89% of respondents felt that saving commuting time is the most important advantage of the hybrid model.
Introducing equitable hybrid work policies is an important step towards widening the employment funnel, and providing women with greater choice and flexibility.
Hybrid work can improve recruitment and retention of women workforce in India, by addressing barriers such as lack of safety, poor mobility, and care burdens, said a new report. The survey found that hybrid working models are more prevalent in organisations with a relatively larger workforce.
Moreover, women at higher levels of the organisational hierarchy are more likely to be given the option of working hybrid and also take up this option.
LEAD at Krea University, IWWAGE in collaboration with Zoom Video Communications released a report ‘Hybrid Models and Women’s Work in India’ featuring insights from a recent study.
The report presented findings from a survey of 400 working women, of which over a third were hybrid workers, and delves into how women working in hybrid models have adapted to their new working conditions, and the challenges and advantages they perceive while working hybrid.
On benefits and advantages of hybrid work, 69% of respondents working in hybrid mode reported improvement in managing personal finances – consistent with existing literature that highlights reduced costs as a benefit of hybrid work, 55% reported an increase in workplace motivation.
55% of hybrid workers in the study belong to the technology, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, business and consulting services sectors, which are Information and Communications Technology (ICT)-intensive.
21% of hybrid workers in the study work in consumer goods, social services, teaching or real estate and construction, which indicates that the possibility of working in hybrid models continues to expand beyond technology-intensive sectors.
89% of respondents felt that saving commuting time is the most important advantage of the hybrid model. Four out of five (80%) surveyed also consider flexible working hours as a significant advantage.
Hybrid workers based in metropolitan areas report greater flexibility and greater participation in the workplace as compared to their counterparts in non-metropolitan areas.
More than half (55%) of the respondents living in non-metropolitan areas found the difference in resources available at home as compared to the office set-up to be a major disadvantage.
Preethi Rao, associate director, LEAD at Krea University, said, “With access to the right enabling infrastructure, hybrid work has the potential to provide flexible employment opportunities to women beyond metros. But the option to work remotely and the ease of transition to hybrid work varies by women’s location (metro/other), seniority levels, and sector. Future efforts can focus on bridging data gaps, building use cases for hybrid work across industries and geographies and creating enabling policies for equitable participation in the workforce.”
Iravati Damle, head of government relations, India, Zoom, said, “We are encouraged that the findings of this report endorse the value of flexible work for women’s participation in the economy. Workplace flexibility helps employees achieve greater work-life balance and attracts, engages and retains a gender-diverse workforce.”
“Flexible work models increase workers’ access to opportunities, enable productivity, foster collaboration, and, for companies, result in a better employee experience that is important for attracting and retaining top talent. Implementing policies and initiatives that promote flexibility will also support women’s participation in the workforce,” added Damle.
The report underlined that globally, 21 countries have introduced some form of provision for hybrid workers in the course of the pandemic.
Introducing equitable hybrid work policies is an important step towards widening the employment funnel, and providing women with greater choice and flexibility in shaping their career pathways.
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