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Vijay Rai


Managing Director- Asia Pacific & EMEA Markets with Saviour US INC


Rajiv Tewari, Founder, MediaNetwork.net.in, based on a conversation with Vijay Rai,Managing Director- Asia Pacific & EMEA Markets with Saviour US INC. Vijay’s full introduction has been shared at the end of this article.

5th September 2016


Over 50% Employees in India Prefer Flexi Time Jobs

In a recent study, by Randstad, outof the 7500 Indian executives surveyed, more than half of employees (53%) prefer to work from home (tele-commuting), while only 47% said yes to work from office everyday.Both male(52%) and female (54%) professionals indicated their preference for tele-commuting jobs. Interestingly, this preference was higher among the 45 years plus segment. The same study also mentions that the work-life balance is yet to get the importance it deserves in India. However, if the employees wish to attract and retain the best talent they do not seem to have much of a choice. Flexi work culture with a good work life balance is a necessity of our times and the companies which do not adapt to the new trend may simply lose the war for talent.

“We are in an era where change is the new normal.The speed and magnitude of change is phenomenal in its impact on the way we work, our work force, work place & work space. In the digital era, the work hours are already 24x7 and 365 days a year due to global teams working in different time zones. Interaction between humans and machines is all pervasive due to SMAC (smart, mobile, analytics and cloud) and internet of everything. We require adaptation to this change quickly by adapting a flexi work culture which will necessitate fine tuning of work designs, job descriptions and work practices” said Vijay.

There is an increasing body of evidence that suggests a very positive link of flexible work options on the workplace productivity and performance outcomes. Employees, largely millennials, in this new world of work attach much importance to flexibility, autonomy and freedom in the way work is being done. They will prefer to join and stay with those organisations that have such practices. Senior management teams across India are realising that they can’t ignore the reality of providing flexi-work benefits as an additional perk to the new age workforce. Process of change is slow but the trend is certainly catching up.

Progressive companies have begun to adapt flexi work policies

“Most progressive corporations are aware of the downside of unavoidable delays and extra time taken by employees to reach the workplace due to traffic congestions in India.Such a phenomenon is counter-productive besides the hardship that one has to undergo in terms of stress and poor morale. We have no choice but to address the issue by being proactive. We have explored various ways to ensure that workers are able to start early and leave early or come late and leave office late depending on the role, priorities and the work demands. Flexi timing or staggered timings so far has worked well for all such jobs where one can even telecommute and work from home. The actual impact comes from having a clear understanding of how can we make it work and strike a balance between organisational and people needs “said Vijay.

India is getting used to the new trend but at the moment many organisations havea very loose and ad hoc flex work approach which entirely depends on the whims and fancies of superiors or the management.It then becomes dysfunctional in the longer run. To be successful, a lot of home work and preparation is required. Policies have to be explained to the employees along with its benefits and the employers would have to stay open to changes in the policies based on feedback from time to time.

Flexi policies must make business sense

I am of the firm belief that flexi time option works only if it makes business sense and in saying so it implies that all the stakeholders must have a buy-in and must have trust in the flexible work arrangement system. Employees can telecommute, work from home, avail paid or unpaid time off for personal exigencies, can work virtually or remotely with prior request or arrangement as long as one accomplishes the required work objectives under defined timelines. It does not work in all the cases at all times but if the business case framework is agreed upon between all or a group of workforce in a transparent and fair manner, it’s just a case of judicious implementation by beneficiaries and management.

According to Vijay, “Flexible work timings are most productive when the employee, managers and support teams are on the same page about the benefits of having such an arrangeent.We have reaped immense benefitswith our market research and collection teams who have worked out of office due to flexi work arrangements. Both the teams have been very productive, as all of them had outcome focused targets for data or revenue collection which could be delivered without being on the desk most of the times.”

Flexi policies increase productivity

Vijay shared his experience at PowerCon where he worked earlier as the CEO. He said that “Flexi time work option worked to our advantage. Giving employees the option to work from anywhere proved to be very productive. We had observed encouraging results as employees reported less stress, showed enhanced commitment, absenteeism rate showeda decreasing trend and the employees became 15-20 % more productive besides saving the company transactional costs and positively adding to the bottom line.”

Impact on attracting and retaining talent

Employees who avail flexi time working tend to have a more positive and enthusiastic outlook towards work, use their discretion to go the extra mile in doing their job and exceed work expectations. They have been observed to take less sick leaves, encourage others to work hard and are known to be more loyal and committed towards the role and company. They have greater alignment with the company and remain satisfied and motivated with their job.

“At Saviour we are using innovative technology, automation, cloud, sensors and virtual platforms to operate as a connected enterprise. “We mostly allow the tele-callers, researchers, market and business analysts, digital &content executives, data mining and media relation personnel to choose working from home whenever it is needed or is in the best interest of the organisation without compromising on the targets or performance expectations. We have flexi work arrangements for single parents, going to be moms and employees needing care and assistance in times of need. We encourage people to avail all the earned leave and take paid time off for attending health and medical needs. We also provideflexi-working time to all those categories of people wherever the reason is justified” said Vijay.

About Vijay Rai, Managing Director- Asia Pacific & EMEA Markets with Saviour US INC

Vijay has recently joined as Managing Director- Asia Pacific & EMEA Markets with Saviour US INC. A global company that designs, develops and manufactures smart IoT systems, sensors, cloud-based wireless technology, surveillance solutions and connected devices, based out of Delaware US and its India market Hub. Vijay has a Masters in Business Administration and brings with him a vast expertise in business and people leadership and multicultural experience acquired through various assignments viz: Business and corporate strategy, Customer alliances, M&A’s, Investor relations, transformation and growth, Business & systems reengineering, Strategic Human Resource Planning, Leadership development, change management.

He has a diverse experience of over two decades, with Indian and International companies in Manufacturing, Retail, Healthcare, Telecom, Renewable Energy, healthcare, infrastructure equipment banking & digital cinema etc. He is a passionate advocate of clean & green energy.

Vijay is a member of several key committees of private and public sector and contributes as a mentor, speaker & chair in national and international forums and an active volunteer Green Ambassador supports the United Nations green growth and development mission.

He has been conferred with “National Green Star Award” on World Health Day for the promotion of green and environmental preservation. He has also received “Outstanding CEO Award 2014” by Delhi CEO Group and on September 12, 2015, was conferred with the “Leader of Eminence” Award by the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand (India) for his contribution to industry and skill development.

Besides work he has keen interest in adventure photography, travelling, music, sports and also towards writing and speaking on various issues.

 

LEADER'S VIEW

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Vijay Rai

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