Feature

Making work from home ‘work’

By striking the right balance between independence and accountability, work-from-home policy makes organisations diverse and productive

Illustration: Aashini Trivedi

In 2016, Beena Thomas found herself in a tight spot. On one hand, she had a flourishing career as the head of the Enterprise Business Systems department at Chennai-based technology service company Doyen Systems, which she had joined in 2012. On the other, due to a personal emergency, she and her family had to relocate to Kerala immediately. Doyen Systems did not have an office in Kerala, which only meant one thing — she would have to quit her job. With a heavy heart, Thomas decided to bite the bullet and approach her manager to inform him about her decision. 

However, what happened next left her completely surprised. “When I told my boss about my predicament, he immediately offered me the option of working from home from a remote location. The company also temporarily eased my workload till the personal crisis was overcome,” says Thomas, who currently heads the Custom Development department for the company from Kottayam, Kerala. She has been working from home for over three years now, and says that there has been absolutely no difference in either her productivity or the organisation’s expectation from her, making it a win-win proposition for both.

While relocation might be one of the reasons for an employee to work from home, it is by no means the only one. Take for instance, the case of Anisha Khanna, who heads Supply Chain Management at Gurugram-based Comviva Technologies, a value-added services provider for mobile operators. She is the mother of fifteen-month old twin daughters, and juggles between her personal and professional commitments to the best of her ability. But some events aren’t under her control — such as the babies falling ill, or the caretaker taking a sudden day off. 

In such cases, instead of taking the day off, Comviva offers her the flexibility of working from home. “It is extremely comforting to know that I can simply call my manager and take permission to work from home. As long as we deliver on our work, nobody views it negatively,” says Khanna. She adds that when emp

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