9th September 2016

To remain competitive go for flexi work arrangements

Employees are increasingly preferring flexi work arrangements. In the Generations Go survey, conducted by EY, covering nearly 10,000 people across the globe, it was found that flexibility and ambition go hand in hand. This study indicated that 75% of millennials (men and women) want the ability to work flexibly without stigma and still be on track for promotion. “At Ernst & Young, we allow telecommuting & part time working by reducing the office work hours to 4 per day. This allows a lot time for attending to home related responsibilities while still being able to complete the job with freedom to choose their own work time slots at home” said Sandeep Kohli, National Director- Human Resources, Ernst & Young (EY), in one of the interviews with the team.

To remain competitive in the talent attraction and retention market, your game plan has to factor this otherwise you will have to be prepared to lose a lot of talent to your competitors. The employers need to trust their employees as in any case the non-performers may come to office on a 9 to 5 basis and still not be productive. If your hiring is correct then a committed professional will not shirk work simply because of schedules and location of work. In fact, today’s technology provides robust processes and online monitoring systems to reduce the chances of work not being done on time.

For many employees, flexi work arrangement has replaced money as the No 1 criteria for choosing a job.  Several studies have confirmed that the flexi workers are more productive and highly committed as they see this facility as one of the most valued perquisites. For more information on what various research studies are indicating please refer to:

Flexi work arrangements fail only when enough home work is not done along with the leadership teams. Since each organization has a unique work culture, it’s important to create a flexi workpolicy that will work within the cultural context of the organization. Here are some interesting insights by the industry leaders on how to manage flexi work arrangements for success:

1. Create and communicate a clear policy and double check with the employees on what they have understood and how they feel about it.

2. Needs of the business have to be in sync with flexibility, so these arrangements can not be generalized and have to be, very specific to each job. In certain cases, it may be necessary to be physically present on a full time basis. For example, in the healthcare industry, nurses and support staff have to be present on a full time basis.

3. The leadership teams must ‘buy in’, otherwise the arrangement will never work. Even after implementation, the HR team must be open to making adjustments; based on feedback from the employees.

4. Do not start flexible working arrangements till you have the right technology and even if you have it, then also the employees, specially the bosses, would need time to adapt to a process driven work culture. A lot of patience is required in the initial stages for the policies to stabilize.

5. In certain jobs, work from home may be allowed but the employees may be required to come to the office at a short notice. This can happen in case of sudden requirements for meetings or an urgent need of the customer. Such factors must be explained to the employees before implementation and should be a part of written policies.

6. Expected outcome must be explained to the employees in advance so that productivity can be monitored on a continuous basis.

One good example of success in the implementation of flexi work policies, in India, is that of IBM. “IBM has a robust flexible work option policy and an enabling ecosystem which can be leveraged as suitable for the job role and in approval with the manager. We have detailed guidelines for employees while considering flexible work options and guidelines for managers while approving flexible work option request from our employees. The Work-Life Toolkit is a comprehensive resource for managers and employees to learn about IBM's work-life principles, guidelines, programs, and education.Work-life is a shared responsibility between employees and managers requiring open communication and partnership. We have various flexibility education offerings to our managers to encourage them to support their employees on the Flexible Work Option requests whichinclude Work from Home as well” said DP Mr DP Singh, Vice President & HR Head- India/SA at IBM in an interview with Studying the best practices of globally reputed companies like the IBM can be of great help in framing flexi work policies that will work successfully on the ground. 



Dr Manan Chaturvedi

Founder of Fortune Architect

Vijay Rai

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

Ajay Bhatia

Respected HR Leader

Shampi Venkatesh

Founder, P-Quotient

Deepak Bharara


Sugato Palit

Executive Director-HR & Admin, Experion Developers

Amarjit (Amar) Singh Dhull

Managing Director, UK Fostering, Founder, UKINDO International &

Rishi Srivastava

Promoter & Director, Rockland Hospitals Network, Delhi

Mr. D.P. Singh

Vice President & HR Head- India/SA at IBM HR Consultant

Runa Maitra

Founder and a principal consultant with People Talent International

Mr. Dhyan Chauhan

Mr Chauhan has held leadership roles in HR at leading multinational companies

Ashish Bajaj

COO & Co-founder of Round Ark Limited, Gurgaon