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Work at will

Jinoy Jose P | Updated on December 15, 2014 Published on December 15, 2014

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Flexible hours will only help enhance productivity

The time has come for India to make flexible working hours the norm rather than the exception. Today, only some sectors such as IT and ITeS offer this alternative to workers, despite studies and research having repeatedly shown that greater flexibility at work can help enhance productivity and employer loyalty.

Indian companies can take a cue from a report released recently in the UK, conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research on behalf of business mobility company Citrix. It looked into how the ‘work from anywhere’ culture influences the economy and found that 96 per cent of knowledge workers (from software engineers to doctors and scientists) can make good use of flexi-work patterns. This could potentially add an extra £11.5 billion a year to the UK economy through more productive use of available working hours — that’s a neat 0.7 per cent of GDP. The study finds that more extensive flexible working practices can help workers save more than £7 billion in commuting. More than 60 per cent of workers surveyed said they would work more hours if they could work from their place of choice.

Flexible working hours can benefit working mothers. Thanks to patriarchal values, a huge number of women are forced to stay out of work, having to take care of children and other household chores. Flexibility at work can help companies tap this dormant talent pool. Further, in the era of BYOD (bring-your-own-device), cloud connectivity and computing-on-the-go, there are no excuses for the industry not making flexi-work an accepted practice. Security concerns are on the wane thanks to cutting-edge software. The government should persuade industry to introduce this practice — it will benefit employers and employees.

Jinoy Jose P, Assistant Editor

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Published on December 15, 2014
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