06 Jun 2019 19:15 IST

60% millennials seek flexible working options, reveals survey

Millennials in India don’t want 9-5 office day; want work-life balance

The growing convergence between new-age technologies and business processes is rapidly changing the way organisations across India operate. But are their workplaces keeping pace with this evolution of business operations? What does the modern Indian workforce demand from its employers when talking about work culture and job satisfaction? It is to find answers to these questions that Shine.com, India’s second-largest job portal, recently conducted its Future of Flexible Working Survey.

With companies realisingthe need to retain top talent, employee satisfaction has emerged as a key priority for HR professionals across the country. Through the survey, Shine.com identified the major needs and pain points of new-age Indian professionals, thus providing in-depth insights about the changes that organisations can make in their HR policies to improve employee satisfaction.

Understanding the need

According to the survey, 59.92 per cent of respondents wanted flexible working options to maintain an optimal work-life balance. Avoiding traffic was highlighted by 13.88 per cent as a key reason for a flexible working policy, while 6.37 per cent wanted to save on the cost of their commute by working from home.

 

The survey highlighted various flexible working preferences that Indian professionals demanded. Interestingly, over 39 per cent of employees mentioned that they would like their organisations to offer flexible working hours every day. Other options such as work from home are also important to employees, but only 6.36 per cent are looking for this option every day. Evidently, most of them emphasised to rather have flexible working hours. In fact, it was revealed that 30.98 per cent would like the option to work from home just once or twice a month.

It also highlighted how adopting a flexible working culture could not only help organisations improve their employee retention, but also attract talent to drive new recruitment. More than 77 per cent of employees think that organisations should offer flexible working options such as work from home.

New-age millennial workforce

One of the most important findings was how the burgeoning flexible working culture in India was influenced by the evolving needs of its modern workforce. A total of 70 per cent of the total respondents fell into the age bracket of 22-30 years, indicating how millennials preferred to strike a healthy balance between their professional and personal lives.

Another major focus was to identify the functional areas that are embracing flexible working options to maintain employee satisfaction and motivation. While flexible working options were earlier limited to IT-based profiles, the survey revealed that other roles such as accounting, finance, HR, and admin are in demand with modern workforce trends.

According to the survey, 43 percent of employees in India already have access to flexible working options. However, over 52 percent feel that their organisation might not have the adequate culture to provide flexible working options. This calls for better communication between HR teams and employees, as well as the need to lay down certain guidelines regarding alternate working options.

Working remotely

Facilitating better communication channels between employees and HR teams is also essential for productivity mapping. As the survey went on to identify the major challenges that arise with working remotely. It was revealed that 19.83 per cent of employees felt that their bosses and colleagues have perception issues and do not realise how much they really work from home. Without any visibility and appreciation for the work that they are putting in from home, such perception issues can significantly bring down the morale of the employee.

Another challenge that 22 percent of respondents faced while working remotely was the inability to stop working, even after office hours. While working from home, employees might end up checking emails, attending calls or completing tasks even after the stipulated office hours. Since millennials have expressed their desire to maintain a healthy work-life balance, it becomes even more important for HR teams to create more conducive policies around flexible working and bring down such instances of prolonged work hours.

Finally, 17.56 per cent cited the lack of coordination with colleagues as a major challenge of working remotely. Factors such as slow data connections or weak phone signals can cause major communication roadblocks for employees working out of the office. Along similar lines, 13.46 per cent of employees felt that a lack of face-to-face conversations can cause hindrances while working remotely.

Zairus Master, CEO, Shine.com, said, “Of late, the team at Shine.com has come across several candidate résumés that mention flexible working options as one of the top priorities. This survey was aimed towards understanding why Indian professionals want flexible working, and how organisations could improve their employee satisfaction and talent retention by adopting more non-conventional HR policies aligned with the requirements of their workforce.”

“It is extremely heartening to see that flexible working is being embraced in organisations across industries, as well in traditional functional areas such as accounting and finance. The insights delivered by our latest survey will allow more organizations to adopt new-age HR practices and provide unhindered access to the necessary concessions that the millennial workforce needs to work optimally,” he said.

The survey was conducted with professionals across functional areas including accounts and finance, production, human resources, and Sales/BD.

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