Work from home Fridays: a win-win

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Esar Media & Advertising has just implemented a long weekend policy, allowing its workers to work from home on Fridays.

In times when most people spend their work week counting days until weekend approaches, rejoicing on Friday and then fighting the Monday blues again the next week, the balancing act between personal and professional lives has become a struggle. Considering the new lifestyles, and offering some respite to its staff, Esar Media & Advertising has just implemented a long weekend policy, which allows its workers to keep away from the office and work from home on Fridays.

Currently, a majority of workers, especially millennials, believe in the ‘work hard Monday to Friday, and party harder on the weekends’ philosophy of life. This may be a fun thing to do, but has various harmful consequences in the long run. According to Malik Gilani, founder & CEO, Esar Media & Advertising, this kind of life pattern kills all opportunities to spend time with our families and ourselves.

“Most of the time, coffee is our only breakfast, lunch happens late and then dinner becomes heavy and affects our health resulting in all sorts of ailments. We often see cases, where young people die of stress, develop heart issues, become obese and unfit. One of the good HR managers, Mamta Bandhole, who I worked with as an intern, once quoted ‘If you take care of the people working, work is automatically taken care off’,” said Gilani.

Considering the fact that most of the work at Esar Media & Adverstising demands a lot of mental awareness and need not be performed only from office, the company decided to test out a long weekend way of working. The arrangement was tried with three of its senior managers for a month. But they realised that nothing had really changed in terms of productivity, but the people could now be with their families for more time managing their work alongside. The only thing that makes the idea successful is the fact that, “It’s essential to give due importance to the source that feeds you and your family; if that’s a feeling people have then this fundamental will work,” says Gilani.

It’s all about getting the work done on time. Gilani is of the view that what you give is directly or indirectly proportionate to what you get. With more time to spend with family and enough time to balance relaxation and celebration over the weekend, people come back to work rejuvenated and satisfied. Most of all, they are in a great frame of mind to work in full swing rather than slog with Monday blues.

Gilani shares a few important points one should consider while planning a policy around long weekends:

  • Roles should be divided into effective designations to ensure that each person plays a role worthy of their time.
  • A task-oriented approach to work should be followed.
  • The team should be trusted and depended on.
  • Everyone should have self-belief and respect for each other—from the top management to the bottom.

Gilani also explains that a long weekend policy may not be really scalable for large organisations with complex structures. It is unlikely for the entire management to have similar mindsets. “In larger organisations, however, alternatives to long weekends can be provided. At the end, a leader and his company is only as good as his team,” he says.

Gilani warns that a long weekend policy is not a cakewalk as it has all the possibilities for ruining a company, and its functioning. However, he concludes, “A conventional way of working is not me.”

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