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The Challenge and Opportunity of Flex Work: with Sairee Chahal, Co-Founder, Fleximoms

with Sairee Chahal, Co-Founder, Fleximoms

Sairee Chahal is Co-Founder, Fleximoms. Fleximoms is a work-life and career destination for women in India. Fleximoms works towards creating, enhancing and co-creating workflex opportunities for women professionals. It also helps organizations harness flexibility as a value driver. Sairee is a finalist for the Cartier Women’s Award Initiative for 2012 and has been featured on shows like Young Turks, Pioneering Spirit and What Women Want. Co-founder, SAITA Consulting Pvt. Ltd, a management consulting firm focussed on SMBs, a mentor with The Hatch, a visiting faculty at IIFT, New Delhi, an occasional writer and mother of a 5-year-old, Sairee is your regular Fleximom. @Sairee on Twitter.
Once more we had a fantastic #Indiahrchat . For those who are inclined to look at numbers the 1st #indiahrchat generated 798,794 impressions and today 6,990,691 #powerofcommunity The energy in the air was real even though the chat was virtual. Thanks to Gautam Ghosh the storiefied version of the chat is right here.
And Sairee wrote this little capsule to share her work on the topic and key highlights from the chat. Don’t forget to check out the resource page for more articles and links to delve deeper into the topic.
A couple of years ago when the idea of Fleximoms was germinating and we set up Workflex Solutions Pvt Ltd, noone would believe that workflex could become a mainstream conversation, nibbling bits of airtime and newsprint on the go and cajoling busy managers and business heads into thinking about it. Almost everyone told me that workflex in India meant, low skilled work for little wages or none at all. It was a queer case of  ‘ They pretend to work for us and we pretend to pay them”.
Since then one has run with the workflex flag pretty much everyday – in form of conversations with businesses, media, academia and such like. One has convinced, coaxed and seduced corporates to sample workflex and happy to report they all take to it – pretty much like fish to water in most cases. There are some for whom the fit or the time is not right but those are learnings. One has also worked on the other side of the fence with employees to enhance readiness, insight and intent towards making workflex work.
What tumbled out at #IndiaHRChat was a little summation of lot of experiences but the most beautiful thing was to note the catalytic role of workflex in shaping the future of work. The quality and quantity of participation simply highlighted how well placed we are to capitalize on workflex. A quick recap:
Connected world, workforce diversity, global businesses, rise of digital and knowledge sectors + ROWE.
The world around us is changing – generations in workforce, access to technology, growing nature of work based on knowledge, service and relationships. Besides, the world is one large office now and connectedness means more than sharing space. Sharing context and goals is the most significant factor driving workflex.
ROWE ==> Workflex
Flex formats span a huge range but telecommute, core team flex, consulting, part time and project based work top the charts. There is also job sharing and reduced working hours.
India is the outsourcing hub to the world.
Top cos send their work to India. We need to use those processes towards enhancing workflex. India Inc. is not inherently tuned to workflex but is at least looking up to watch the change. Many forward looking corporates and the young startup culture are giving workflex a boost.
Women, especially moms have acute needs. If we can address those, we can include anyone within.
However, it cannot be only for women. As corporates begin to imbibe workflex, it is slowly inching from being a woman thing because after all, everyone wants their work and life to come together.
Mindset. Trust culture. Hire for talent, negotiate for workflex and seek recourse in process.
HR and business teams need to create an internal buy in before embarking on a workflex journey
Clarity of delivery. Infrastructure. Realign. Focus. Deliver.
What I do today, impacts everyone else. A workflex employee needs to uphold the standards for peers. Communication sits on top of this pyramid. Workflex is also better suited to higher skill class, there being good at what you do matters.
Thanks Sairee for this write up. Look forward to seeing everyone in the next chat !
Tanvi Gautam
(Host, #IndiaHRchat)
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