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7 Out of 10 female workers seek remote working option

An effort to balance profession alongwith household chores from home, feelings of being overwhelmed and lack of work-life balance were common, with 40% of women citing significant consequences to their physical and mental well-being.

SNS | New Delhi |

Following Covid, a global research conducted from Deloitte highlighted that, seven out of 10 female workers willing to quit their current jobs for flexible ones in case their employer takes away the remote working option.

An effort to balance profession alongwith household chores from home, feelings of being overwhelmed and lack of work-life balance were common, with 40% of women citing significant consequences to their physical and mental well-being.

Talking about the same, Dr. Dipti Tulpule, Associate Dean, Amity Global Business School, Pune said, “I was curious and started discussing with my close friends from all sectors. To my surprise, I got contradictory views. After two years of pandemic, women are showing keen interest to join back office. Being at home and managing work was leading to no personal life. Work-life balance had gone to a toss. Women working in leadership positions did mention challenges facing coordination and alignments of teams. I, being at a high level of management, found it challenging convincing people about their job roles and expectations by their organization to work from the office.”

She said, “Organizations now want to be at normal and so they are taking a lot of innovative initiatives to encourage employees to join back. Organizations are working on flexi working hours, assistance to women to balance work and kids on campus. Talent development programs will fill up the pandemic gap.”

While, Dr Nilam Panchal, Head – Department of Public Policy and Governance at Gujarat University, says, “The future of HR is changing due to the pandemic, and those who want to work can work from anywhere. Women could need more flexibility, simply for the mental satisfaction of taking care of work as well as family.”

“I personally prefer to work from the office, because working from home can sometimes feel dull. Within two days at home, one can start feeling stagnant. However, flexibility has to be an option on the table for many, and will make a difference and improve staff retention.”

Ireland-based trainer Chris Mcdonagh, who is the Conference Committee Chairman at International Federation of Training and Development Organisations (IFTDO), recounts that initially, when people started WFH during Covid-19, because he was very traditional, he wanted people to get back to the office as soon as possible.

“But after a couple of weeks, I started to realize the benefits of hybrid work. What I discovered was the mental health and loneliness aspect of working from home. We brought in one day of compulsory working from the office to keep the team connected with optional social activities. I had a woman employee who specifically wanted to work from the office due to the isolation of WFH, so we shifted her to our headquarters. We have given people the option to come back,” he said.

Mcdonagh was among the speakers at the recently concluded IFTDO 2022 World Conference & Exhibition in New Delhi, which was inaugurated by the Speaker of Lok Sabha Om Birla and Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Housing & Urban Affairs.

Closer home in the IT industry, the initial WFH challenges were to enable employees with office setup, share HR leader Sheetal Potdar, Senior Manager IT MNC.

Indicating a general trend of resistance for return to the office, even resulting in attrition, she says that some women are preferring WFH option as “they save a lot of energy, time as well money due to long hours commuting and achieve the flexibility to balance personal and career life and complete all their duties”. She added, “Companies are encouraging women to start operating from the office for 1-2 days per week based on business – client needs and asks. Some women understand the importance of networking and operating from the office, however the general trend still is preference for WFH.”