A cyber security consulting and service company operating out of Thrissur Infopark has successfully implemented a four-and-a-half day working week much to the delight of its employees whose productivity has only improved since then thanks probably to a better work-life balance.
ValueMentor, which introduced the new arrangement from New Year has found the result to be very encouraging and has even started receiving inquiries about its feasibility from other companies.
“Companies from Thrissur Infopark and even Technopark have been inquiring about the system since they get real experience feedback rather than hearsay. Initially, we were also sceptical about the system. But it has worked out well and the happiness quotient among the employees have definitely increased reflecting in their productivity,” said Binoy V.M., CEO of ValueMentor.
The outbreak of the pandemic was what served as a triggering point for the new arrangement as the work-life separation turned blurry and productivity suffered prompting the company to bring about a mandatory ban on working beyond a time. As the productivity slowly returned to the previous level, the company thought about the new arrangement and notified its 100-odd clients who were also supportive of the initiative.
“The introduction of the new system could not have been better timed considering the stress on family, work, and health in the wake of the pandemic. Often two days were not enough to rest and recoup for a hectic week ahead. Now we have happier team members and equally happy children at home,” said Indu Satyaraj, a team leader at the project management office of the company.
D. Dhanuraj of the Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR), a city-based think tank, however, felt that the success of any such restricted working week arrangement depends on a set of factors. “The nature of the work and character of the workforce is crucial. It could be worked out with experienced hands while the same cannot be said about freshers. Also, the sustainability of the arrangement needs to be seen,” he said.
Madhavan N.G., treasurer of Prathidwani, a collective of IT employees, felt that while any such arrangement will always be welcomed by employees there is no such demand as such on any of their forums. “A product-based company may be better placed to introduce a truncated working week compared to service companies who have to accede to the demands of clients. Besides, it also calls for a cultural shift,” he said.