Rishi Srivastava

Promoter & Director, Rockland Hospitals Network, Delhi

Media4Media for

22nd March 2016

Scope of Flexi Time Jobs in the Healthcare Sector

Healthcare sector though has restricted areas of implementing flexi timing policies yet the scope is huge for doctors,surgeons,nurses, physiotherapists, lab sample collectors & support staff in terms of sheer numbers required to fill in the gaps. This gap is even bigger for physio therapists and nurses who visit the patients in their homes on behalf of the hospitals. Most of the hospitals have a very large number of doctors, surgeons, nurses and physiotherapists attached with them on a flexi time and flexi need basis. Many hospitals employ professionals on flexi timing basis for International Medical Travel, Recovery, Legal issues, Compliances, Empanelment with insurance agencies, private and government organizations as these areas do not require a 24x7 commitment needed for the patient related areas.

The MyKindof team interviewed Rishi Srivastava, Promoter & Director, Rockland Hospitals Network, Delhi for sharing his experience in the area flexi timing and the scope of this concept in the healthcare domain. Rockland Health Network has been in a fast growth pace in the past few years. It currently has a chain of three multi-speciality hospitals in the Delhi NCR and has plans of opening a fourth hospital in Noida.

1. What do you think of the emerging trend towards flexi timing jobs in India?
'Flexi timings', earlier an option provided to young working mothers or rather observed as 'new-fad' is emerging as the latest trend amongst various industries. In the face of increasing global competition and a tight labour market, better work-life balance is helping companies’ ability to attract and retain valuable employees. Nuclear families with no family support look forward to working in organisations which offer this perk. But in my opinion, it is very industry specific. In service and healthcare industry, there is a very narrow scope of offering this facility to a wide spectrum of departments.

2. How sensitive you think the employers are about the daily commute the employees have to go through for simply reaching their offices in India? Do some of your clients allow flexi timing option to their employees? Do you think it will be good if they do so?
In a city like Delhi, which is in-famous for its long jams and traffic clogged roads, we comprehend employee’s hardship, thus aim at hiring staff from vicinity to avoid the harrowing experience. Availability of staff at a core time is ensured so as not to compromise on the services; however we are flexible on the upper and lower limits. This ensures work-life balance, satisfied staff hence better productivity.

3. Flexi timing policies are generally restricted to a few categories of employees? Which according to you are the most flexi timing friendly job profiles?
Full time availability of certain categories of employees cannot be avoided; hence flexi-timing policy needs to be restricted to certain backend jobs in our sector. Finance and Software development jobs in the healthcare sector are flexi- timing friendly profiles.

4. How does the concept of flexi timing work? Please share examples or otherwise your observation with your customers?
In a hospital that runs 24X7, we have to have staff in all the shifts. Managers prepare monthly rosters post their discussion with the employees, allowing choice of shifts depending on their need. Still in case of any exigency, we allow flexibility of a couple of hours depending on the profile and the need. We are also flexible in allowing half days to young parents.

5. Can you share your experience about the areas where flexi timing has been most successful in the Indian context?
IT Software based areas which requires mostly online interaction with the overseas clients has been most successful with flexi timings in the Indian context

6. Do you encourage work from home in certain categories of employment?
In healthcare industry, with our customers being the focal point, we generally do not encourage work-from-home from the employees who are into direct patient interaction. Instead, we create a positive and competitive atmosphere where staff likes to report to work and perform their best. So the scope is restricted to a few areas only.

7. How do you relate the policy of flexi timing with respect to employee engagement and retention?
Have not come across any major research findings to prove impact of enhanced employee engagement and retention due to flexi-timings; on the contrary have heard straight-from-the-mouth stories, how employee lacks the energy and motivation to focus due to prolonged work-from-home. We are however empathetic towards individual employee’s needs and can share numerous examples where we have been able to successfully retain high- pots and high performers for over a decade by providing them interesting job designs, challenging roles and flexibility of timings .

8. What would you like to tell the HR fraternity about the advantages and disadvantages of flexi timing? How do you think it should be managed in the best interest of the employers and employees?
Flexi-timings can be advantageous if it allows us to e provide better services to the clients by ensuring availability at all times OR caters to individual needs of the employees thereby improving retention OR reduce cost OR tackle resource constraints such as shortage of space etc. Flexi-timings may also lead to lack of team bonding thereby disengagement; dual employment; lethargy also impacting efficiency negatively.It can be instrumental in boosting performance in select category if managed effectively.

9. Would you like to add something which might have been left out of this questionnaire?
Flexi-timing policy is industry and role specific and may lead to a catch-22 situation if not implemented in the correct light vis-à-vis thrusting productivity.



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Rishi Srivastava

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