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Office Buzz: Vacation blues

Updated on: Dec 20, 2017

It’s that time of the year when everyone is frantically finishing up work commitments before heading out for a long holiday. But chances are that over a third of Indians will be checking their mail even while on holiday. Expedia’s annual Vacation Deprivation Survey shows that 37 per cent Indians check their work e-mail more than once per day and 21 per cent check once per day during vacations. And 87 per cent Indians (they topped the world rankings on this) considered number of vacation days an important factor when deciding on a new job.

Indians really crave vacations, finds the 2017 survey, with 55 per cent feeling that that being vacation-deprived results in decreased productivity at work. A good 34 per cent Indians are even willing to take a cut in their salary for extra vacation days. Employers, please note: The survey says 60 per cent Indians spend time at work dreaming about and planning vacations.

So workers from which country took the most vacation during the year? Brazil, France, Spain, Germany and Finland figured among the top while India figured among the lowest along with Japan, South Korea and Thailand. Clearly, Asians need to borrow a leaf from the Europeans and South Americans. The survey was conducted online from September 4-15, 2017 among 15,081 respondents across 30 countries spread over North America, Europe, South America and the Asia-Pacific.

In the course of this year

Artificial Intelligence topped the list of popular courses taken by Indians in 2017, according to online education company Coursera. It took three of the top 10 slots, with Machine Learning and Deep Learning courses figuring too. Blockchain and Cryptocurrency emerged as hot new courses during the year.

As far as business-oriented courses went, financial markets and design thinking for innovation were ranked the top two, with Successful Negotiation and Introduction to Public Speaking emerging third.

Raghav Gupta, India Country Director, Coursera, said, “The trends we saw in 2017 will continue in 2018 as well. Blockchain, business, data analytics, leadership, innovation and strategy courses will garner greater interest over the next year.”

Soon, bring your own people

The full-time employee will, over the course of the next year, become less relevant. According to consultancy firm PwC, one of the top talent trends for 2018 is that ‘Bring your own device’ will morph into ‘Bring your own people’ - for the right job. According to Chaitali Mukherjee, Partner, People & Organisation, PwC India, “The liquid workforce will continue to grow in an effort for organisations to manage costs, get the best talent for the job and leverage ‘just in time’ skills..

Meanwhile, Achal Khanna, CEO, SHRM India, says that 2018 will see the growth of personalised work arrangements.

“With a high level of diverse workforce, all organisations are looking to understand how they can create work arrangements that suit the employee’s needs and life-situation. This awareness will become higher in the coming year.”

New job roles ahoy!

The shape of work is altering like never before. Just five years from now, 37 per cent of India’s workforce will be employed in new job roles, says a FICCI-Nasscom and EY joint report on the Future of Jobs. Demographic changes – especially the rising middle-class – will have the biggest impact on future of jobs, according to the report.

There will be a shift towards more “organised work”. In the organised manufacturing and service sector, there will be an addition of around 10 million people by 2022.

Among the new forms of employment that we will be seeing include more contract employees in the infrastructure sector, micro entrepreneurs supported by MUDRA (Micro Unit Development and Refinance Agency) schemes, freelance workers on online platforms and SME and artisan entrepreneurs on e-commerce platforms.

All the new forms of employment are expected to add a further 20-25 per cent to the “organised” workforce, taking the share of the organised sector in the overall economy to 10 per cent from current level of 8 per cent. That is, approximately 60 million in a workforce of 600 million.

The good news for employers is that technology will start making a big difference and help improve productivity by 15 to 20 per cent by 2022.

It may be noted that till now, most researchers were lamenting that despite tech interventions productivity had declined due to distractions.

Published on January 09, 2018

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