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'Work from home practice to stay in India'

March 05, 2013 15:30 IST

YahooThe trend of employees working from home is here to stay in India despite companies like Yahoo! banning the practice, experts have said.

The decision by new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to ban work from home plans has set off a debate as to whether this was a wrong decision or a necessary evil.

Success of working from home concept is largely dependent on three factors -- the individual's role, the individual's own approach towards work and at what stage of evolution an organisation is to explore this kind of an arrangement.

Going forward, experts however, believe increasing globalisation and access to digital tools will transform the workplace in the coming years and this would make working from home a necessity.

"There should be a work life balance. "But in today's competitive world, there should be a work life blend and not a work life balance," Randstad Director Group Public Affairs Annemarie Muntz said.

Citing examples she said on the one hand there is this Yahoo example and the other hand there is Volkswagen example.

In 2011, Volkswagen had agreed to stop its Blackberry servers sending emails to some of its employees when they are off-shift, following complaints that staff's work and home lives were getting disturbed.

"Just as Yahoo is not an answer, Volkswagen is not an answer," Muntz added.

Echoing similar sentiments, Teamlease Services Senior Vice-President and Co-founder Rituparna Chakraborty said: "An organisation like Yahoo, which needs to focus on re-inventing and bringing about innovation, it needs every single employee to work together closely to bring about innovation.

"But working from home might work for an established organisation on a steady growth path like an IBM."

According to PwC India Leader Human Capital Mark Driscoll "Flexible Working Arrangements are alternatives that assist employees in balancing work and personal commitments while meeting business needs and objectives".

Meanwhile, GlobalHunt India MD Sunil Goel said as the economy is going through a tough face and every company wants per employee productivity rise ‘working from home should always be a limited time based arrangement and it shouldn't be non-ending flexibility’.

A decision like Yahoo should not influence organisations on how to manage their workforce as all workforce related decisions should be taken on the basis merit, experts said.

"Digital tools offer cheap, easy and fast communication, co-operation, and workplaces are no longer tied to bricks and mortar locations. However, this does not eliminate the need for face to face interactions," Hay Group India Managing Consultant & Head-Delhi Operations Nitin Razdan said.

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