22nd March 2016
In Favour of Flexi Time Jobs
Technology has changed the concept of work spaces confined by the four walls of office spaces. Businesses can now run of a 24 x7 basis with employees working without the constraints of time and space. It happened in the IT space first and now other domains are increasingly adapting to it in areas where it is feasible. Flexible workplaces are fast becoming the norm. We are already witnessing an increase in the number of working mothers with small children around the globe due to the concept of flexi time jobs which is allowing them to maintain a work life balance like never before. It is allowing the old to work for a longer period then they did earlier and thankfully it is not just restricted to women and the old as the young males too are increasingly treating it as a major perk.
The current generation has very different work expectations then the pre millennium generation. In India, it is allowing the females to compete on an equal footing with their male counter parts without having to take big break in their career to take care of the baby at home. Employers are increasingly backing the female workers by giving long maternity leave and allowing for flexi timing. The concept of flexi timing to both genders is allowing men to play an equal role in taking care of the family needs.
Most of the jobs can be done flexibly. What is needed is a performance based technology enabled work culture. A flexi time work culture not only encourages the current employees but also makes them better advocates of their company in attracting the best talent. The main reason for increased productivity and commitment among the employees who work on flexi time basis has been found to be the freedom to give more care to the children, caring for elders, work life balance and time for leisure, hobbies, study and exercise.
To make this concept work in the best interest of the business productivity, companies need to encourage employees to work with flexibility while meeting the deadlines, ensure a good culture that supports flexi working with a strong support from the CEO & the leadership team.
Bain & Company’s research findings have broken the myth that those who seek flexible options are less ambitious. The findings indicate that those who opt for flexible timing are actually equal or more ambitious than those who work on a 9 to 5 basis. The study also shared the case study of a bank which launched All in Flex campaign to ensure that it’s all the 40000 existing roles globally to be considered for flexible working. This was done on the basis of an 89% response from their employees indicating that they would need some form of flexibility in the next three years. “The way I see it, ﬂexibility helps people achieve their full potential by removing barriers to success. If people have the ﬂexibility to manage their personal commitments, they are more likely to bring their whole selves to work every day. And that means they’re more likely to do their best work and exceed customer expectations,” says Brian Hartzer, Westpac Group CEO in the Bain & Company study.
The study recommends that flexibility should be on the agenda of team meetings to understand the options and how these can benefit an organization. Role models with high productivity will help in creating a work culture in favour of flexi timing. Success full companies are realizing that work is something you do in the work place. Work is what you do and achieve irrespective of the time and space constraints. However to make this concept a success teams would need to recognize and respect boundaries of daily work and agree to work on a process and time based calendar of working otherwise unrealistic expectations can make it a failure. Those who opt for flexi timing should also realize that the work hours do not get reduced and the expectations could actually rise up.
10 Point check list for implementing flexi timing policies:
1. There has to be an audit of commercial benefits with clear measurable for productivity, benefits of retention and employee engagement.
2. Find out if the senior team leaders are willing to support a flexi time based culture.
3. Challenge through a participative process how the design of the job can be changed for better performance through flexi time options.
4. Prepare a training programme to re orient the employees and specially the leadership teams.
5. Formal check in process for each employee to ensure performance in terms of team productivity.
6. Mentoring programme to ensure that each employee understands the new way or working.
7. Ensure that the work environment is agile and fully supported by technology.
8. Share the learning post implementation through round tables and forums to improve the programme.
9. Policies regarding benefits, promotion processes etc. have to be clearly defined and fully communicated.
10. Reward system for high performers as role models.
Founder of Fortune Architect
Managing Director- Asia Pacific & EMEA Markets with Saviour US INC
Respected HR Leader
CHRO, LANCO INFRATECH LIMITED
Executive Director-HR & Admin, Experion Developers
Managing Director, UK Fostering, Founder, UKINDO International & CharityWorld.com
Promoter & Director, Rockland Hospitals Network, Delhi
Vice President & HR Head- India/SA at IBM HR Consultant
Founder and a principal consultant with People Talent International
Mr Chauhan has held leadership roles in HR at leading multinational companies
COO & Co-founder of Round Ark Limited, Gurgaon
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