Every employee, be it a male or a female, deserves to have sufficient time to spend with his/her family and participate in extra-curricular activities that help him/her de-stress.
The moment we hear the term ‘work-life balance,' instantly the image of a hard-working woman juggling her office along with her household flashes through our mind. Though this scene indeed deserves a lot of thought and action, is this the only picture that needs to be taken care of? Women have stepped onto this see-saw quite recently as compared to men. Since generations, we have been seeing men toiling their day off at work, coming late at night and having little to no life outside the imprisoning walls of their respective offices. Then why do we unwittingly end up being chauvinistic about the issue?
It is indeed time that we give up the orthodox notions of work being the only priority of men and reward them with a little space to breathe. Every employee, be it a male or a female, deserves to have sufficient time to spend with his/her family and participate in extra-curricular activities that help him/her de-stress.
Rosita Rabindra, Executive Vice-President and Head HR, NIIT Technologies elaborates how the company ensures the comfort of all of their employees, "We have standard policies for work-life balance and have few additional ones for women like Little NIITian Care Leave to help new mothers slowly transition back to work. We also offer paternity leave in our efforts to ensure that all our policies are aligned to the needs of both sexes."
Furthermore, it is highly essential that facilities be provided on an everyday basis to help employees relax and take a break from their hectic schedule. Manoj Matai, Vice President – Solution & Transition at Jindal Intellicom tells us the recipe to create such an atmosphere, "BPO is a high stress environment, more so the international services side due to the time difference. To reduce stress levels, we have the following unique initiatives:
• Smaller cabs to reduce travel time.
• Gym in the office with high end equipment and full time coach.
• Wellness programs including eye check-up, yoga camps etc.
• Team outings for adventure sports etc. rather than "drink-dance-dine" parties.
• Tasty & nutritious food, cooked in our own cafeteria, under our supervision with the key ingredients supplied by us, rather than food cooked in distant "centralised" kitchens.
• Ergonomic seating, comfortable headsets and noise reduction systems.
• Powerful air-conditioning – cooling and heating.
• I-Care – independent grievance & counselling desk.
• Last but not the least – frequent creative, cultural and sports events, participated at individual and team levels."
There are many companies today which encourage working from home by evaluating the performance of an employee by the results rather than the time spent inside the office. Rahul Kulkarni, Head - HR, Kale Consultants, explains, "We believe that it is not about the ‘x' number of hours you spend inside the office but the work you deliver at the end of the day. We give our employees the freedom to work out of any premises and deliver the performance that is expected out of them. We believe in giving them the option of choosing how and where they want to work rather than creating a structure about it. The performance evaluation programme that we have is such that their working from home doesn't hinder their performance criteria." If such opportunities are provided by a greater number of companies in the market, it would certainly be much easier for employees to handle their work, family and hobbies simultaneously.
It is time for ‘work-life balance' to rise out of its conceptual stage and become a reality in all industries, both for male as well as female employees on a uniform level. But such a phenomenon is only possible if every company rises to the occasion of understanding the needs of all its workers and coining effective and efficient policies for their immediate benefit. This will lead to more satisfied employees and in turn better productivity.