Flex the Workplace

About two months ago, I chanced upon Women’s Web and quite liked the easy read its blog and articles offered for an Indian woman multitasking in her numerous incarnations.  Then, at some point, I heard about its contest on Twitter that invited ideas on what organisations should do to make their workplaces more flexible. I’m so tuned to posting comments on blogs seeking feedback in areas of my interest that I typed up a couple of suggestions as a comment to the post making the contest announcement. Except that my comment was too large for the character limit for the area, so rather than condensing it, I found it simpler to  copy and paste my view to the given email id. Two days ago I heard from Aparna V. Singh, Founder-Editor and the force behind Women’s Web, that my suggestions, along with another individual’s, had won their prize. Aparna’s article on womensweb.in summarises the inputs the initiative collected. I reproduce below my own submission from my email:

Suggestion 1:

Make half-day onsite work models available

How to do it:

Evaluate all roles to see which ones

i. can be offered on a job sharing basis, i.e., the same desk manned by 2 individuals for different times of the day–0900-1300 and 1400-1800

ii. can be reduced to a 4-hour work model on a standalone basis for different times of the day or night, i.e., 0900-1300 or 1400-1800 or 1800-2200

Benefits: Many mature professionals, mothers and mid-career professionals pursuing higher studies would be available to work.

Suggestion 2:

Offer some roles on a telecommute-only work model

How to do it:

i. specify hardware requirements that individuals should arrange themselves to work from home
ii. enable company computer network and software to accept and track work submitted by teleworkers
iii. give output targets and quality specifications to teleworkers on a daily or weekly or monthly basis to earn compensation

Benefits: A wide-ranging talent base would be available to work and companies will save on prime estate.

I come across so many erstwhile professionals among women who’d like to be engaged in an occupation but find 8 to12-hour kind of current work model too disconcerting. Won’t it be a win-win for companies to tap into this talent pool? But please, not just for phone-call based customer service roles. Companies need to break most of their people-based expectations into focused job descriptions that include clear KRAs and KPIs–and not just demand human bodies filling in seats for 8 hours–to make a success of half-day and telecommute as viable employment options.

If you have any more ideas to strengthen 4-hour work models to make them attractive to both senior women professionals and companies, I’d be interested to know them.

6 thoughts on “Flex the Workplace

  1. Hi Jyoti

    congratulations! By the way, my wife (who has a 9 to 5 job), has been ‘searching’ for an employer who would buy the idea of a 4 hour day but is yet to find one. Hopefully the employers would open up to the idea seeing that it is a ‘prize winning’ .

    Congrats once again.

    – Kartikeya


    1. Hi KK,

      Thanks…but this is not a feat if it doesn’t get implemented as a policy by workplaces. Mention http://fleximoms.in/Jobs.aspx to your wife and acquaintances who’re exploring part-time work options. Also, I seem to have won a counselling session voucher that I can give to anyone looking for formal advice from fleximoms.

      Look forward to more posts on Goa.

      cheers, Jyoti


  2. Hi Jyoti
    followed up on a linkedin update I recd in my mail and reached here:)
    Am so very glad because I have been trying my hardest to find part time workers- moms / students working flexi/part time hrs.
    will follow up on the fleximoms site but in case yoiu come across any joomla developers who would want to work flexi hrs pl do let me know or have them contact me.



    1. Hi Anju, Great to reconnect. Post your requirement on gharkamai.com and fleximoms.in. And, get on to Twitter so you can reach many people.

      The only freelance Joomla coder I know is expensive and busy. Will keep it in mind.

      cheers, Jyoti


  3. Hey Jyoti : great going ! got ur link thru women’s web, which I think I got while googling on flexi work 🙂 ur article is soooo relavant to most SAHMs like me today, and I do wish some (and more) organisations do take active interest in implementing flexitime ! Its a great Indian joke that flexiwork options on the web now means data entry on MLM stuff, much to the chagrin of professionally qualified moms !
    I also appreciate ur views on marketing oneself online 🙂 Lets do connect on linkedin too – my ID : http://in.linkedin.com/in/kalyanisrinath
    N.B: I have also regd on fleximoms and gharkamai, but profiles of substance are few and far between !


  4. Hi Kalyani,

    In your case, I sense fewer problems in managing flexible work options. You’ve been focussed on L&D–an area where corporates do appear open to contracting freelancers–and are located in a city where there should be many talent seekers. My two suggestions to you are that i) you should blog; and ii) connect with SMALL HR consulting firms/freelancers to team up with them while trying to fill a firm’s skill requirement.
    Blogging will help build a portfolio of skill-set and viewpoint on your strengths, and will lead people to you. Small consulting firms are always looking for outside talent to team up with and provide a cohesive solution to a service seeker.
    We’re now connected on Linkedin so can remain in touch.

    All the best, Jyoti


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