Must say that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought more changes to civil society than any other instance over the past half a century or even more. The concept of work-from-home appears to be here to stay, even though enterprises are trying their best to coax or even force employees to get back to the workplace.
We had reported some time back that among those who were offered a work from home option, as many as 75% now resist a return to the workplace. And the reasons aren’t surprising enough – the time taken to travel as well as the complete lack of flexibility of a workplace is what seems to be keeping employees away or alternatively looking for WFH options.
Amidst this trend of employees playing truant when asked to return to the workplace, another trend is developing whereby women seem to be actively chasing jobs with enterprises that provide the WFH option or even a hybrid model. “The moment we add WFH, we start getting more responses from women candidates,” says the HR head of a Bangalore-based company.
In fact, this move couldn’t have come at a more opportune time for women who had taken a sabbatical for one reason or another around 2019 and thereafter. In fact, even those with an external facing job profile are asking for a hybrid work routine whereby they have the option of staying at home for at least two days a week.
There was a women-only job fair held by consulting firm Avtar earlier this month where more than 35% of the roles insisted that location wasn’t a constraint while over 40% of the rest actually offered hybrid work models. Some of the participants in the fair included GIC, ICICI Lombard, Amazon and Ather Energy.
In fact, companies that offer flexibility appear to be attracting better talent across the board, leaving others to fight for the rest of the pool. Enterprises are considering innovation options to enhance employee engagement and satisfaction, resulting in a possible hiring overhaul. A survey by CIEL says 30% of staff are still in WFH mode.
A senior HR functionary working for a Mumbai-based agency says hiring women, including some who are looking for a second career option, is expanding the talent pool. And once these ladies see flexibility in working hours and space, they are fine with a salary cut that is often commensurate with the time and money they spend on travel.
With most companies leaning towards a hybrid set-up, the only ones who seem to be left with a Hobson’s choice are those that get to work directly from the campus.