Work-from-home is one of the prime workplace debates lately and there exists a huge perception gap between employers and employees when it comes to implementing or not implementing a recognised work-from-home policy.
According to a survey of over 1,100 employees and almost 800 employers by TimesJobs, nearly 60 percent organizations in India do not have a formal work-from-home policy. Incidentally, 75 percent employers are not even comfortable with this idea, whereas 90 percent employees are keen on having such a policy at work.
“To survive in today’s competitive business world, companies need to transform from a ‘command and control culture’ to ‘empower and enhance’ value system. Organizations 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.
Productivity and Performance Mismatch
The TimesJobs study further revealed that 70 percent employers still believe that productivity gets hampered when employees work from home. Contrary to this, 44 percent employees feel that work-from-home helps boost productivity. Also, 80 percent organizations say no to work-from-home as they say that they have no tracking mechanisms to manage workforce who opt for it.
Risks outweigh Benefits
About 40 percent employers see lack of control as the biggest challenge of a work-from-home policy, reveals the TimesJobs survey. Resistance from top management in acceptance and implementation of work-from-home strategy is another big challenge cited by 30 percent surveyed organizations. Lack of employee interest for work-from-home options is stated as a deterrent by 5 percent employers.
Though, employers do believe that work-from-home has certain benefits. Nearly 40 percent see its biggest impact in boosting their employer brand, 30 percent see it as useful in curbing attrition and another 30 percent find it beneficial in improving employee productivity, which is further linked to organisational output and profitability.
Roles are not Suitable
Moreover, 25 percent employers believe that there are many jobs, which are not conducive to work-from-home arrangements and that is a hindrance in creating such a policy. Of these employers, 42 percent say work-from-home doesn’t work well in IT related areas of work, 40 percent say it is not practical for logistics, supply chain management and procurement roles and another 40 percent find it is not useful in customer service functions.
Nearly 35 percent employers feel work-from-home policy is unsuitable for those working in hospitality and related domains, another 35 percent say this for administrative profiles, 30 percent feel it doesn’t work well for engineering profile, 25 percent see it inappropriate for accounting and finance roles.
For 10 percent, work-from-home is useless for sales and business development roles, while 5 percent find it irrelevant for those working in entertainment, media and journalism segments.
Amid all these reservations about work-from-home, while 35 percent organizations are unsure of adopting any such policy in the near future, 40 percent employers say they already have a work-from-home policy, but they will modify it to suit the changing needs of employees. And 25 percent organisations plan to implement this policy in the near future.
Feature image credit: freedigitalphotos.net