Mondeep Dutta is a full-time employee in a well-known IT company in
Bangalore. It's a weekday, and he is sitting in the comfort of his
beanbag and typing away on the laptop. No, it's not his day off. He's
working from home (WFH) - an option increasingly being offered by
companies to their employees to better manage their work-life balance.
are the days when WFH meant you are excused on medical grounds or for
some emergency, or, if you are a woman, on maternity leave. WFH is now
an accepted norm in many companies, especially in the IT sector, which
believe that this promotes a good work-life balance and actually
Dutta, for instance, says that working from
home helps him focus better on his projects to meet deadlines, minus
the distraction of any other work that may come his way but is not as
urgent. It also means saving precious hours commuting in the maddening
traffic every day.
"The WFH option works when it is not necessary
to be physically present for a job. Now, while I work on servers and
need to be present at the work site, Wednesday I had to complete automating
something; so I just needed the applications on my laptop. Hence I could
stay at home and do it," Dutta told IANS.
A critical point taken
into account by a number of companies is that most working people
complain of not having enough time to spend with their families. The WFH
option offers them the opportunity to gain that much-needed work-life
balance, and motivates them to put in their best effort at work in
"I was working full time in Gurgaon for a software company
before getting married and shifting base to Agra. It was a sticky
situation because I did not want to let go of my job, but had to move.
So my office offered me the work-from-home option," said Rupanshi
Sharma, a software consultant.
"It's been eight months now, and I
clock in eight hours of work every day, logging in at 9 a.m. just like a
full time employee. I also coordinate with my team online, or over the
phone. I couldn't have asked for a better work-life balance," she added.
employees are obviously happy, employers feel that in these times of
high attrition rates, such an option helps in retention. Along with a
good pay package and growth opportunity, employees these days are
increasingly looking at work culture of a place before deciding on a
According to an official at Microsoft India - which offers
the WFH option - a better work-life balance is a cause for retention and
also "an attractive aspect for potential employees".
Other IT giants, like IBM and Dell, also offer this option to their employees.
WFH culture picked up momentum only five-six years back, although IBM
began this trend in India about 10 years ago. It's difficult to put a
number on how many people work from home, because it is a floating
"The work from home option is not feasible for all
sectors. Only those in which there is minimum personal interaction
required, like in some departments of the IT sector, or in copyediting
and telemarketing, does it work. And in even those, you work closely
with a supervisor, on a set of deliverables," said Rashi Bajaj of a
Delhi-based consultant firm.
On the flipside, Yahoo has recently
decided to pull back its work-from-home option, saying face-to-face
interaction among employees fosters a more collaborative culture.
Industry experts in India however said that the lack of flexibility will
create problems, especially for the women employees.