The possibility of working in hybrid models continues to expand beyond IT: Survey
The hybrid working model is more prevalent in organisations with a relatively larger workforce. According to the findings of a report, women at higher levels of the organisational hierarchy are more likely to be given the option of working hybrid and also take up this option.
Around 69% of respondents working in hybrid mode reported improvement in managing personal finances - consistent with existing literature that highlights reduced costs as a benefit of hybrid work finds the report titled ‘Hybrid Models and Women’s Work in India’ released by LEAD at Krea University, IWWAGE in collaboration with Zoom Video Communications. The survey also reveals that 55% reported an increase in workplace motivation.
The report presents findings from a survey of 400 working women, of which over a third were hybrid workers. Among those surveyed, 55% of them belong to the technology, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, business and consulting services sectors, which are Information and Communications Technology (ICT)-intensive. While, 21% of them are from consumer goods, social services, teaching or real estate, and construction which indicates that the possibility of working in hybrid models continues to expand beyond technology-intensive sectors.
Among those surveyed, 89% of them felt that saving commuting time is the most important advantage of the hybrid model. Four out of five (80%) surveyed also consider flexible working hours as a significant advantage.
Hybrid workers based in metropolitan areas report greater flexibility and greater participation in the workplace as compared to their counterparts in non-metropolitan areas. More than half (55%) of the respondents living in non-metropolitan areas found the difference in resources available at home as compared to the office set-up to be a major disadvantage.
Preethi Rao, Associate Director, LEAD at Krea University, said, “With access to the right enabling infrastructure, hybrid work has the potential to provide flexible employment opportunities to women beyond metros. But the option to work remotely and the ease of transition to hybrid work varies by women’s location (metro/other), seniority levels, and sector. Future efforts can focus on bridging data gaps, building use cases for hybrid work across industries and geographies and creating enabling policies for equitable participation in the workforce.”
Commenting on the report, Iravati Damle, Head of Government Relations, India, Zoom said, “We are encouraged that the findings of this report endorse the value of flexible work for women’s participation in the economy. Workplace flexibility helps employees achieve greater work-life balance and attracts, engages and retains a gender-diverse workforce.”
“Flexible work models increase workers’ access to opportunities, enable productivity, foster collaboration, and, for companies, result in a better employee experience that is important for attracting and retaining top talent. Implementing policies and initiatives that promote flexibility will also support women’s participation in the workforce,” added Damle.
Globally, 21 countries have introduced some form of provision for hybrid workers in the course of the pandemic. Introducing equitable hybrid work policies is an important step towards widening the employment funnel, and providing women with greater choice and flexibility in shaping their career pathways.