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Hyderabad: What do employees in the country prefer? Is it a more flexible working schedule where they are gauged on their work and not the number of working hours or is it a four-day work week as being implemented in some other countries.

A new survey points out that even the idea of four-day work week has gained traction, about 62 per cent of employees prefer flexibility to work whenever they want while only 38 per cent support one-fewer days at work schedule.

Qualtrics research reveals that flexibility is also a bigger driver of retention than a four-day work week. With organisations across the country continuing to refine ways of working after two years of working remotely, and the central government predicted to implement four new labour codes, the Qualtrics findings highlight the importance of understanding employee needs to successfully align the programmes being adopted with their needs and expectations.

For 35 per cent of employees, flexibility means having control of the hours they want to work. One-in-five respondents say flexibility is choosing what days to work, while others define it as having the ability to work from any location ( about 20 per cent), or being measured by performance instead of hours (14 per cent).

Open to four-day work week, but have concerns

About 91 per cent of respondents are open to supporting their employer implementing a four-day work week – predominantly citing improvements to their health and wellbeing as the reasons for doing so. The majority of respondents believe a four-day work week could improve work-life balance and mental wellbeing, make them feel more loyal to their employer, and be more productive.

However, the trade-offs in this programmes would be the expectation of working longer hours alongside concerns regarding customer frustrations and a detrimental impact on company performance.

Focus on mental wellbeing

Employees in India say the most impactful changes employers in the region can introduce to improve mental health are an annual paid mental health week or day, a four-day work week, and access to mental health resources, such as on-site counselling.

“One potential solution to the challenges posed by new working models is having employee performance measured by results rather than hours and days worked, with 88 per cent of respondents supportive of this approach. Respondents tout increased efficiency, focus, and recognition as the top reasons for doing so, while 26 per cent expect to work fewer hours,” it said.

 

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Author: Howard Caldwell