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Employees & employers are diagonally opposite on ‘work from home’
HRK News Bureau | New Delhi | Wednesday, 24 May 2017

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According to a survey done by TimesJobs, while 90 percent of the respondent employees were keen to work from home, 75 percent of the respondent employers weren’t comfortable with the idea.

Work from home or telecommuting has opened up a new range of possibilities in the work environment. While debates continue around productivity in telecommuting, the practice is on the rise across the world. However, in India, the employers’ segment seems to be quite averse to it.
 
According to a TimesJobs survey of more than 1,100 employees and nearly 800 employers carried out by TimesJobs, 75 percent of employers were totally against the idea of telecommuting and 60 percent of the organisations did not have a formal work from home policy. In contrast, 90 percent of the employees surveyed were keen to have such a policy at work.

The reservation of employers against telecommuting appears to be based on the belief that productivity is hampered when employees work from home. About 70 percent of the employers participating in the survey cited this as the main reason.
 
The employees, though, had a completely opposite point of view as 44 percent of them opined that they were more productive while telecommuting.

The reservation of employers against telecommuting appears to be based on the belief that productivity is hampered when employees work from home. About 70 percent of the employers participating in the survey cited this as the main reason. On the contrary, 44 percent of employees opined that they were more productive while telecommuting.For employers, the biggest worry was an absence of a tracking mechanism and about 80 percent of the employers surveyed voiced this as a major concern. This clearly depicts the mindset of Indian employers and their lack of trust in the employees.
 
About 30 percent of the employers squarely placed the blame on the top management, claiming resistance from the top as a hindrance in implementing telecommuting in offices. Another 40 percent of the employers stated lack of control as the biggest challenge in the execution of a work from home policy.
   
The good part is that many employers still believe that work from home has certain benefits. Nearly 40 percent said they saw it as an employer-brand enhancer, while 30 percent considered such a policy to be instrumental in curbing attrition. Another 30 percent said they found it beneficial in improving employee productivity, which was further linked to organisational output and profitability.

What the organisations do not figure in is the rising real estate expense and how they can cut cost by reducing both infrastructural and operational costs. “To survive in today’s competitive business world, companies need to transform from a command and control culture to an empower and enhance value system. Organisations that are able to create a culture that nurtures agile, high-performance teams will thrive. Policies such as work from home and flexi-working create a culture of trust and communicate the company’s belief in its high-performance employees, which in turn attracts and retains top talent,” says Ramathreya Krishnamurthi, business head, TimesJobs.

Many employers still believe that work from home has certain benefits. Nearly 40 percent said they saw it as an employer-brand enhancer, while 30 percent considered such a policy to be instrumental in curbing attrition. Another 30 percent said they found it beneficial in improving employee productivity, which was further linked to organisational output and profitability.

About a quarter of the employers in the survey said they believed that there are many jobs which are not conducive to work from home arrangements and this is a hindrance in creating such a policy.

Of these employers, 42 percent said that work from home doesn’t work well in IT-related areas of work, while 40 percent revealed it is not practical for logistics, supply chain management and procurement roles; another 40 percent  claimed it is not useful in customer service functions.

The respondents also opined that telecommuting was unsuitable for those working in hospitality and related domains, administrative profiles, engineering profiles, accounting and finance roles, sales, business development roles and for those working in entertainment, media and journalism segments.

While 35 percent of the business outfits surveyed said they were unsure of adopting any such policy in the near future, 40 percent of them said they already had a work from home policy but planned to modify it to suit the changing needs of employees. About 25 percent of the surveyed organisations said they planned to implement the policy in the near future.

© 2016 HR Katha
Last modified on Wednesday, 24 May 2017

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