Should you hire for a cultural fit

Should you hire for a cultural fit

Cultural fit is quite popular in today’s date in the HR industry, not only in conversations among the human resources team but is also being used as a replacement for what was known as the gut feeling factor in the old hiring process. Many times we miss out on a key individual who could have been an asset if we had hired them.The job market is becoming increasingly competitive, and the job cultures are turning diverse. At this time, hiring the right people is more important than ever before, because, a candidate once rejected will not turn back to you.

 

What is Cultural Fit?

Google defines cultural fit as when the core values, beliefs, and personality of the candidates match those of the company.

However, it is believed that cultural fit is a ‘myth.’ When hiring a candidate, the most important thing to check is his or her knowledge and exposure. A candidate lacking from a western country with expertise in the same domain will fit better in your company rather than a native guy with poor skills.

“Culture fit” as a term is defined as how well someone “fits in” to the organization by hiring managers and firms. Moreover, when you talk about “fitting in,” it is easy to relate that term the same way we think about “fitting in” socially—hence many companies think the best way they can do is hire candidates they can chill around with. This definition of “culture fit” is mostly flawed and can lead to bad hiring practices.

“Culture fit” is just about one thing and one thing that should only matter to you is- how well the individual will do their job within your specific organization. Furthermore, your organization is much more than just happy hours and social gatherings.

However, It is important to make cultural fit checks in the candidature before you hire them and invest your time in them. It is more relevant for the employee and the employer if their values, beliefs and personality match. However, basing your decision wholly on it will be a bad idea. In this piece, we will analyze both sides of the coin and will leave it on you to take a call.

Employee wellness

A positive environment in the workplace helps retaining employees for a more extended period and improves employee self-esteem, which results in high production and decreasing recruitment cost. The healthy environment in the office improves employee’s confidence in employers and creates healthy competition among employees. Well, all of that is possible only if you have a ‘cultural fit’ candidate, and there are no inner conflicts of interest between the employees.

“We have clients that range from 40 people to 70,000 +. They vary wildly between business type, industry, and technology. The one unifying factor is the need for a unified culture. I have seen a lot of unique hiring processes, but companies mainly focus on culture. In the recruiting role I get to speak with dozens of individuals every day and hear about their job search and experiences,” said Andrew Rangel, an IOS developer trainer, who deals with new candidates all the time.

“We specialize in IT recruiting, so skill is very important to the role. We have several individuals that fit the skill set and the job description to the “T”. They were perfect fits for the opportunity. They went through the rigorous three + stages of interviews but were not given offers. Why? They simply were not good fits for the culture. Even though IT is in high demand and currently their unemployment is in the low 4%, companies are still willing to turn down individuals that do not fit the culture,” he added, explaining how sometimes cultural fit can be so important.

False pretention

When the market is largely down, and the country is dealing with a high unemployment rate. It usually happens that the candidates end up faking and making things up, which does not go with their personalities during an interview. However, you think it’s a match based on their views and values they told you about them in a 30 or maybe 40 minutes interview, and you end up believing in that.

Fake pretending ‘cultural fit’ can end up causing extra harm to your organization than you expected from the team of cultural fit employees. It is a fact that employees whose ideologies do not match with what of their employer, usually end up leaving the job, which directly and indirectly affects both the parties. The fewer similarities between employee and employers in what drives them

Monotonous Work life

Diversity at a workplace is essential. People from different backgrounds and age groups bring variety to the work, and each serves a new dish on the table with their diversified perspective. Hiring people with the same mindset, values and work ethics is similar to employing one person, over and over again. This not only brings monotonous rhythm in the work environment but also affect employee engagement. The main problem with hiring for cultural fit is, people tend only to hire people who look and sound alike. Instead, a team should be of differing perspectives but shared values.

Hire and exchange value

No one is born with cultural values. We adapt it from the environment we live in, and we shape ourselves that way. An employer when hiring an employee should be open to change in order to add assets to its team instead of bringing in a ‘cultural fit’ liability.
The culture in business changes depending on the need of people in the business at any time — it is not static. Instead of matching candidature to an existing employee, HR should look more closely at the communication style, values, and interests that might contribute to an organization.

Hire based on their academic credentials, professional experiences and references, or maybe technical skillset? Those certainly offer a great starting point rather than ‘cultural fit’.

Slow growth

According to Forbes, focusing on cultural fit leads you to hire in a bunch of candidates who think in a similar way as your existing staff. Reports have proven that once a company goes public, employers that hire on cultural fit actually grow slower than others because they struggle to bring innovative ideas on the table. The company, instead of hiring for people who fit the culture, should rather ask themselves what is missing from their plate, and select people who can bring that in the team. Also cannot ignore the impact on team morale and loss of productivity.

However, one can smartly think about cultural fit when hiring, but that does not mean you should be hiring clones of your current team or one “type” of a candidate. Diversity is necessary, and your culture can include lots of different personality types.

‘Team fit’ not ‘Cultural fit’

The candidate should be a team player. Moreover, when I say team player, it does not mean he should have told you that in his biography, instead of test it by various examine skills. Wether be Start-ups or a Full-grown firm it becomes impossible if you do not work well with the teammates.

Instead of being in trouble by hiring “fit”, companies looking to make more teams with diverse background are better off thinking about “culture add”. What can a person bring to the table that will add to your company culture and help you make a right move in the right direction?

This paves the way for organizations to engage with candidates from diverse backgrounds and demographics and lets them think outside the box when they are building out various teams.

Culture Fit Matter?

Yes, it does matter, but we believe your decision should be partly based on it because you hire someone for working and really not for dating. Now, why is it essential- An employee spends a substantial portion of their lives dedicated to the workplace. If they do not love the work they are doing and the environment, people they are working with, that can quickly spiral into an undesirable work environment.

If you are looking to build, it should be done with intention and your current culture in mind. Otherwise, you might take the risk of a bad investment and hire someone who would be a liability.

Points to keep in mind when hiring ‘Cultural fit’

  • Hiring someone is a significant investment; make sure you get it right for the first time. Run through rigorous training and test the skills using different tests instead of relying on words.
  • No hurry! A lousy fit can ruin your current employee morale and team momentum. Make sure you do all the check before letting someone in your company.
  • Try to talk more about their experiences rather than sticking to formal questions. Make them comfortable so they can talk their heart out.
  • Explain to them your company work culture, do not hide anything- at the end of the process, you gonna be in the same building you cannot escape.
  • Look for a counterpart, look for something that is missing in the team. Just like all the spices make a perfect curry, your team needs to be diverse but united when putting together.
  • Do not hire a clone of your current employee. If you eat the same food daily, you will end up hating that food for the rest of your life. Everyone is different, try new stuff, bring on creativity.
  • Ensure you have set your values and the candidates meet the maximum of it, if not all.
  • Ensure to have a solid one to one induction process where the employee can understand the company, instead of sending them to a random table with computer and unknown people around them.
  • Everyone appreciates a followup- once an employee joins, try taking feedback on how they are settling in.
  • Feedback just not from the new joinee, but your current team is equally important- their views definitely matters, keep them in a loop like a team.

It is very important to hire candidates you think will be happy working at your organization, and whom your current employees will enjoy working alongside- in the end they are equally responsible for your success. However, it is easier said than done. It seems that a fool-proof approach does not exist- what does exist, is good advice from experienced people in the field. Hopefully, the insights in this article have given you a clarification on whom to hire and what to take care of.

We are always open to feedbacks and queries, would be happy to help if we can, in any way. Please comment or reach out to us via the contact section on this site. Share within your HR network and let everyone know what to hire?

How to build an everlasting company culture?

How to build an everlasting company culture?

As an entrepreneur when you are thinking about setting up a team for your company where employees are happy, engaged, enthusiastic and energetic, there is one word which is likely to come to your mind time and again, that is ‘culture’.

 

What does company culture refer to?

When we consider an individual, culture refers to a basic set of values or principles that a person has. Similar to this, company culture refers to the core values followed in a company, right from the CEO to the junior employee. In addition to values, a company culture consists of goals, ideologies, purpose, mission, vision, beliefs, learning, leadership, assumptions, expectations, work environment and ethics. A company’s work culture can also be referred to as its personality. Just like each person has a unique DNA, every organization has a unique culture too. Company culture is indicative of how a particular organization functions and meets its objectives or goals.

You surely must have heard about some of the popular companies like Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Adobe, Microsoft and Starbucks. All these companies are highly successful in their own domain. However, they have one thing in common. Any guesses? Yes, all of them have a positive and phenomenal work culture. The employees working in these companies are passionate about their work and complete it with great precision. Not only this, all the employees share a strong bond with each other at the workplace. Their purpose is clearly defined and their goals are aligned with the goals and objectives of the company. This is what makes these companies stand out from the rest and the best place to work for the employees.

“A company’s culture is the foundation for future innovation. An entrepreneur’s job is to build the foundation.” – Brian Chesky

What does excellent company culture mean?

Positive and excellent company culture is the one where all the employees work together in synchronization as a team and achieve the best possible results for every project or task given to them.

Employees working in a company having a world-class culture automatically feel motivated to come to work every day and do not feel a sense of monotony about the work they do. In such a work environment, the vibes of the positive and happy company culture can actually be felt.

There are some elements that demarcate an ordinary company culture from the extraordinary one. These include synergism, trust, respect, responsibility, innovation, growth, flexibility, problem-solving attitude and many more.

Why is it essential to have a great company culture?

On average, most employees spend nearly 8-10 hours each day, i.e. nearly 1/3rd of a day in the office workspace. It is quite obvious that having a good company and work culture would go a long way in keeping the employees happy, ultimately making an impact on the productivity of the company.

1. Reflects the identity of an organization

If you are of the opinion that turnover, sales, profits, bottom line, and revenue are factors that define the true potential of a company, then you are highly mistaken. All these are just byproducts of good and powerful company culture. It is the company culture that defines its identity, something which is unique and peculiar to the company.

2. Builds a company’s reputation and image

Having a healthy and happening company culture helps an organization in building its reputation and name in the market. The positive and enthusiastic vibes inside the company spread through word of mouth to the outside world too. This helps in attracting fresh talents to the company making recruitment easier. In addition to this, having a good reputation in the market helps expand a company’s client base as customers prefer to buy products and services from a reputed company. This ultimately adds up to the profitability of the company.

3. Employee retention

A strong and positive company culture ensures that employees are appreciated, respected and valued for their valuable contributions towards the growth of the company. Employees working in such a workplace feel happy and content when they are acknowledged for their work. This is the reason why companies having a robust work culture are able to retain their existing employees and do not face the problem of a high attrition rate.

4. Enhanced productivity at work

A nurturing company culture takes care of the overall growth and development of employees. This helps to boost the spirit of employees which reflects in their productivity at work. Higher productivity at the workplace ultimately strengthens the financial health of a company.

5. Reduced workplace stress

Stressed-out employees have a negative impact on the morale of the entire workplace. Businesses having a strong and powerful work culture helps in reducing the stress of employees significantly. This improves the mental health of the employees at work and boosts the overall productivity of the organization.

6. Improved customer experience

A positive and enthusiastic work environment inside the office reflects in the way the employees take care of your clients. A happy and motivated employee is likely to go the extra mile in providing the best customer service to the clients. This helps businesses to improve customer experience leading to higher satisfaction levels amongst customers.

7. Facilitates effective teamwork

A healthy and engaging company culture enables the employees to gel as a close unit and works efficiently as a team with a high degree of precision, speed, and accuracy. It also facilitates clear and streamlined communication between several employees from different departments in a company.

8. Keeps employees motivated

A healthy and rewarding company culture recognizes the valuable contributions and efforts of employees. Such a company regards employees as its most valuable asset and praises them. This keeps the employees motivated at work and they are ready to take on added responsibility happily if the need arises.

9. Brings out the leader in everyone

Encouraging and exciting company culture makes employees more responsible for their work. Employees are more involved in their projects and do not shy away from taking initiatives that are for the betterment of the company. In such a healthy and positive workplace, employees need not be reminded time and again what they have to do, they are already aware of their responsibilities towards the organization. This inculcates leadership qualities in them which will ultimately be beneficial to the company in the long run.

Ways to build a strong, positive and everlasting company culture

Deciphering the code of building a healthy and happy company culture is not a cake walk. It is something which will not happen overnight. It is a continuous process that requires an investment of time, patience and dedication from the entrepreneurs and business owners. There are no predefined rules or any SOP manual on how to create a good company culture. It all varies from individual to individual and from company to company.

Below are some simple but effective suggestions using which you can foster a healthy, happy, cohesive and everlasting company culture.

1. Scrutinizing your existing company culture

If your business is constantly losing its best employees, then it is time for you to sit down and scrutinize your existing company culture to identify the loopholes in it and set it right before it is too late. Having a very high attrition rate in any organization is an indication that it is time for some restructuring and remodeling of the current company culture. One way to find out what’s going wrong is to ask the employees directly by conducting an in-house survey. The participation of all employees is really important to identify the core problem. Ideally, this scrutiny should be performed by taking the assistance of a business consultant or any third-party.

2. Figuring out the best fit

While transforming an existing company culture or defining a new one, it is very important to understand the values that are best suited for your business. Depending on these values, the first step towards building a good company culture is to chalk out a blueprint of it. While some entrepreneurs may prefer a casual and relaxed atmosphere in their office, some may need a more formal one. The voice of all the employees must be taken into account while identifying the culture that best suits your organization. Remember, it is important to build a company culture that is in the interest of all the employees and not just the top-level ones.

3. Implementing the outlined culture

Once the right company culture has been defined, the toughest part is to implement it. As an entrepreneur, you have to lead by example so that others follow you. For any company culture to be successful, it is very important that everyone in the chain follow it. Remember, your attitude regulates the work environment in the office. You must walk the talk to set an example for others.

4. Recruiting the right talent

In today’s world, there is a talented pool of individuals to choose from for companies, especially those having a healthy culture. However, you must take care to hire individuals that best fit into your company culture. Not all talented people would be perfectly suited for your company culture. Hence, it is important to be a bit choosy in the hiring process so that you can get the right set of enthusiastic people on-board who can blend with your company culture and take it forward. Choosing the wrong match would result in a high attrition rate, which going forward is likely to affect the image of your company.

5. Recognizing and rewarding employees

One of the main reasons why good employees leave organizations is not being appreciated and acknowledged for their good work. Appreciating and praising employees for their valuable contributions to the company, irrespective of the department they belong to, makes them feel valued and respected. The rewards maybe in the form of an appreciation certificate, an employee of the month trophy, gift coupons or even monthly or quarterly bonus clubbed with their salary. All this will increase the employee satisfaction ratio in the workplace and empower the employees to go the extra mile in whatever work they do, which is ultimately beneficial for the company’s growth.

6. Breaking the larger goal into smaller milestones

Sales are the most important aspect of any company. It helps a company in generating revenue. Every company has quarterly and annual sales targets, which is the larger goal for the company. However, more often than not, most employees are likely to be overwhelmed by the sales figures that they are required to achieve. Here is where a good boss or a good manager comes into the picture. You can break the long-term goal into small monthly or weekly milestones for the convenience of your team. Weekly or monthly milestones are not so far into the future that your employees will just wait till the end to take action and neither is it so big that they will be daunted by the task in hand. If monthly milestones are successfully accomplished, the larger goal will automatically fall into place. Hence, dissecting the bigger goal into smaller milestones will make things easy for your business as well as your employees.

7. Backing your employees

Hiring the ideal fit for your business is just the start. You need to back your employees for them to accomplish a task successfully. Employees must be nurtured, trained and backed for them to beat your expectations at a later stage. New employees must be given sufficient time to express themselves in your company. You must remember that all employees are not the same. Some would be brilliant right from the beginning, while some need time and proper guidance before they can outshine. Thus, it is very important for entrepreneurs to back any fresh talent.

8. Micromanagement is a strict no

There is no employee in the world who wants to be micromanaged by his/her boss or for that matter by anyone. It is one of the most commonly made mistakes in the workplace by managers and even bosses. Micromanagement is not only detrimental to employees but also to the entire organization. Employees need to be given their own space and time to perform the job effectively. This would help boost their confidence levels, which will ultimately be beneficial to the organization.

9. Prioritizing work-life balance

It is important for entrepreneurs and managers to understand that just like them, employees to have a life outside the workplace. Employees like spending quality time with their friends and family. Few ideas that would help promote effective work-life balance in a company include having flexitime, rest days after the completion of a long project, scheduled paid vacation, childcare facilities, birthday celebrations, movies, company outings, picnic, company-sponsored lunch, healthcare and medical services for employees and their family, free shopping vouchers, gym and club membership. Focusing on work-life balance allows employees to be more enthusiastic at the workplace and not feel stressed out by the work. Just recently, Microsoft Japan experimented with a four-day work week and witnessed a 40 percent surge in productivity.

10. Trusting your team

Trust is an integral part of any relationship. Trusting your employees and having confidence in them to get a particular job done will act as a learning curve for them so that they are well prepared to shoulder bigger responsibilities at a later stage.

Traits of an empathetic leader

Traits of an empathetic leader

Being a leader is much more than just giving orders across the workplace; you must stay sensitive to the emotions of your employees and workers at all times. Empathy is a skill that helps you build that sensitivity.

So, why is empathy overlooked in the workplace? Most times, it’s a lack of understanding concerning its benefits. That’s why we’re here.

What is an empathetic leader?

The term doesn’t need more of an explanation. An empathetic leader is one that can see things from the perspective of the subordinate or employee and who is willing to take steps to remedy certain situations.

Empathetic leaders aren’t particularly the type of people to let just about everything pass in the name of trying to relate to their workers, but they have an understanding and the ability to put themselves in the shoes of the people that they’re supposed to lead.

An empathetic leader can help his or her subordinates feel comfortable and at east at the workplace, and while they try to make their subordinates perfect in everything they do, they also have an understanding of the fact that there are times when being perfect might not be possible. Instead of punishing a worker or an employee due to his or her shortcomings or occasional inaccuracies, an empathetic leader can help them overcome these imperfections.

Of course, there’s a balance to this, the fact that you’re being empathetic doesn’t mean that you should let everything past; at the end of the day, there’s the place of discipline and instilling a sense of striving to be perfect. However, empathy is understanding that people are trying, and helping them to feel comfortable while working for you.

Do Empaths make good leaders?

There is no doubt about the fact that empaths can make great leaders. Empathy is an important leadership skill that leaders are encouraged to build, and here are some important reasons why:

Empaths are committed to building a better world

A true empath has one thing as first thought; how to improve a specific situation and help build a positive image of the people around them. Empaths always have it as a priority to contribute to the improvement of the people and situations around them, as opposed to just looking out for themselves and what they can take.

By improving relations and supporting others, empaths help provide an opportunity for people to be better versions of themselves.

Empaths can bear the burdens of others

The ability to carry the burden of other people is a great way to show strength and leadership, and this is something that makes empaths great leaders. While their ability to carry peoples’ burdens is great, however, it is also important for an empath to learn how to distinguish between helping people and maintaining their focus on a particular goal. The best empaths can harness the strength that they have, and ensure that they propel others to be better while also improving on themselves as well

Empaths can handle challenges

According to a study, a leader with the best insight can distinguish between his assessment of himself and how his employees see him. Leaders who have strong insights can understand their needs, emotions, and behavior, while also being able to understand the characteristics of other people as well.

Besides, empathetic and insightful leaders are proactive when they get faced with challenges. Empathy improves your level of self-awareness, which will help you to approach negative situations and setbacks with a positive attitude.

In his book, “Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain,” author Dr. Antonio Damasio conducts a study that revealed that patients who had damage done to the parts of their brains that deal with empathy had a significant lack of relationship skills.

Thus, empaths can relate and communicate better with the people around them. Through this, they gain a better understanding of their social environments and can exist more peaceably with others and achieve results based on specific scenarios.

Adaptability is strong

In a business environment where competition is high, finding a leading position can be challenging. However, empaths can understand their social environments, and thus, can adapt much better to challenging times. They understand why things might not be going well more easily, and by being aware of the happenings in their organizations- both from within and without.

Their influence is extended

In a separate study, employees were able to grow easier and faster when working under relatable managers who were able to relate with and take them under their wings. These empathetic leaders allowed them to be more involved, thus providing them with a proper avenue to let their strengths shine and improve on their skills.
In turn, the employees saw these managers through improved perspectives and showed an increased willingness to innovate and work.

Is empathy an important character trait?

As stated earlier, empathy is a very important character trait that everyone- regardless of whether they’re in leadership roles or not- is encouraged to develop.

Here are some of the reasons why:

  1. Empathy provides an advantage when it comes to building beneficial relationships and connections with others. By sensing the thoughts and emotions of others, you can respond positively to various social scenarios
  2. Empathy can also help you keep your emotions in check. Whether you’re a leader or not, you’ll come to find that emotional control is important, since it allows you to manage how you feel without becoming overwhelmed
  3. With empathy, you can develop healthy behavior. Apart from the benefit that this brings on the people around you, it could also benefit you since these people feel more inclined to come to your aid when you need them

Why is empathy important for managers?

The value of empathy in leadership can’t possibly be overstated. It is an important tool that helps to optimize productivity and results and can take care of some workplace redundancies.

Empathy improves staff loyalty

Every organization faces the struggle of keeping talented members of staff. One of the most prominent reasons why workers tend to leave the companies they work for is that they lose trust and respect for the people they are to report directly to.

An empathetic leader is trustworthy and can show workers that they’re appreciated and cared for. Whether in how you relate to workers personally or in the way the organization relates as a whole, everyone prefers to stay in a company where they feel appreciated, valued, and important.

Empathetic managers engage staff better

People who are the closest to you are the ones who are the most adept at appreciating you and making you feel more appreciated for the things you do daily. This appreciation makes you more willing to do even more for them when next they need you.

When it comes to employee engagement, it’s important that every leader demonstrates and shows that they care. By doing this, the empathetic leader unwittingly sets off a reciprocation that will make workers want to do even more the next go around. A lot of organizations tend to miss the most minute point when it comes to leadership habits, and appreciation for the work that employees put in is a great way to start.

The most successful organizations understand this, and they’re always looking for ways to compliment and appreciate their staff for their work

Empathy improves relationships between employees

Apart from the fact that employees feel appreciated and valued for their work, showing empathy in the workplace as a leader has a chain reaction that spreads to the employees as well. When there’s empathy in leadership, every facet of the organization feels it, and this reduces friction and conflict among staff members as well.

Empathy in management leads to a stronger teamwork spirit, and negatives such as workplace disruption are cleared. As collaboration is increased, so will output and workplace productivity.

Empathetic leaders, happier workers

This point ties to some of the previous ones already made. When there’s empathy in the workplace, staff feel that they’re appreciated and valued, and they become more satisfied with the job and are more optimized daily.

An increase in job satisfaction reduces the levels of absenteeism and nonchalance. Staff who aren’t committed are less motivated to come in every day, and since they believe that no one really cares about them or how they feel about certain issues, their morale about the job is significantly depleted as well.

A knock-on effect of nonchalance is that it puts a lot of strain on fellow workers as well since they are left to pick up the slack and make up for the lags of the defaulting members of staff. In no time, overall productivity is reduced, and employee morale goes down the drain.

Empathy could spur increased creativity

The value of empathy in leadership can also lead to an increase in out-of-the-box thinking from workers. People who are made to feel like they are important, meaningful parts of an organization tend to bring in more and look for ways to continue to matter.

This leads to an increase in creativity and innovation, which will significantly increase the company’s productivity and output over time.

With empathy in the workplace, workers have a higher likelihood of bringing up newer ideas and ways to improve on both their work and that of the organization, since they know that their efforts will be rewarded.

As they see it, their success has been intertwined with that of the organization. Thus, they feel more committed to your goals and are willing to give even more. Thus, they feel ready to innovate and help make processes more efficient.

What are the 3 types of empathy?

Showing empathy is one thing, but it’s also important to mark the distinction between the various available forms of empathy.

The following is a simple guide to help mark those distinctions:

Cognitive empathy

Cognitive empathy is the ability to understand a person’s current state of mind and emotions. It is the form of empathy that helps improve communications, as it boosts your ability to relay information.

Emotional empathy

Emotional- or affective- empathy is the ability to share someone else’s feelings. It is important for building emotional connections with people, thus improving your ability to relate to their current situations.

Compassionate empathy

Compassionate empathy is a step beyond the former two, although their significance can’t possibly be diminished as well. Also known as “emphatic concern,” compassionate empathy is what moves you to take action and provide help to someone in need.

What are some examples of empathy?

Taking the three forms of empathy discussed above, consider this example of an empathetic leader:

You have a worker who recently lost a family member. Naturally, you could be moved to feel empathetic, pity the worker, or even be sad for them. Sympathy will move you to show your sadness at this, or perhaps evens end a card to the person to commiserate and let them know that they’re in your heart as well.

However, there is some time and effort that could go into showing empathy as well. The train starts with cognitive empathy; trying to imagine how the worker could be feeling at this point.

“Who died?”

“How close were you?”

these are questions you ask them. However, you also begin to think about how this loss could affect the worker going forward.

Then, emotional empathy will help you to find a way to share these feelings. You find a connection in yourself that understands how emotional pain and grief could feel. It could be you remembering what it was like to lose someone, or just imagining how it would be if the person who played that role in your life was suddenly taken from you.

Then, compassionate empathy will move you to take some form of action to make the worker feel better. You could tell him or her to take the day off, offer to cover some of the funeral costs, or even help make some phone calls and reduce the workload on the worker.

Working women in India – A perspective

Working women in India – A perspective

India and its economy have made tremendous progress in recent years, with the GDP showing a 4X growth from the 90s till mid-2010s. However, women, by a fair distance, have not been able to grow and progress with the Indian economy. The female labour force participation rate stands at just 27 per cent when compared to the 96 per cent for men. With a global average of 49 per cent, India lacks far behind in terms of female participation in the workforce. There are several factors that influence the dismal rate of the participation of women at workplaces.

India’s deeply-rooted patriarchal norms restrict the mobility and freedom of women to live the life of their own and make their own decisions.

The burden of household work which is not in favor of women and unlikely to change any time in future.
Huge scarcity of gender-balanced and equally-paid jobs as compared to men.

It is important that women get the necessary access to jobs that pay them the same amount as received by their male counterparts. It’s a primary human right and not something that must be demanded. Women today are very ambitious and their lack of participation cannot be attributed to a lack of will or interest. Whether it’s urban or rural India, many women aspire to go and work if they get jobs that pay them well. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), India’s GDP can grow and become strong at a rapid rate if the subsequent participation of women in the workforce is increased. It only makes it imperative and logical that women who are talented can contribute towards a strong economy and a bright future for the country.

With the advent of digital technology, work practices are getting refined for good. As the businesses adopt the latest cutting-edge technology and solutions, the way people do their jobs and meet the goals and objectives of the organisations are getting changed. The time is ripe to rewrite the rules and reduce the gender disparities towards ensuring holistic participation of women and rewrite the rules of working women in India.

Why work distribution and responsibilities need a rework?

According to the 2017 Global Gender Gap Report, men only do 12 per cent of unpaid work as compared to the staggering 66 per cent done by women. It is a global phenomenon and affects women across the globe as they get burdened with numerous responsibilities. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), women spend close to eight hours of doing unpaid work as compared to one hour of unpaid work by men. Women also get engaged in a lot of care work for their children, elderly and end up spending almost five hours worth of their day doing that.

Women who spend a lot of time doing unpaid and care work will automatically have less freedom to make their decisions and live life according to their terms. In rural areas, young girls are often burdened with household chores and are not allowed to go for higher education. Also, there are several preconceived notions that in families where male member earns decently, the woman must not think of working. These are significant factors that further push women towards a lot of unpaid work and curtail their freedom to think and live an independent life.

There are women-centric work laws in India but often they paint a wrong picture or end up stereotyping an issue. The fact that Indian women receive 26 weeks of paid leave as part of their maternity benefits and nothing similar for men, highlights how women are primary caregivers. These laws, too, are available at only major corporations where women receiving such benefits are not many. Besides the significant gender wage gap, women are also left behind when it comes to promotions. Men, in most cases, do not try to remain away from work due to the fear of missing out and lagging behind their counterparts at the workplace. Policies must be redefined so that the caregiving responsibilities are a bit balanced to tilt it in the favor of working women in India.

Need for social security and protection

According to the “The Future of Work in India: Inclusion, Growth and Transformation” report published in 2018, around 51 per cent of the Indian workforce is self-employed. Casual labourers account for 33.5 per cent and regular, salaried workers are 15.6 per cent of the overall workforce. The national labour regulations do not cover all the above workers who form a significant portion of the workforce. At the same time, many women in India are a part of the informal economy as compared to professional jobs. Around 60 per cent of the Indian unregulated domestic work sector is occupied by women.

With the changing trends in businesses and economy, the world is witnessing a rising trend of independent contracting, gig economy, temporary work and platform work. These jobs offer a lot of advantages like reduced barriers to entry, lower transaction costs, cheaper access and flexibility. However, these jobs do not cover various aspects of social security and benefits that are given to employees in permanent jobs. There is a need to make better provisions for both social security and protecting the interests of those involved as independent workers. It can be given directly to individuals who work independently rather than routing it through their employees.

Need for a safer workplace for women

The 2013 Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act that prevents, prohibits and offers redressal is a welcome measure but hardly known by those who must know it. Observer Research Foundation (ORF) and the World Economic Forum (WEF) conducted a survey in 2018, in which it was revealed that 84 per cent of organisations were unaware of this act. While policies would be available in many organisations, steady implementation becomes important. It is all the more crucial for the gig work economy that is already not a standard economy and doesn’t offer any security or protection of the rights of the freelancers. The rules and laws governing their interests must be created after all the gig economy is anticipated to grow rapidly in the coming years.

Safety, on the whole, remains a major issue for working women in India, besides the societal norms that restrict their free will and mobility. Many women in India still need to seek the permission of their husband or elders before making any decision or venturing out of the home. With the environment in most Indian states not safer for women, it further leads to decreased participation of women at work and other activities outside their house.

Need for diversification of women in other industries

Working women in India have been predominantly found in large numbers in sectors like healthcare, education, social work, to name a few. These industries do not offer high-paying jobs despite working patterns remaining at par with fellow industries. The participation of women in high-paying industries and jobs like IT and financial services remain very low. The jobs that are highly-skilled see 8 out of 10 positions filled by men. According to the 2018 ORF-WEF research study, 36 per cent of the organisations do not look forward to hiring female employees as they prefer male employees. This is in contrast to the perception that the participation of female employees in the workforce is seeing a rise. There are several challenges ahead in the form of uneven distribution of high-skilled jobs, occupational segregation, and gender preferences of organisations. The gender disparity is further visible in the choice of higher education. Boys are always groomed for higher studies so that they have better job prospects. There is a need to push women towards obtaining better degrees and subsequently taking up higher-paying jobs. They can also become role models and motivate the next generation, to eventually improve the situation.

Need for balanced wages

The 1976 India’s Equal Remuneration Act clearly states that the same or similar work must have equal pay for men and women. However, the disparity in the wages still continue and increase further with the factors like experience and age, which de-motivates women to continue working. Several countries around the world still have a significant gender pay gap, but most have managed to narrow it down. Iceland was the first country in the world in 2018 to make a mandate on the gender and ethnicity-based pay gap. Any organisation with over 25 employees requires auditing its accounts every three years to receive certifications from the Government. Such measures could really pave way for reducing the gender-based pay disparity in the future.

However, with the growing influence of the gig economy, the problem might not solve. According to the “India Wage Report, Wage policies for decent work and inclusive growth” report published in 2018, the highly-experienced men who work as freelancers earn twice the money as compared to their female counterparts. The issues are far from being addressed and the situation could take a lot of time and steady interventions to improve.

Need for a better inclusivity of women

Traditionally, the planning for most of the important, facilities, products and services have been designed keeping men in mind. Whether it was seat belts or medicines. It has been proven that seatbelts are less safe for women as according to studies, 47 per cent female drivers are more likely to get injured in a crash. Women and men have different anatomies and responses to certain medical conditions. Despite this fact, medicines have been usually tested on males, leaving women at risks. The importance of women in the consumer world has largely been restricted to cosmetics and there is a growing need to think beyond that. There lies a bright opportunity for course correction and make future products and services women-oriented.

Currently, only 14 per cent of working women in India run businesses, which can be attributed to the fact that there is a lack of access to finance and resources. The establishment of the Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) by Niti Aayog could be termed as the step in the right direction. The participation of women in the Indian parliament is around 10-15 per cent which is a cause of concern again. The situation will only improve if more women are posted at leadership positions. It will help make the voices of other women heard and inspire the next generation of women to become leaders and bring about the much-needed change. Social media and its immense potential can be harnessed in the right manner to bring a mind-shift change.

What the future holds for working women in India

As the trends in the business world change, the gig economy, which is on the rise, can be a great opportunity for women to contribute their valuable skills while at the same time retaining flexibility. With the changing business patterns, non-routine tasks will require better skills like listening, interpretation, problem-solving, communication, etc. Women have been traditionally known to be better listeners, which has been further validated through a study conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). According to the study, women were found to be better than men when it comes to problem-solving in teams. This was proved in all of the 52 countries that were surveyed. This makes women well-prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. Inclusion has been spoken for a very long time and there can’t be a better opportunity to implement it whole-heartedly.

To conclude, there is nothing that could stop women from breaking the social norms, shedding off inhibitions and standing at par with men in any of the male-dominated industries. However, for that to happen, working women in India must be first the given the chance to occupy the same space as men at the workplaces.

How to create a CSR policy at your company

How to create a CSR policy at your company

CSR stands for Corporate Social Responsibility. CSR is a management concept where different organizations integrate the social concerns into their operations taking place for business.

What is Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR all about?

CSR can be defined as a way by which a company functions towards achieving a balance between economic, social and environmental imperatives. The process by which companies manage their business to bring about an overall positive impact on society is known as CSR.

The main purpose of CSR is to participate in various philanthropic causes, give back some good returns to the community and also spread good social values. Nowadays, a large number of organizations are turning towards CSR for bringing about a difference along with the motive of building a positive brand for the organization. CSR covers social impact, ethics, and the ways by which companies can manage their business processes to have a positive impact on society. Moreover, it can also be said that philanthropic activities performed by companies is a part of CSR and CSR includes a much larger set of activities which can give various strategic benefits in the business.

Some of the major CSR issues can be listed down as engagement of stakeholders, environmental management, and gender balance, human rights, sourcing in a responsible manner, social equity, excellent governance, and implementation of anti-corruption measures, etc. When a CSR concept is well implemented in an organization, it can bring various changes such as improvement in the productivity and in the quality of production, efficient human resource base, increased customer loyalty, improved image of the brand and good reputation of the organization, better decision making, etc.

Some of the very common examples of corporate social responsibility can be listed below.

  • Bringing changes in corporate policies for benefits to the environment.
  • Making investments that are economically and socially suitable.
  • Making improvements in the labour policies of the organization and initiate fair trading.
  • Reducing the carbon emissions to stop negative impact on climate.
  • Engagement of the organization in charitable activities in the organization.

Is CSR compulsory for Indian companies?

In the world, India is the first country which has made CSR compulsory for its companies. This has been implemented in India with the help of an amendment made in the Companies Act, 2013. This has been implemented since April 2014. Business organizations in India can invest in various philanthropic areas such as poverty, gender equality, education, etc.

According to the amendment made in the Companies Act, 2013 those companies which have a net worth of Rs. 500 crores or more or have an annual turnover of Rs. 1000 crores or more or a net profit of Rs. 5 crores or more than these companies must spend 2% of their average net profits which has been acquired over 3 years on CSR. Before this amendment has been made into the Companies Act, 2013 the contribution of Indian companies towards CSR was voluntary in nature. The expenditure on CSR must be informed to the shareholders of the company. The expenses which are incurred by Indian companies for CSR cannot be used for claiming tax deductions under the heading of Taxable Income. However, there have been certain changes made into the CSR contribution of Indian companies by an amendment made in 2019 into the Companies Act, 2013.

Benefits of a robust CSR program

Let us list down some of the major benefits of a robust CSR program.

Increased employee satisfaction

By CSR program, it becomes quite clear how a company is treating its community. When a company is treating its community well, it would also treat its employees properly. This helps the employees in being much more satisfied and content at work. When your employees are satisfied, they would give in more efforts and it would improve the productivity of the company.

If you are giving your employees an opportunity to volunteer during the work hours, you are contributing to making a great connection with the community. Your employees will feel confident and even motivated by being involved in activities associated with the community. Many employees when are actively involved in the community, turn out to be brand ambassadors. The productivity of your organization will increase when your employees are more involved in the organization and in the community as well.

Public image is improved

Today, those companies which are involved in CSR program will get exposure and their brand reputation is improved in the market. When your company is helping the community, more and more customers will be interested in purchasing your products. This will enhance your public image and your business as well. You can use social media for propagating about your company’s CSR initiatives and let people know about your efforts. This will be beneficial for your business and will improve the reputation of your brand.

Increase in customer loyalty

When your company is involved in CSR initiatives, your customers are going to much more loyal towards your company. Your company’s involvement in community activities and social initiatives will highlight the core values of your company. Your core values will attract your customers towards your organization and they will remain loyal always.

Increase in creativity

If you want your employees to think differently, think out of the box; then program associated with Corporate Social Responsibility is the best way for this. With these initiatives, your employees would feel more motivated, encouraged and can try to do new innovative things. Your employees can find out new methods by which they can solve an internal problem or improve the internal processes of the company. Corporate Social Responsibility will help your employees in understanding their passion for doing certain things differently and bring out the latent creativity within them.

Communities can get involved in the business

There are numerous programs associated with Corporate Social Responsibility where you can invest and incorporate the communities into your supply chain. This will help in generating good livelihood and would increase the income of the community. By this initiative, your company is providing an additional supply chain to the community and helping them economically.

What is Clause 135, Companies Act 2013?

For certain classes of companies, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has made Corporate Social Responsibility mandatory as per the provisions of Clause 135 of the Companies Act 2013 and Schedule VII of the Companies Act.

According to Clause 135 of the Companies Act 2013 every company in India which is having a net worth of Rs. 500 crores or more, turnover of Rs. 1000 crores or more or a net profit of Rs. 5 crores or more has to constitute a Corporate Social Responsibility Committee(CSR). This Committee must comprise of 3 directors out of which one should be an independent director. For private companies, which consist of only two directors the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Committee can be formed by only two directors. Moreover, in case of unlisted companies that are both public and private companies and do not appoint directors can constitute the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Committee without any director. For foreign companies, CSR Committee can constitute at least 2 persons i.e. one person must be an authorized person who is a resident in India and another person who would be nominated by a foreign company.

Major duties of the CSR Committee

  • The CSR Committee will recommend a CSR Policy to the Board which shall specify the activities which need to be performed by the company according to Schedule VII.
  • The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) should recommend the expenditure that has to be incurred by the company for performing the CSR activities.
  • The CSR Committee will be monitoring the CSR policy of the company regularly.
  • The CSR Committee would implement a mechanism for the implementation of the CSR programs of the company.
  • The Board of directors of the CSR committee of a company has the below-mentioned responsibilities.
  • The board of directors must ensure that the CSR activities of the CSR policy are undertaken properly.
  • The board of directors must ensure that the company must spend at least 2% of the average net profit which has been made by the company in the immediate 3 financial years.
  • The directors of the CSR Committee must approve the CSR activities and disclose the contents in the Board report.

We can highlight some of the major points which are included in the CSR policy of a company.

  • CSR policy of a company includes a list of programs that are planned by a company to be done under Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013.
  • The CSR Policy will monitor the proper implementation of these programs.
  • The CSR Policy would also ensure that the surplus which arises out of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs should not be considered as a part of the company’s business profit.

How to develop a CSR strategy and policy at your company?

Let us have a brief look at the steps that are needed to develop a CSR policy and strategy.

Step #1: CSR policy must be linked to the core values of the company

Your CSR policy for the organization must be linked or aligned with the values, mission, and goals of the company. If they are not aligned up with the core values of the company, you will never obtain the desired effect that you expected to obtain from the CSR policy.

Step #2: Understanding your customers

When you are developing a CSR policy for your company, it is necessary for you to understand the problems of your customers. When you are pro-actively addressing the issues and problems of your customers, you are turning down many negative feedbacks against your CSR policy in the first place.

Step #3: A strategic fit and maintain consistency

The CSR goals of your company must be a perfect fit for your company’s products and services. Moreover, you should also maintain consistency in your CSR policy. The CSR policy must be shared with the employees and the outside world as well. This will help in having a clear understanding of the views of others on your company’s CSR policy. This will help you in making any changes to the policy if needed.

Step #4: Focusing on the correct issues

There are numerous issues that can be highlighted in the CSR policy and can be included in the CSR activities. However, it is important to give attention to only those issues which are relevant and quite critical.

Certain issues like energy cost, fuel prices, renewable energy, wildlife preservation, global warming, promoting literacy and education, energy/water conservation, fair minimum wages for workers, recycling, climate changes, unemployment reduction, supporting charities, etc. are quite relevant and associated with all. So, when the CSR activities involve these issues the implementation of the CSR policy would be more successful.

Step #5: Simple CSR policy and the work must begin from within the company

It is wise to keep the CSR policy of your company simple. Complex CSR plans will make things complicated and the real motive would not be achieved. The work for implementation of the CSR policy must start from within your company. You should encourage the participation of your employees into the various activities related to the Corporate Social Responsibility policy. This will help in bringing out the innovative side of your employees.

Step #6: Your CSR policy must be publicized

It is necessary that the public and general masses are aware of your initiatives associated with Corporate Social Responsibility. You can make use of social media, websites, brochures, company newsletter, etc. to publicize the efforts you and your employees are putting in for the implementation of CSR policy.

CSR and SMEs – How can SMEs contribute to CSR?

SMEs or otherwise known as Small and Medium Enterprises employ almost 40% of the nation’s workforce and are a contributor of around 45% to the manufacturing output of the nation. SMEs are those enterprises that serve independently, act as subsidiary units for larger businesses and help in industrializing the rural areas of the country. CSR activities for SMEs are mainly dependent on the promoter’s interests who are financial stakeholders in the business.

Mostly, SMEs in our country have participated in the CSR activities in a full-fledged manner. However, according to statistics and survey results, the efforts and results of SMEs associated with CSR activities have not been that great. The major reason behind this can be the dependence of CSR activities of SMEs on the profit of the enterprises. Any negative impact on the profit of the enterprise can have a negative impact on the CSR activities of the company as well. Moreover, there is a shortage of proper skilled human resources in SMEs which can be a cause affecting the CSR activities in SMEs.

With the amendments made into the Companies Act, 2013 there have been certain changes made into the approach of the SMEs towards CSR activities. According to this new approach, resources from many SMEs can be pooled together and CSR activities can be carried out in a cluster. This can be termed as a collaborative approach of SMEs towards CSR activities. With this collaborative approach, there can certain benefits which can be mentioned below.

Reduction in operational cost

By collaborative approach, a common organization can carry out all necessary activities collectively for all entities such as the establishment of a CSR department, finding out the needs of the local communities, conducting sessions for CSR activities, etc. This will lead to a great reduction in the operational cost.

Long-term projects can be undertaken

For SMEs, one of the biggest constraints is the budget for CSR activities. When the profit of the SMEs is low, the budget for CSR activities would also be low. By collaborative approaches, resources are pooled and hence budget can also be increased as other partners can contribute. By this, long term CSR projects can be undertaken easily.

Learning is feasible

When there are many resources pooled together from different entities, there is a scope of multiple participants sharing their experiences. By this, there is more exposure to the problems of communities and also better measures can be undertaken to resolve the issues of various communities.

Process of CSR policy implementation for SMEs

The process for the implementation of the collaborative approach for CSR policy can be summarized as below:

In the first step, an alliance has to be created by all those SMEs which are interested in performing certain activities associated with Corporate Social Responsibility. Then a detailed discussion on the budget and CSR activities to be performed can be done between the members of the alliance.

In the next step, a steering committee has to be formed by representatives from each SME for discussion and decision on matters related to the implementation of CSR policy, fund management, etc.\

The next steps involve the design of CSR strategy and policy, project development, an institutional mechanism, contracting, budgeting, monitoring and measurement of impacts.

Conclusion

Hence, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can be said as a business model that is self-regulating in nature. It helps a company to be accountable socially to its stakeholders and to the public. By the practice of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), a company is engaged in its ordinary process of business and also in activities which are contributing positively towards the society and the environment. Mostly, the initiatives for CSR activities by larger corporations are publicized and are in the limelight. However, small and medium scale enterprises have also started taking up the CSR program quite seriously and are contributing positively towards it.

Should you allow remote working for employees

Should you allow remote working for employees

The corporate world is going digital and remote working is on the rise. While permitting employees to work from home, away from a corporate office, has been around for a while, remote working is now becoming mainstream. One may see more and more companies not investing in huge office spaces and employing resources who can work for them from home. While this may seem like a pro-employee practice, it is a game-changer for the employer. The business world is obsessed with millennial’s right now. The generation come-ups with a new corporate ideas everyday, and aren’t afraid to express them in a creative way.

You could be running a media company, a tech studio, a production house or a retail model, having your employees working remotely means fewer cost heads and more productive work culture. So, what do you mean by remote working? Are you considering it for your setup? If the answer is yes, you need to know a few things before you go for it.

What is remote working?

Remote working is the flexibility given to an employee to work at his/her own pace and space. So, when you hire someone, you don’t have to worry about making him/her sit in your office. You could have them work from home or from a co-working space or coffee shop, whatever suits you. Also, if you don’t have to pay competitive market salaries. A lot of remote employees work on an hourly basis or as consultants for multiple companies, hence, their fees are not what it would be if they were working in a single corporate set up.

You could have a system where your employee works from home for most of the week and meets you once a week for updates and meetings.

One may see a sudden rise in co-working spaces too. These places act as centers to facilitate organic working without worrying about unwanted guests, connectivity issues and a not so conducive working environment. Co-working spaces also give your employees a chance to network. Since a single center holds multiple organizations across industries, it is possible that your employee can get you business deals, prospective hires and also act as promotional channels for you.

‍Now that you are clear about what remote working essentially is, you might want to understand how it can benefit you.

There are plenty of benefits of remote working for employees and employers, ranging from higher productivity to happier, healthier work cultures.

Benefits of remote working

Flexibility

This is one of the most obvious benefits, and it seems more in favour of the employee than anyone else. But, if you think again, you are also working remotely as an employer. You don’t need to sit in an office with your team to get your work done. You could be vacationing with your friends or spending quality time with your family, your work does not suffer and you don’t have to face the brunt of Monday Morning Blues and a deadline on Friday. Flexible working means flexible lifestyle, and that gives you as well as your employees the chance to live their dream of travel, pursue a hobby of cooking, follow their passion for dance and still work and make money. Since travel to work does not apply to you or your team members, you can start your day early and finish in good time to take your dog for a walk, run errands or just be present at home when your children come back from school. Since physical presence is not required, it is the perfect setting for pursuing a Master’s degree, a language course or a training program that just doesn’t happen in a 9 to 5 scenario.

Better Health

One may have never heard of remote working employees getting stressed out with work. They have high motivation and higher morale to work which means more productivity and lesser chances of attrition. In India, most big cities come with the havoc of long-distance daily travels and pollution, a huge matter of concern and the number one cause for stress and fatigue. There is also no stress of dressing up and fitting in. You can work in your pajamas in your balcony with a pedicure happening on the side, and you’re still more productive than your in-house counterparts. Less stress and fatigue also leads to lesser absenteeism. Your employees are so comfortable and at ease with this setup, they don’t feel the need to skip work unnecessarily.

New Passion and Drive

Remote workers work better than the 9-5 force. They are more inspired, motivated and comfortable working with lesser distractions and counterproductive meetings. It brings with it a new passion, perspective and drive to perform and make time for other things. These employees excel in their work, achieve goals and even go the extra mile since they perceive their work to be more like a reward for themselves.

Higher productivity

Studies reveal that remote employees love the perks of their work so much, that they don’t mind putting in a few extra hours or go beyond their scope of work because they are highly motivated. One study stated that 65% of full-time employees had increased productivity when asked to work from home.

‍Cost-Effective

If you are running a company of products and services, you can do away with the cost of office rent, electricity, supplies and furniture. Employers can save a substantial amount of money per remote worker per year, even if their entire team is not working from home.

‍Engaged employees

If a highly motivated team with better productivity isn’t enough of a carrot, one can offer remote work opportunities to keep their employees happy and engaged. More and more people today are quitting their jobs to work remotely and some are even willing to take a pay cut to work from home. Remote employees have reported being happier than non-remote employees, which means you have a consistently performing team always.

Misconceptions about remote working

There could be a myriad of benefits of remote working, but it also comes with its setbacks and misconceptions.

Miscommunication

A very common misconception about remote working is that it creates miscommunication. While remote workers don’t bond over coffee breaks and don’t indulge in water cooler conversations, one can have a good team-building exercise done over video calls, offsite meetings and team lunches. With the present-day set up of video conferences and WhatsApp calls, no team member is far behind in communicating their needs and requirements with others. Nothing gets missed out unless the intent isn’t there. Since remote workers have major FOMO (fear of missing out) they tend to take extra effort in establishing a bond with their team members.

Remote workers always work

Remote working means no fixed schedule. While this is the biggest plus of working from home, it could have a setback of constantly being nudged for work by colleagues and superiors. One must strike the right balance and manage time well, so the employee does not under-work or overwork themselves. You can chart out a time slot most suited for you, set expectations about deadlines and stay committed to it to avoid work-related issues.

‍Remote workers don’t work

While remote workers are not valued by every organization, some still feel remote workers don’t work. Since there is no monitoring of time and productivity, people live under the impression that a remote worker wiles away his/her time in doing nothing since he/she is not watched upon. On the contrary, remote workers work better. They have their own special time schedules. Some prefer early mornings, some are more productive at night, but whatever they do, they get the job done.
Some interesting statistics about remote working as per global surveys and studies:

  • More than 50% of the Indian working population work remotely half of the week and about 11% work outside their main corporate office.
  • 53% of remote workers were shown like to work overtime beyond the call of duty as compared to the 28% of 9-5 office goers.
  • 80% of remote workers reported improved morale.
  • 37% of men and 31% of women worked from home at some point in their lives.
  • 66& of workers stated that working from home led to increased productivity and output.
  • Almost 69% of the workforce in India agreed that flexible working hours means a greater work-life balance.

How can you transition to remote working easily for your organization?

  1. You can begin by talking to your team and analyzing each employee and set a fixed scope of work.
  2. Identify potential remote workers in the organization and talk to them personally.
  3. Come up with a carefully thought out strategic plan to organize the process of transition from a 9-5 force to a remote group.
  4. Ensure you have the essential tools, technology, resources and software to fit a remote working culture.
  5. Build a culture of mutual trust and understanding to have better efficiency, seamless communication and higher productivity.
  6. Create an online communication system where all members can participate freely and effectively.
  7. Train your remote workers to be responsible for their own tasks and provide them with training sessions and all the required resources to do their jobs effectively.
  8. Create a well suited remote working policy for your company, compliant with Indian working laws.

How to define remote working policy in your company?

Now that you’re convinced you to want to hire remote workers in your organization, you need to understand a few things before you define your working policy. Each individual works differently, so before you chalk out your do’s and don’ts, have a good chat with them. You can cover the below-mentioned points in your conversation and then on your legal document.

1. Frequency

While some of your employees may want permission to work remotely for the entire week, some might like to come to the office on a few days every week. You could leave it to them to decide their convenient time or define a time slot that works for you. Whatever the work may be, you must get time management issues out of the way before you move any further.

2. Model the policy

If you want your employees to work from home comfortably, do it yourself. Once they see everyone doing their job well from the comforts of their home, they are more likely to do so with better results.

3. Don’t seek explanations

If you’re giving them the flexibility to work from home, don’t devalue it by asking your employees to give you an explanation for it. There could be someone with a medical issue or with personal problems, small kids, ailing parents, etc that makes them want to work from home, but talking about it regularly with them can be a little stressful. Instill faith, build trust and strengthen your relationship with your team to reap benefits from your remote workers.

Top 10 companies in India that offer remote working

If you’re looking for remote jobs or want to understand how the best in the industry work with their teams not being in office, here’s a list for you to feel inspired.

  1. Symantec
  2. Dotdash
  3. Facebook
  4. VMware
  5. UnitedHealth Group
  6. Axelerant
  7. Xerox
  8. RiseSmart
  9. Intel
  10. SAP

To conclude, telecommuting, remote working or working from home is a tried and tested model of work that is currently widely practiced and is high on demand. It is effective, beneficial and a win-win situation for employees and employers.