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Deepavali break reflects a new approach to workforce management

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Following the pandemic, organisations have scaled new heights of empathy in their engagement with employees

Following the pandemic, organisations have scaled new heights of empathy in their engagement with employees

For employees of Saraf Furniture, the Deepavali break is a pleasantly drawn-out affair, accounting for 12 days. The Rajasthan-based company offers the extended paid vacation to each of its 1,500 employees spread across cities. Measures are in place to make sure this extended time-off does not inconvenience customers. The firm has titled this initiative “Reset and Recharge Policy Phase II”.

Real estate developer Embassy Group generally declares nine days of holiday for Deepavali, but this year, has extended it to an 11-day break. Flexible workspace provider WeWork India also declared an extended break of 10 days for its workforce.

Ecommerce firm Meesho announced a company-wide break of 11 days. This largesse has to do with a deeper empathy organisations have developed, helped by the lessons of the pandemic.

Unlimited leave policy

Like year-end breaks offered by many multinational companies, the practice of announcing a “shutdown” during festivals is gaining ground over the last one year as employees were battling COVID-19 fatigue and burnout.

A clutch of organisations have taken this empathy to soaring heights, offering “unlimited leave policy”. Bengaluru-based technology startup Log9 has an ‘Infinite-Leave’ policy that enables its associates to take as many leaves as they want, whenever and however they want, throughout the year.

Meesho introduced an unlimited leave policy that enables employees to avail up to 365 days of paid leave. The policy is applicable if an employee or their loved one is impacted by a critical illness, says a communication from the company.

Aditya Narayan Mishra, CEO, CIEL HR Services, says there is a growing realisation, especially after COVID-19, among companies that they need to adopt a flexible approach to managing their workforce. However, offering employees such extended breaks depends on the nature of the business and how well they have adapted to various situations, he says.



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