Sairee Chahal is the founder and CEO of www.sheroes.in – an online career destination for women. The SHEROES community has access to high growth career resources, mentorship and support. SHEROES engages with businesses to help them connect with female talent in the form of employees, partners, customers and business owners.
Sairee is India’s foremost women-at-work evangelist and earlier co-founded Fleximoms. She is also the convener for The SHEROES Summit and has been instrumental in bringing together businesses and women professionals on a common platform. Nominated for the Editor’s choice for L’oreal Femina Women’s Award, she is also a Cartier Women’s Award Initiative for 2012 alumni, a TED speaker, Business Today, Most Powerful Women in Indian Business 2012 and has been featured on shows such as Young Turks, Pioneering Spirit and What Women Want. Sairee went to Jawaharlal Nehru University for an MPhil in international relations and to IMT, Ghaziabad for a PG in business management.
Editor’s Note: This opinion piece is part of the Special Focus “Women’s Leadership in the Workplace of Tomorrow”.
Work as we know has a new game face and we all need to prep for it. The only thing constant in life is change and women must learn to embrace it and move ahead in life. They must maintain a proper update, as it is imperative for them to do well and rise fast. Feeling lost and useless at the loss of that job you were passionate about, is definitely deteriorating. However, if we understand that passion is nothing but just a feeling, and feelings change with time, we start considering other options and work towards re-inventing ourselves. Just remember, passionate people are passionate about anything that comes in their way!
Women are the future of the workforce. And the future is changing at a rapid pace.
According to a survey by leading provider of flexible workspace, Regus, 79 per cent of Indian companies reported that their productivity has increased as a result of flexible working practices, and 77 per cent link increasing revenues directly to flexi-working. Over 60% of companies say flexible working is more cost-effective than traditional arrangements. The reason is simple – it saves on desk space. Around 55% of desks are unused at any given point in the average office, meaning you’re paying for underutilized space. In a large company, this can add up to a significant amount of wasted square footage.
Do you know what makes companies like Google India, Marriott Hotels India, American Express India, Intuit Technology Services the best to work for in India? Flexibility.
Various factors are playing on parallel lines; technology, employee experience, management, HR, leadership and others. Work is an important facet of one’s life. And our way and style of working has also gone under significant changes. It is more about delivering rather showing up for work.
Flexibility has made inroads to the work landscape and we are making the most of it. Thanks to the Startup culture which has made us fall head over heels in love with it, has introduced a more relaxed work culture. It is about delivering results and meeting deadlines, and not prescribing to a set of dos and don’ts. We are shifting from the concept of work-life balance to work-life integration. The lines have blurred and we are taking home our work and letting out the pressure at work hours. Women post delivery are looking for workplaces with day-care or creche facilities for their children.
Flexibility has given way to autonomy. We need #TakeCharge attitude more than ever now. Spider Man-Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben said, with great power comes great responsibility. Well then, we at SHEROES believe with flexibility/freedom comes autonomy. Flexibility also means you are responsible for your work. No one would stand over your head to get things done. You have to be your manager and executive.
Another feature which has emerged from this transformation is the customization of work. Jobs are no longer defined to the T. You can choose your work type, load, contributors and so. Customisation is the new age work culture which will be embraced to optimize our efforts and deliver high quality output.
There are various benefits of flexible work options. The employee feels less hassled due to the absence of bureaucratic barriers. Family-friendly policies and flexible work options leads to better team work, more productive workforce. Also the addition of work from home options has opened gates for gathering more sources of talent. A wider base of talent pool also ensures the employer or a business person gets to hire people irrespective of their location.
All this adds up to one truth. This is the best time for women to participate in workforce and play their part. Women as a resource have not been tapped to their full potential yet in workplaces. And, their participation has more relevance now, than ever in the current scenario. Future definitely belongs to women, as the present is already turning out in our favour.
This is how I spend my free time, penning down my thoughts about the changing face of work.
Article by Sairee Chahal for the EVE Program