The level of competition has grown so much today, that employees are observed to work tirelessly in offices, with some of them working late into the night in some industries. However, unlike in the past, today’s employees are not expected to report to work at the usual time the next morning after putting in additional hours the previous night. With the advancement in technology and digital media, it is very easy for employees now to work from remote locations at their convenient time.
Companies are shedding their rigid line of thinking and discarding the old ways of making people work. The economy is already witnessing an agile and flexible working culture. In today’s times, flexible working conditions are not just important but a necessity. The new talent and the young workforce thrive on flexibility. Organisations are now realising that as long as the purpose of the work is fulfilled hanging on to the age-old ancient ways of working is pointless. However, to implement flexibility, factors, such as location (where you work) and time (when you work) are significant.
“The frames of reference are changing every moment and the real challenge ahead for companies is to be agile. The key to agility is to anticipate changes and to be at the forward of your curve,” says Praveer Priyadarshi, CPO, Jindal Stainless.
Breakthroughs in digital technology, information technology and technology tools have made work ever so different over the years and still continue to do so. Advancement at such a pace may change the working conditions in corporates every 10 years.
According to Rajnesh Khosla, head-human resources, LG software, India, companies, such as Tata, IBM and GE were very much agile and work oriented from the very beginning. “Earlier, for medium and smaller sized companies, there were no tools to monitor work. Therefore, they were busy tracking rigid systems, such as time/punctuality and leaves. As technology developed, they started paying more attention to flexibility in work relations in their organisations,” mentions Khosla.
“All the organisations are agile right now and with the development in tools and technology, more and more organisations are becoming flexible and humane,” adds Khosla.
Talking about breaking the shackles of rigidity in working conditions, there do exist limitations and certain conditions that need to be complied with. Not all kinds of work can be made flexible for the employees.
While functions which do not require face-to-face interaction can be made flexible, functions which require regular interaction with clients and customers, and work which is time bound cannot.
Kishore GR, senior vice president and head-HR, Mphasis says, “For organisations, the most important thing is to first identify the roles which can allow the employees to work remotely, because there are some functions which cannot be made flexible because of certain principles. So the important part is to nail down the principles of what work can be done from other locations.”
Most organisations, irrespective of size, are trying to introduce agility and flexibility into their working culture, in accordance with the demand of the current talent. They are taking into consideration the young workforce, which prefers being associated with companies that provide such benefits.