In the middle of “Always on” work culture, WeWork India has taken the first step in realizing there is a need for downtime. WeWork India has come up with a guideline for employees, according to which they are not obligated to respond to emails from 7 pm till 9 am, and during weekends.
WeWork India is a co-working space with an employee strength of 421 across India. WeWork India HR director Surabhi Washishth said, “We want to encourage our employees to spend time with their families/friends or invest in a hobby to unwind after a day of hard work. By introducing this guideline, we are also urging our employees to be more productive in their workdays — dial it down post-7pm and hustle smarter.” Washishth, however, said if there is something that needs urgent attention, one can text/WhatsApp/call the person who needs to respond.
Washishth added, “In the fast times that we live today, striking a balance between work and life, in general, is often looked at in a desirous manner. We are all looking for that window of opportunity wherein no unread emails beckon us, nor a deadline hangs over the head. As a country that’s expected to have the youngest workforce in the world by 2020 (Future of Work report by the World Economic Forum), it is highly imperative that we learn to draw the line, and strive to attain a balance between work and personal life.”
WeWork is not the only company to have passes such rule. Two years ago, France passed a law on the right to disconnect from technology after office hours. Pidilite Industries is offering employees one day per week as “work from home”. Companies like Daimler and Volkswagen had come up with auto-delete of emails sent to employees on a holiday to prevent the stress of a flooded inbox when they returned to work.
On the contrary, Jack Ma, a founder of the e-commerce titan Alibaba, called long work hours “a huge blessing.” Chinese companies are implementing “996” culture: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., six days a week.
As an entrepreneur and employee, what do you think of these distinct cultural approaches? Is there anything which you tried in your company which gained success.? Let us know in the comments below.
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