There is a transitional change in the objective, approach and basic hypotheses of work-life balance.
Due to change in the work–life needs of employees, organizations need to re-design work–life initiatives in a manner that will foster workplace environment and culture. At the same time, it should facilitate the interface between work, family, and personal life.
The progressive change in work –life dynamics should be such that it mutually benefits employers, and employees including their families.
Basically, organizations need to undergo structural and cultural changes that include flexible job timings, shift in policies, pro-women policies, adopting non-conventional methods etc.
Flexible working hours
“Flexible working hours are great help. It has been like a lifeline to me. It is progressive and very forward looking. It is great for me as I am a mother and I have four kids. Also, I work in number of areas (fields). It allows you to work better. However, the downsize is - it increases job insecurity and working alone can be sad and lonely. You miss cross fertilization of ideas and fun together in a team,” says Bee Rowlatt, Writer and Journalist at Sheroes work life bank balance summit 2016.
Prukalpa Sankar, Co-founder of SocialCops and another eminent speaker at Sheroes Summit explained flexible working hours policy in her company – “ In my previous job roles - I wanted to work on weekends but I was told that it was not in line with their work-life balance policy. Another day I had to reach office by 8.30 but I reached around 8.45 and I was told – I am late. These practices made me think and we decided what would be our ideals around which we will build SocialCops. We thought what would our workplace be like? And we decided not to have work timings. In our office, engineers walk –in around 4 pm for work and stay till 4 am next day. No one asks questions about work timings and if anybody wants to work on Sunday – they are allowed.”
No more conventional workspaces
Ping pong tables, nap nooks, table tennis are all part of non-conventional design structure in offices today. “We have beds in our office. We want people to be productive and you should work, when you really want to work. If you didn’t get enough sleep then you won’t be able to work. That’s why we have beds in our office. We are trying to build a culture where company gives lot of freedom to employees but then it comes with lot of responsibility. We want to build a place where people can do the best they can. When you think about future of work – 5 years back nobody used to think or question – what is the purpose of their work but now they do as there is generational shift,” says Prukalpa Sankar, Co-founder of SocialCops.
Women vital workforce
This shift requires addition of more women workforce. Future of work is women and more women should be employed at senior management position with no discrimination.
Radhika Ghai Aggarwal, Co-founder Shopclues says, “The base level salary of women is same as men. But it is the fact that at midlevel its starts separating whether we talk about India or whether we talk about US it does start separating. This needs to be changed.”
Pankaj Bansal, Co-Founder and CEO People Strong, who was also present at Sheroes Summit adds his viewpoint, “Women don’t need reservation. They need equal opportunities. I don’t ask how many women are hired. I ask how many women were interviewed for the position offered. I ask how many resumes of women were shortlisted. We just need to change one metric and then we can see the change happening.”
Work-life balance is a myth
“One of the things that women do much better than men is playing a dual role- responsibility of being a homemaker and working outside in a company or for a public sector. I want to ask- Is there such a thing as work-life balance. It doesn’t exist for men. It doesn’t exist for women. It is a mythical balance and that does not exist. Women should make clear demarcation at home and work front. I take equal pride in being a homemaker and I take equal pride in being entrepreneur as well,” avers Radhika Ghai Aggarwal, Co-founder Shopclues.