What Indian Women want? Flexi Hours at work

According to a survey by ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation (ASDF), conducted in the cities that include all metros and places like Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, Chandigarh, Pune, Bangalore, Ahemdabad, Udaipur, Shimla, Dehradun, Indore, Patna, Kochi and Chennai; courtesy flexi working hours, childcare facilities at offices and options of working from home, women professionals are moving up corporate ranks and managing home as well with finesse.

The biggest conclusion of the survey: "Flexi HR policies make working attractive for women"

The survey sample consisted of:

4,000 respondents, of which 2,500 were women (67 per cent) and 1,500 were men (33 per cent).
Age-wise the lot broke as: 44 percent were between 30 and 45 years old, 39 per cent were between 25 and 30. Most respondents were at the professional level (51 per cent). Thirty-seven per cent of respondents were in the PSU category and 3 per cent are at the director level and above.

Most respondents were married (60 per cent). Twenty-seven per cent were single, 9 per cent were divorced, separated or widowed.

What the study revealed:

1) Just 18% of women prefer ideal situation would be to work FULL TIME outside the home. Nearly 82% of all women say that flexible hour is ideal situation for them. As expected, mothers with younger children (ages 0 to 4 years) also are less likely to prefer full-time work today. 82% of mothers with younger children prefer flexi hours, childcare facilities at the office, working from home, while 16% prefer working outside the home as a fulltime work. Talking of men, 52% male prefer the flexible hours in the office.

2) Another finding of the survey is the way working moms and at-home moms assess the job they're doing as parents. Mothers working full-time give themselves slightly lower ratings as parents, on average, than do at-home mothers or mothers employed part-time.

3) The study found that majority of women admit that working women face a lot of domestic hiccups and often have to make a tough decision where they have to work or stay at home. Flexible working hours, option to work from home, and a friendly leave policy’ help them juggle roles.

4) Not any way behind their male counterparts, the working young women appear to be as ambitious as men when it comes to eagerness to climb the career ladder, and 46 percent women contribute even more to family income than their husbands, reveals the survey.

5) 85% of the male said that they want to marry working women because they can balance both work and home very well. This perspective is also seen when 52 percent of men preferred flexible hours of work; which in essence means their willingness to contribute in household chore that from long were considered the responsibility of women.

6) A large majority of respondents (72 per cent), both women and men, seemed to be agreed that flexible working arrangements are simply a modern tool to allow people to retain their productivity, while increasing their flexibility in choosing a work method more compatible to their work life fit.

7) Most respondents (56 percent), both women and men, seemed to be agreeable on the point that flexible working arrangements should be available to all persons irrespective of their situation if it maintains or increases productivity and work life fit/balance. A small section (22 per cent) is of the view that flexible working arrangements are suitable only for staff with a strong sense of responsibility.

8) On the question of what their organization is already providing them: 23% of the working women said that their company provides benefits to pregnant women by allowing them to have a three-month flexi-hour working facility; in addition to maternity leave. 71% of women said that HR policies are becoming friendlier in Indian companies.

A point which is often ignored when it comes to working women with children and their ambition; is that most of the times the adamancy to continue with the job emanates from their desire to give best living and opportunities to children. Hence, giving working women (and working men too) comfortable working conditions; so that kids are not ignored; is a good thing. The benefits of Flexibility in working hours, or work from home, are reducing absenteeism, retaining staff, reducing stress and increasing well-being, reducing the cost of commuting, reducing cost of physical infrastructure and improving customer service and satisfaction. When a working parent is made stress free regarding the safety of their children; they can be more satisfied with their jobs. As a result, their work quality improves. --------

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