Someone said, "You have to be a place that’s more than a paycheck for people." And that's so damn true. Organizations with the best workplaces look around the world to see what works and doesn't work for their employees, and implement these best practices in their organization. Here are some workplace practices around the world that Indian companies need to implement too.
1. Afternoon Siesta
Burrito-ed in your bed, working from home on a June afternoon, who wouldn't want to just... take a nap? If only we could and wouldn't be bombarded with the notifications from our office! Well, Spaniards can. They have a culture of siesta or afternoon naps, although it's reducing every day. Not just Spain, afternoon naps are a very common practice and are even encouraged in Japan. And we could use some afternoon naps too.
2. Four-day workweek
A lot of countries are moving towards a four-day workweek, and employees couldn't be happier. Till now, eight countries including UAE, Japan, and Belgium have adopted this policy and seen a staggering growth in productivity. Giving a better work-life balance to employees is only going to increase their productivity, and in a country like India where overworking is seen as hard work, this could be a positive change.
3. Period Leaves
Although some companies are providing period leaves, availing those leaves is still looked down upon because then women become not as productive as their male counterparts. Indian workplaces can start providing period leaves and also destigmatize availing those leaves.
4. Hybrid work
Some prefer the permanent work-from-home situation, some miss going to the office. For people who have been tired of commuting to the office for years, work-from-home seems like the best practice. For those who have graduated from online classes and have had minimal outside interactions for years, work-from-office is the need of the hour. The balance? Start providing a hybrid work policy. Give people the right to choose what works for them best and see their productivity increase.
5. Valuing skills over Alma Mater
Sadly, most of the companies in India still give preference to where a candidate is coming from instead of the heights they could take the companies to. Their colleges are given preference, and a student from a tier-2 or tier-3 college doesn't even get the chance to interview to showcase their skills. It's high time this practice needs to change.
6. Unlimited Leaves
Providing employees with the option to take unlimited leaves is giving people the right to choose, which gives them a sense of accountability and belongingness. People don't necessarily misuse this option, in fact, it gives them a sense of security that they have the leaves if they need them. Companies like Netflix and LinkedIn are already providing unlimited leaves to their employees, and that's something Indian workplaces can adopt too.
7. Liberty to voice your opinion
As a rule of thumb, saying no to your boss is considered a crime in most of the workplaces, which truly hinders productivity. Indian workplaces should encourage the employees, especially those who are at the lower end of the food chain, to voice their opinions. This gives a perspective which might have been missing in the first place, and can be a very positive change that can increase the productivity of the entire organization.
8. Paternity Leave
Remember when Twitter CEO went on paternity leave? Sadly, that's not a luxury most Indian employees can afford. Just like mothers, fathers should also get to spend time with their newborns and share responsibilities. This is a prevalent practice in a lot of foreign companies and something Indian workplaces can also implement.
9. Compulsory hiring of Diverse People
Companies should adopt a policy of hiring diverse people throughout the chain of command instead of employing at just the lower levels. Workplaces need to adopt affirmative action policies to ensure an overall development.
10. Pay for employees' vacation
A British company took its employees on a vacation as a thank you gesture to work during the pandemic while we got the mails to come back to the office. Employees should be rewarded for the work they do in these difficult times. Maybe Indian workplaces can also adopt this practice?
Companies should experiment to see what works and doesn't work for them, and implement the changes which increase the productivity of the organization.