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India Inc is waking up to work stress

india Updated: Aug 08, 2007 01:45 IST
Suprotip Ghosh
Suprotip Ghosh
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Employers have woken up to the work-life balance problem plaguing staff.

An HT C-fore survey found that 76 per cent of executives earning over Rs 15,000 monthly did not have a good work-life balance, 89 per cent thought they would be more productive if they had one and 91 per cent thought it should be the company’s responsibility to promote a balance.

Johnson & Johnson (J&J), the Godrej group and Accenture are among businesses with full-fledged work-life strategies.

“We gather insights on Gen Xers (people born in the ’80s) and Millennials (those born in ’90s) and devise policies and practices that help strike the right balance,” said Vikas Shirodkar, VP (HR), J&J Medical India.

Working from home and flexi-time are options companies offer. Godrej and Accenture offer flexible work hours. “We allow employees to work flexi hours because we want them to work to their full potential and it’s a way to attract women and it makes staff happier,” said Adi Godrej, chairman of the Godrej Group.

Even smaller organisations are waking up to the fact that a happy worker boosts productivity and reduces absenteeism. Centurion Bank of Punjab (CBoP) has introduced non-working Saturdays as part of employee-friendly policies. “One Saturday every month is a mandatory holiday. Banks traditionally work on Saturdays, but we feel this allows employees a better work-life balance,” said Shalaka Gadekar, head (HR), CBoP. Added to that, the second Friday of every month is a ‘Friendly Friday’, when unit-level managers meet their subordinates and everyone is made to leave by 6 pm.

CBoP also surveys its employees once a year on their opinion of the workplace and has a tie-up with the Art of Living Institute so that interested employees get the chance to go on one of its courses.

Outsourcing company Zensar offers flexi-time and home working for young mothers. CEO Ganesh Natrajan said: “Maintaining a work-life balance has become a business imperative and we recognise its positive impact on productivity and employee retention. The IT Industry was probably the first mover in terms of introducing the concept of work-life balance in India.”

Prachee Dubey (25), an IT sales professional from Mulund who works for an MNC, said: “There is a shortage of skilled labour, so companies have to open up and allow flexible hours. If they don’t, the best talent will leave for better jobs.”