It was not so long ago when I started with my new role at Hloov as a Researcher where everything, starting from the interviews to my onboarding, happened across these laptop screens. My parents and family were alright with the fact that I am working remotely until the lockdown and work from home was an obligation. After the lockdown was eased and my cousins and siblings were called back to their offices and colleges, it was hard for my family to live with the fact that my manager can trust me through the laptop screen. “Are you understanding what to do through calls? Do they keep you on call every time to check if you are working? Does that really work?” were some of the questions I had to answer to my family and friends. But with time, I think they are now used to our way of working.
The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly changed our lives like never before. The usual early morning office rush, doctor appointments, grocery shopping or a normal outing with family, everything is reshaped with a new or better way of doing it. The pandemic compelled us to think of the way we lead our lives with many new lenses, and it was interesting to see how it took us a pandemic to realize that our practices are outdated!
The Changing Face of Workplace
One of the facets that experienced a major shift during Covid-19 was work and workplaces. The pandemic induced work from home culture has turned out to be an acknowledged success across the world. The usual daily commute, offline conferences and working from the cubicle at many workplaces are lost and gone forever. Research from Gallup mentioned that 67% of white-collar full-time employees in U.S. have chosen full or partial work from home as it reduces commute, distractions at office, helps balance work and life thereby improving the overall wellbeing. Additionally, every 3 in 10 are ready to leave their jobs if they are called back to the office.
This increasing inclination towards remote working culture has also posed a lot of questions on few other conventional work practices, 9 to 5 working schedule being one of these. Considering the benefits and ease these new practices are bringing to both employers and employees, isn’t it high time to alter the old conventional practices?
Flexi Working: Epitome of Future Workplaces
Imagine a scenario where you are not expected to show up at 9 am every day, you are no longer required to miss lunch outings with your friends or push it after 6 pm because of work, and where you can complete your deliverables during your productivity hours. That is something we call as Flexi working, and we at Hloov do it all the time. My colleague can continue to manage her dance classes with work, another one is working while he travels – isn’t it a win-win situation for both the sides?
To me, flexibility in the workplace is not only with the location but also with the time when the employee chooses to work. Giving flexibility to choose where and when to work to the employees can help them decide the span which is the most productive, creative, and convenient for them fetching more outputs in a smaller number of hours.
Today, flexi working has become more of a buzzword than an actually adapted practice in the professional landscape. Irrespective of the advantages it has, there are only a handful of organizations who have adopted or plan to adapt flexible working, others still remain reluctant. It is about time for the industries to realize that “Old ways don’t open new doors”.
Digital Natives ditching the 9-to-5
Being a borderline and oldest GenZer, it is interesting for me to see the shift in interest from the older to the upcoming generation. For the digital natives today, the life is beyond work and studies. They are more conscious about the lifestyle balance, pursuing their passion with career and adopting the technology for good and this becomes a crucial aspect while we talk about the future of workplace.
With the increasing technology, it is now easy to connect with the people and make things possible. Hence, the future workplace calls for a more flexible ecosystem where it is not the schedule but the accountability and results that govern the outcome. The expectation that the remote employees should be available always is nugatory in today’s time when people are more attentive to their work life balance.
I’d say why not? Let’s give the travel freaks the flexibility to travel and work together. Let’s allow women to take breaks when they are uncomfortable because of menstrual cramps. Let us allow our teammates to play with their kids during the working hours. After all, we are the generation who is going to change the way people will look at and do things tomorrow!