Secret revealed! What a working woman wants

Secret revealed! What a working woman wants

After working from home for two years, flexible working hours is now a non-negotiable demand for many women. FPJ explores

Ainee Nizami AhmediUpdated: Sunday, May 01, 2022, 12:24 AM IST
article-image

Sunita Lad, a quality manager in Mumbai, was forced to quit her job in 2021 because her company refused to allow her to work from home for few days a week. “The company expected us to come to work daily, without considering the fact that we couldn’t travel in trains as we were not double vaccinated. My daily commute cost was more than what I was earning, and when I highlighted this and asked for a hybrid model, the company asked me to quit,” she says.

Sunita’s story isn’t unique. Lack of flexibility — be it in the daily working hours, refusal to adopt a hybrid model or a complete disregard for an employee’s mental health — has caused a drastic shift in the balance of the workforce. A recent survey by LinkedIn highlights that 72 per cent of working women reject job roles that don’t allow them to work flexibly, while 70 per cent have already quit or considered quitting their jobs because they weren’t offered the right flexible policies.

“Flexible working is the priority today for all professionals, especially for working women. Our research finds that India is on the brink of a ‘flexidus’ with 7 out of 10 working women quitting or considering quitting their jobs due to lack of flexibility. This is a warning sign for companies and recruiters to remove the stigma surrounding the need for flexibility and career breaks, and introduce stronger flexibility policies if they don’t want to lose top talent,” shares Ruchee Anand, Senior Director, India Talent & Learning Solutions, LinkedIn.

After working on a Work From Home (WFH) model for the last two years, the future, according to Neha Bagaria, Founder and CEO, JobsforHer, lies in providing flexible working hours. “Flexible work arrangements not only attract more women employees, enabling them to balance their commitments both at work and at home, but it improves business efficiency too. Keeping women in the workforce is not an option; it’s imperative. We need to be empathetic about what women want at the workplace.”

While a genuine flexible model isn’t established in India just yet, many companies are aware of the needs of their employees and are willing to go the extra mile to retain talent. Samadhi Parashar, HR Manager, Pataa, feels that “companies should not just take care of the workplace but the responsibilities that are being assigned to the employees as well.” Samadhi further highlights the company’s flexible policies, including period leave, cab services for female employees, and a policy not to let career breaks affect an employee’s chances of being hired or promoted, all of which help employee retention.

Kara Hecker, Director, Product Management at Cimpress, feels that companies need to seriously look at the benefits of flexible working hours as they outweigh the negatives. “Eliminating a long commute to and from work allows for more time to spend on other things, whether a work commitment or something in your personal life. Trusting employees to complete their work on their own schedule from a remote setting can make a big difference. Personally, I like to take calls early in the morning with global colleagues to get some work done before my daughter wakes up. That allows me to spend more time with her and be there for her morning routine. I also often work a few nights a week after she goes to bed so I can pick a day to sign off early to spend time outside and away from work while the sun is still out. Having flexible hours means I can get all my work done and enjoy time away from work without being bound to a typical work-week schedule.”

Parul Mathur, Senior Vice President, HR and Training at Tradeindia, adds that flexible working hours also extend beyond focusing on the daily schedule. “Some of the basic practices implemented at most progressive organisations are offering extension of maternity leaves and allowing WFH as and when required for new mothers.”

A recent JobsForHer survey revealed that some of the top priorities that women professionals are looking for at the workplace are childcare assistance, remote work options, flexible working hours and mental health support. “To create an effective, flexible work environment, one needs to ensure that all the employees are treated equally and fairly. To achieve this, one must review which flexible work options work best for their lifestyle with the team. While everyone's suggestion can not be implemented, implementing the majority’s way can help boost morale and make your efforts more effective,” suggests Roma Priya, Founder, Burgeon Law.

RECENT STORIES

Aamir Khan: 'My Only Regret About Sarfarosh Was That I Was Doing Two More Films At The Same Time'

Aamir Khan: 'My Only Regret About Sarfarosh Was That I Was Doing Two More Films At The Same Time'

Tarot Card Readings: Here’s What The Cards Suggest For The Period May 25 to June 7 For All Zodiac...

Tarot Card Readings: Here’s What The Cards Suggest For The Period May 25 to June 7 For All Zodiac...

Letters Of Suresh Play Review: It Keeps The Audience Glued With Its Clever Writing

Letters Of Suresh Play Review: It Keeps The Audience Glued With Its Clever Writing

Pawan Uttam, Director Of Children’s Play Kallu Kallan Kaliya, Walks Us Through His Unique Offering

Pawan Uttam, Director Of Children’s Play Kallu Kallan Kaliya, Walks Us Through His Unique Offering

Vision To Reality: Unveiling The Directorial Journey Of The Play Vithabai

Vision To Reality: Unveiling The Directorial Journey Of The Play  Vithabai