Leave Policy For Work From Home Employees? This Is How Firms Are Helping Employees
With the ongoing pandemic, another silent epidemic of burnout is brewing as it has been more than a hundred days since work from home began and employees are now desperate for a break from all the daily home and office chores.
Earlier the dread was to face the Monday morning after a leisurely weekend but now every day seems like that pervades their daily existence.
The continuous juggling between the office and household chores has led several employees to seek out doctors with symptoms like backaches, junk food binges, feeling tired all the time, brain fog, mental fatigue and lack of motivation.
On the other hand, this phenomenon where employees are unwilling to apply for leave has led the Human Resources departments at certain firms to become more sensitive than usual.
Now, some are building leave banks while others, the sensitive ones are encouraging employees to refuse work during lunch hour.
Why Would This Happen?
Here it is noteworthy that the fear of not being understood keeps employees from applying for leave during a crisis.
According to senior knowledge advisor, Society for Human Resource Management India, Neha Pant, while it is now well established that the productivity levels of employees rose in the lockdown period, work served as a coping mechanism for many,”.
She added, “Employers suddenly discovered the benefits of working from home since employees worked much harder. But, the reason they worked harder was fear, grief, and sudden loss of freedom.”
On the other hand, some organizations have exploited this situation by making employees feel they had no reason to go on leave, Pant said.
Pant said, “One doesn’t have to travel and it was assumed they were discharging their household duties anyway. So unless you fell sick — which has become a COVID stigma — one had no plausible reason to apply for leave,”.
What Organizations Are Doing For Their Employees?
Some organizations are reconfiguring their leave policies to help employees relax.
The chief talent officer, Deloitte India, SV Nathan says, “We have introduced a ‘shared leave bank’, giving professionals the option of donating their leave. If anyone has exhausted their leave and is facing a medical emergency, they can use the leave from this leave bank,”.
According to chief human resources officer, K Raheja Corp, Urvi Aradhya, “their employees can take small breaks closer to home for breaking the monotony. We are running multiple contactless programs every week such as virtual cooking sessions with our hotel chef, wellness meditation classes, specially curated book readings and language tutorials,”.
On the other side, at Crompton Greaves, managers have been asked to integrate ‘availing of leave’ as part of the work plan discussion with employees.
The vice president (HR), Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals Ltd, Satyajit Mohanty says, “We do not expect people to work beyond the normal working hours and employees are empowered to refuse work during off-office hours and ‘lunch-breaks’,”.
Employees are advised to take vitamin supplements, eating lots of fruits, vegetables, stepping out onto the balcony to stretch and inhale fresh air and lastly “After work, make sure to watch something that makes you laugh.”
With the vanishing of the vacations due to subdued festivals and travel, now HR professionals sense an alternate model of vacations emerging.
That being said, let’s watch out this space for further developments in employee’s dilemma to choose between both the worlds.