The festive season is a time of joy, merriment, and the celebration of traditions with family and friends. It's a season that brings people together, fostering a sense of togetherness and community. However, in the contemporary work landscape, the boundary between work and personal life often blurs, leaving many employees yearning for more time to enjoy the festivities.
In many industries, especially in the run-up to major festivals like Diwali, the work can become more demanding, making it challenging for employees to truly immerse themselves in the celebrations. The real question arises: Should the festive season be marred by the relentless demands of work? The answer should be a resounding no.
The primary goal of Human Resources (HR) is to ensure that the workplace is not just a site for productivity but also a space for employees to thrive and enjoy their professional journey. HR professionals should understand the importance of a positive work environment where employees are happy and fulfilled, and the festive season plays a crucial role in this equation.
Rethinking work models
One of the most significant lessons learned during the Covid-19 pandemic was that work could go on without being confined to the traditional office setup. The concept of working from home was redefined. On the other hand, studies highlighted flexible work model’s potential to enhance productivity. In fact, remote workers tend to be 47% more productive, spend 10 minutes less on unproductive activities each day, and gain the equivalent of an additional working day each week.
This is not it, the pandemic-induced shift to remote work brought about numerous revelations. A report by Owl Labs revealed that 70% of those working from home found virtual meetings to be less stressful, with 64% favouring hybrid meetings. Furthermore, a Stanford study of 16,000 workers spanning nine months uncovered a 13% increase in productivity due to the quieter, more convenient home work environment and longer work hours. These findings also noted improved job satisfaction and a 50% reduction in attrition rates.
Yes, there are exceptions
While working from home has undoubtedly been a game-changer for many of us, we do recognise that not every employee has the luxury of embracing remote work. Among these are individuals with roles that necessitate their physical presence, such as construction workers, military personnel, police officers, fire-fighters, and professionals in the fields of hospitality, tourism, education, critical infrastructure maintenance, manufacturing, transportation, retail, and especially healthcare.
When we traditionally think of the patient-doctor relationship, the mental image often gravitates toward the classical in-person doctor visit. In this scenario, a patient travels to a healthcare facility, consults with a physician, and follows a prescribed treatment plan to address their health concerns. However, in recent years, the healthcare industry has shown its remarkable ability to adapt and thrive beyond this conventional model.
A prime example of this evolution is the rise of telemedicine, which has seen growing acceptance and integration into major health plans. Telemedicine allows patients to consult with healthcare providers over video calls, granting them access to medical expertise from the comfort of their own homes. Moreover, advancements in virtual and augmented reality have enabled the military to harness these technologies for both training and treatment purposes, particularly in the context of battlefield injuries, highlighted a Forbes report.
Given these innovative adaptations, it's not surprising that, when the COVID-19 pandemic prompted private companies to re-evaluate in-person work practices, various industries, including healthcare, responded in kind. Despite the persistent demand for in-office work arrangements, here are some reasons to let your employees enjoy flexibility during festive season.
1. Diversity and Inclusion
In the fast-paced modern world, employees are increasingly seeking flexible work arrangements, particularly during the festive season. Many employees, hailing from different parts of the country, yearn to return to their roots to celebrate with family and friends. It's during these festive times that they get to spend a cherished week or two with their loved ones, creating memories to last a lifetime.
2. Reduced burnout rate
Flexible work arrangements offer numerous advantages. They empower employees to be more productive in shorter bursts, facilitating a personalised work approach that aligns with their peak performance times. Furthermore, such arrangements promote a healthier work-life balance, mitigating the risk of burnout.
3. Eased commuting stress
During the festive season, metropolitan cities experience heightened traffic congestion and delays in public transportation due to numerous events and celebrations. Flexible work arrangements, including remote work, offer employees the opportunity to sidestep the stress and unpredictability of commuting.
4. Gained employee loyalty
By offering flexibility when employees value it the most, organisations can engender a deep sense of loyalty and appreciation among their workforce. Employees who enjoy the flexibility to partake in cultural and family celebrations are more likely to feel valued and engaged. In addition to its impact on employee loyalty, flexible work arrangements lead to cost savings for both employees and organisations, reducing overhead costs associated with physical office spaces and utilities.
5. For employees' health
In a time when pollution levels are rising and adversely affecting public health, organisations can play a pivotal role in safeguarding employees from harmful environmental factors. Allowing employees to work from the safety of their homes contributes to better air quality, mitigating health risks associated with commuting in smog-laden environments.
The festive season should be a time of unbridled joy and togetherness, not marred by the relentless demands of work. Organisations that embrace flexible work arrangements can create a more harmonious work environment, enabling employees to enjoy cherished moments with their loved ones. This approach not only promotes well-being and productivity but also fosters a strong sense of loyalty among employees. It's a win-win strategy that transforms the modern workplace into a space where work-life balance and festive celebrations can seamlessly coexist.