The Relevance Of Attendance & Holidays

The Relevance Of Attendance & Holidays

Today, when it comes to HR policies, hybrid culture and remote working, it gets us back to the drawing board. These create an employee experience, and to an extent, define the culture of the organisation.


There is a need to ask the right questions. When we are evolving in terms of the way we do business, we need to evolve in the most critical space i.e. “People space”. Earlier, employers claimed with some pride, ‘the most critical Asset walk in and out of my Work Place every day’. Now, these Assets work from the ‘Work Space’ of their choice (home/office/ co-space), depending on the profile they are entrusted with, and thereby, rendering greater justice to their health, family and overall wellbeing. This ensures that they remain more productive and focused.


In such a scenario, does attendance play a role anymore?


What is the importance of an attendance policy in this ‘Work Space productivity-driven culture’?


The Clock-Watchers culture


The ‘clock-watchers culture’ may hardly be relevant in the corporate arena today since daily/weekly/ monthly task sheet closures that are aided by innovation and special projects may rule and define real work. The Attendance policy requires a paradigm shift. And the emphasis must be more on giving employees ‘Holidays’ as he/she is working 24/7, without weekend breaks, due to this shift in Hybrid digital working. Since the office is ‘omnipresent’ and one can access the office on any device and from anywhere, be it the phone, laptop, iPad etc., one neither has ‘your space’ nor ‘your holiday’ any longer. The virtual world and the lack of social interaction and real human connect and in-person conversation has transformed us into machines, sans any emotion and empathy since person-person contact has been thrown out of the window.


However, for people working in factories or a production-process environment in any domain, where touch and feel and physical presence and timeline orientation is a must, ‘Attendance policy’ remains critical and crucial for sustenance and existence. Therefore, workforce Analytics and profile mapping become imperative for policy construct and organisational redesign.


Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs


Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs states 5 stages of needs for a human being i.e. Physiological Needs, Safety Needs, Love & belonging Need, Need to Fame & Self-esteem and finally the Need for Self-actualisation.


Baby boomers and Gen X experienced the ‘Industrial age’ of ‘Ji huzoori’, working hard to fulfil the Physiological needs with limited choices at hand. This is when the system of attendance was instituted.


Gen Y experienced the Information age and were concentrating for a better lifestyle and worked their heart out for fame and Self-esteem. The ‘Digital Attendance policy’ did matter, but not to an extent, where the creation of coworking spaces like the Café Coffee day and Starbucks were born, it showcased the ‘IT culture’ considered ‘Cool’.


We now live in the Digital/ Social Virtual culture, where one seeks Self-Actualisation, wanting and working to find their ‘True North’. With the pandemic taking over our lives, Gen X, Y & Z are all sitting on the same plane where Health, Safety and Mental well-being has gained prominence. Here, real work and productivity are more important than the ticking of the clock! The time at which one comes and leaves from work is hardly relevant. The only thing that matters is what one has delivered and the level of productivity and efficiency, and therefore, one works 24/7 and on all the days of the week.


HR professionals need to think of the means to provide breaks to employees for rejuvenation, and be in the ‘No Work Space’ so that they come back bright and happy bursting with ideas for some great innovation at work! Culture,


Capability, Credibility and Contribution


Culture, Capability, Credibility and Contribution are the key to the success of any organisation in any given phase. Workplace bonding, the main motive of ‘fun pills’ or emotional engagements in the physical workplace was the main flavour. And this demonstrated the Culture of the organisation and set the equilibrium between hierarchies, age groups, gender or class while celebrating a birthday or a festival or even playing a sport etc. This has taken a massive hit in the Hybrid mode of work.

Creating hobby community clubs like ‘Human Library’ for book lovers, ‘Company Chefs club’ for those interested in culinary pursuits, ‘Fit-at-home club’ for physical fitness freaks, ‘Tune Buddy club’ for music lovers, and of course, a wonderful relaxed time with one’s family and loved ones with ‘No-work mind space’ and ‘forced leave’ are few Real breaks/ holidays which we need to plan, propagate and introduce through our policy and culture framework. This enhances the value proposition for the employees in this Hybrid culture.


In this ecosystem, the workplace design and architecture as also the policies need to be changed, since they impact innovation and productivity directly. This phase is not for the weak-hearted with the traditional mindset of 9.00 am to 5.00 pm work definitions. Here, both the employee and employer both need to be agile, vulnerable to learning and change. ‘Dynamic’ is the word and ‘Flex’ is what we need to imbibe in this ever-changing world. We give incredible ‘power of choice’ we get incredible ‘power of creativity & Innovation’ which creates Value for the organisation and that is the need of the hour!


Abha Nair heads the HR function as VP–People at Spykar Lifestyles Pvt Ltd. She is an accomplished HR professional with 18 years plus experience in large conglomerates such as the Hinduja Group (IndusInd Bank), TNT India Ltd., Essar Group etc. Abha has strong credentials in defining HR strategy, identifying key operational HR processes and tools for Talent Management, Talent Acquisition, Engagement and organisational culture.


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