the client site. This allows reduction of business expense."

Acceptance is industry and role related
Acceptance of flexi job options depends a lot on the industry. Information Technology Companies, E-commerce, digital marketing or SMAC (Social Mobile Analytics and Cloud) services based organizationsare more open to flexible work-force. The BPO &KPO industry works on a fixed shift time basis with major workforce and apparently their office runs 24x7 hence senior management is more open to adapting to flexi time options. In some other cases like the hospital services, flexible timing options may be very limited to most staff.

On being asked if her company's clients encourage work from home in certain categories of employment, Runa's response was big yes. She said "We have ensured our software development is able to work on coding assignment or beta-testing to release products or features of CRM/software. Our marketing team works with various agencies, PR companies during extended hours based on project need and it is ensured that they do not have to work in a regimented work atmosphere. Lead generation, appointment taking and online sales teams are allowed to work from virtual offices which are many times their residence. They travel to client site only on need basis."

Impact of flexi timing policies
The result of following such a policy has had a verypositive impact for Runa and her clients. Through a policy that clearly defines which roles are allowed work from home, flexi time, part-time, or full time has developed a culture of increased trust and respect for the time spent in office.The Meetings are scheduled to match the time-zone and usage of all means of communication such as webex, skype, WhatsApp group besides emails.

One of the big advantages of having a clearly defined policy that allows the employees enough room for work life balance builds a cultureof trust, empowerment & respect for time which ultimately would have a high impact on productivity, retention and above all a happy association with work & the organization.

It is essential to understand within the company that there are different types of operational needs.The match the different work atmosphere of such teams, it is important to keep the balance of the standard policy expectaed to be followed and customization based on the roles anddepartmental needs. For example the TATA group launched Vistara creating a start-up culture instead of following thetraditional policies blindly.

Flexi timing and work from home is fast becoming a global phenomenon as more and more people ae seeking a work life balance. According to a study by Bentley University, 77 percent of Millennials say that flexible work hours would increase productivity at the work place. There is a ready acceptance among the new generation to work for a lower pay package as long as it allows them enough time to live life with control over their time and space. Similar impact is being observed in India too which has one of the largest and youngest population of tech savvy professionals.



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