More men too now working from home
Make Up Half Of Those Opting For Liberal HR Policy In Some Tech & Pharma Cos
Mumbai: Most presume that the HR policy of providing a work-from-home alternative is meant for and preferred by women. But data reveals a different story — a significant number of employees who availed this option were men.
At Novartis India, 44% of the employees who chose the flexible work policy in 2018 were men. While at Capgemini, 50% of those who took the option in the last six months were male employees. Overall, 22% of Capgemini’s employees used the work-from-home arrangement since the programme’s launch in March this year. The India unit of the French technology services major employs over 1 lakh people. At Novartis, more than 50% of the employees made use of the opportunity in 2018. The pharma giant has over 8,000 employees countrywide.
Capgemini India head (diversity & inclusion) Gayathri Ramamurthy said that both men and women from the company equally availed the flexi work option and that was an indication of a “social reality that flexibility is the requirement of all employees, irrespective of gender”.
Infosys head (HR) Richard Lobo agrees with Ramamurthy. The Bengaluru-based IT giant allows employees to work from their homes for nine days in a month. “We have seen the policy used by all employees, irrespective of gender,” Lobo said.
Employees work from home for a variety of reasons, like taking care of children or ageing parents, completing errands or attending to other works at home. “The work-fromhome policy allows employees to customise their schedule and manage their professional and personal responsibilities in a better manner,” said Novartis India head (people & organisation) Anusia Pillay.
The policy made a debut in India to keep up with the country’s changing societal structures — an increase in nuclear family set-ups with both partners working, dynamic weather conditions like heavy rains & extreme heat, crumbling infrastructure, and civic unrest, among others.
“In Mumbai, where flooding throws the city out of gear at least once during monsoon (in fact, four times this year), the work-fromhome option allows people to spend their time more productively from their residence, rather than being on the road for hours,” Pillay added.
At food services and facilities management company Sodexo India, 10% of its 47,000 people work from home on any given workday.
HR experts said that the traditional working hours of 9am to 5pm in offices have become a thing of the past. Companies do not mind time flexibility as long as the work is done. “It is the outcome that matters more than the number of hours put in,” said Pillay.
Ankit Bansal of Sapphire Human Solutions said, “Competition is driving companies to offer flexible work options in a bid to control attrition.”
However, not all large and well-known organisations are ready to offer the policy to their employees. One of the biggest homegrown employers said it doesn’t have such a policy because of client confidentiality agreements and security reasons.
“If employees are allowed to work from home, they will have access to the system. Network security will not be applicable. And there could be chances of data breach,” said an executive from the company, which has a staff strength running into six digits.