The demographic composition of the world’s work force

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Introduction

The demographic composition of the world's work force has dramatically changed in recent years. This work force now includes more dual-earner couples who have responsibility for the care of children or elderly dependents, as well as more dual-professional couples where both have careers, not just jobs (Bond, Galinsky, & Swanberg, 1998). "Working practices that acknowledge and aim to support the needs of staff in achieving a balance between their homes and working lives" (HEBS 2002). Nowadays in the business world, work Life Balance is gaining more importance as it can provide businesses with more opportunities for success.

Every year the stress cost in UK businesses are estimated upto 3.7 billion and the loss of around 80 million working days. Stress can either come from work related factors or home related factors. Lot of employees find difficulties in coordinating work responsibilities along with home responsibilities.   This research attempts to explore the practices of work life balance through practical perspective, concentrating on the current scenario and existing challenges. To make this study more meaningful and productive, it adopts a case study approach with reference to Tata Consulting Services, a leading IT service company in India.

"Achieving a good balance between work and family commitments is a growing concern for contemporary employees and organisations. There is now mounting evidence linking work-life imbalance to reduced health and wellbeing among individuals and families. It is not surprising then that there is increasing interest among organisational stakeholders (e.g. CEOs, HR directors) for introducing work-life balance policies in their organisations."( Kalliath, Brough 2008)

All the organisations are formed only with the help of people. A company is said to be gifted if it has a well maintained human resource. Organisations are greatly depended on people. Balance is very important, employees will always need it and organisation cannot ignore it. Successful organisation cannot afford to lose their good employees. Each one of us has different responsibilities, needs, desires etc. The priorities are always conflicting. Leading organisations will have exceptional leaders who will create the work environment in such a way that achieving work life balance would be very easy.(Spinks, Nora 2004)

"According to David Clutterbuck(2003) work-life balance is being aware of different demands on time and energy, having the ability to make choices in the allocation of time and energy, knowing what values to apply to choices, making choices". Most of the employees would agree that managing work and life its not very easy and this scenario is same for many years. In fact threat of work life balance is increasing in recent years.

Achieving work life balance cannot be done only by the employee alone, it should be supported by the employer, employee, family and community. It is a group task, a single employee cannot achieve it by himself. A chair can balance only if it has four legs, imagine what happens when you sit in three legged chair we obviously fall down. Likewise to balance life and work all the people involved in it are responsible to balance it. Success is always achieved because of team work. New innovations and technology has only increased the stress in workers life but in no way has helped them achieve work life balance. (Spinks, Nora 2004)

Aim:

The aim of the study is to investigate the evidence of work life balance policies and practices within a case study of a organisation-Tata Consulting Services.

Objectives:

The study possesses four. important objectives. They are as follows:

To review prior research on Work Life Balance in today's business world.

To explore the extent of Work Life Balance policies and practices in Tata Consulting Services

To evaluate the effectiveness of Work Life Balance polices.

To make recommendations for further research to improve Work Life Balance practices.

Structure of report:

The report beings with the introduction followed by the methodology of research adopted. It is then followed by chapter three which widely discusses a variety of literature related to the topic of study. Chapter four is the case analysis which gives indepth knowledge about the company's current policies and practice with regard to the topic. It is followed by chapter five in which conclusion and further recommendations to the present programs and policies are given. The final chapter is the reflexive report. All the chapters are internally sub divided.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Research is considered to be a list of academic activities in order to find a solution to a realistic problem, which is totally backed by literature (Selvam, 2004). To conduct the research in proper way, each researcher must follow a method (Kumar, 2005), which is defined as s system of procedure to find the answer for a research problem (Selvam, 2004). For the successful completion, this research also adopts a methodology which is discussed below.

Why TCS as the case study?

TCS is a well recognised and reputed IT firm in India operating across many countries in the world. It has been awarded the best IT employer in India (Press Trust of India, 2007). It was ranked fifth in Bloomberg Business week's Tech 100, a ranking for world's best performing technology companies (Tata 2010). They have around 165000 employees (Tata 2010) and the importance of WLB will definitely be present in this company of high standards.

Data Collection

Primary data:

In this type of research information are collected through market surveys, telephone interviews, questionnaire, group interview. The researcher directly approaches the concern people to get information. This research can be customised based on the needs of the study. Since the information are directly collected by the researcher the level of accuracy in high. (Saunders, Lewis, Thornhill 2009)

Secondary data:

In this type of research information are gathered by reanalysing data that has already been written or collected for some other purpose. Secondary research approach is used in this study as well. Secondary data include both raw data and published summaries. (Saunders, Lewis, Thornhill, 2009). Researchers have classified secondary data into varieties of types. (Dale et al. 1988, Hakim 1982) The main sub groups of secondary data are documentary data, survey-based data and multiple sources. (Saunders, Lewis, Thornhill, 2006)

Documentary secondary data are used in research projects which also use primary data. Documentary secondary data include written materials such as e-mails, reports, minutes of meetings, organisation's data base, organisation's website etc and non written materials such as voice recordings, video, pictures etc. (Saunders, Lewis, Thornhill, 2006)

Survey-based secondary data includes the data collected using surveys and questionnaires that have already been analysed for some original purpose. This type of data is collected based on three survey strategies: censuses, regular surveys, ad- hoc surveys.

Multiple-source secondary data can be based on documentary or survey-based secondary data. It also includes data from various other documents such as books, journals, government publications etc.

In this study documentary secondary data and multiple-source secondary data are used.

Research Approach:

The study embraces inductive approach as it forms a conclusion from the analysis of live practices going on within the company. (Saunders et. al., 2000).

Instead of adopting explanatory or descriptive models, the study adopts exploratory approach as the research explores and analyses the practice and policies in WLB at Tata Consulting Services. This approach will be useful and valuable to achieve the required result. (Emory, 2000)

Time Horizon:

The study goes through the changes and development within Tata consulting services concerning its Work Life Balance practices and policies. It is a research involving changes over time which is known as longitudinal study (Saunders, Lewis, Thornhill, 2008). The research also studies the observations over a defined time which is called as cross sectional study (Saunders, Lewis, Thornhill, 2008). So this research uses both longitudinal and cross sectional models with respect to time horizon.

Literature Review:

For the successful completion of a research it is necessary to discuss various literatures related to the topic of study. It will provide the researcher with ample ideas and data on existing views and contradictions between different findings. This will also make the study extra productive with more insights. The data in this chapter are collected after critical evaluation, from text books, academic journals and credible web sources.

Defining Work Life Balance (WLB):

Work Life Balance is term which fits all the workers, low paid, high paid. According to Jim Bird, CEO of Worklifebalance.com, "Work-life balance is meaningful achievement and enjoyment in everyday life." Today the economic conditions and social needs have changed the role of work. Work Life balance is associated with equilibrium and its people's ability to maintain work and life simultaneously.

There are three aspects of work/life balance: (i) Time balance, which includes the amount of time spent on work and non work activities, (ii) Involvement balance, which means the level of involvement and commitment towards both work and non work life (iii) Satisfaction balance, which indicates the level of satisfaction in the work and non work life ( Greenhaus, Collins & Shaw, 2003).

The above model of WLB gives a broader approach to it. It has three components such as time, involvement and satisfaction. For example when a person he or she spends 2 days a week at work and the rest of the days with his or her family there may be an imbalance in time but his involvement and satisfaction would be balanced. Likewise when a person he or she spends around 36 per week and work and does not enjoy his or her work and spend rest of the time doing activities of their interest, he or she may be balanced in time but imbalance in involvement and satisfaction. So WLB is multi-faceted. It should be viewed from various prospectives. ( Greenhaus, Collins & Shaw, 2003)

A Balance of Family, Work and Life:

Earlier Work Life balance was referred to as Work/Family balance. This is because the term family has become more broaden now. Today family not only refers to children but many other non work roles such as boy friend/girl friend, relationships with same sex, shared parenting, other social network communities etc which has shifted work/family balance to work life balance. The important activities in life other than work would include sports, exercise, studies, hobbies, leisure activities, taking care of elderly etc. Elder care has become a growing issue for many workers than child care. (Shoptaugh, Phelps & Visio, 2004) Homes for elderly have been increasing in many places especially in countries like India.WLB is no longer consider to be just for woman or workers who work for very long hours. It affects all the employees, white collar, blue collar, under paid, even unemployed at times.

WLB Programs and policies in USA:

As in all other places the concern for WLB is increased in United States also. They companies started to offer a number of programs in order to maintain a proper balance between work and life. The following are few programs of WLB.

Child Care

Elderly Care

Flexible Working

Leave(maternity, paternity)

Telecommuting

Gym Facilities

Employee Assistant Programs

Vacation

Concierge Services

Other than the above mentioned programs many other perks like company cars, house, free flight tickets, and many other allowances are given to motivate the higher authorities of the company.

Though many U.S organisations have started work-life programs and policies but most of them have not changed their organisational culture to support their employees and managers who wish to use work-life options. (David Rodburne, 1996)

Child Care:

In US over 62.8% of the families have dual income households. This has made the employers to increase programs for child care. In house child care, after school programs are some of the programs offered by the employers to employees for their children.

Flexible Working:

This is the most common advantage given by most of the employers to their workers. Any worker would be happy to get flexible working hours. Flexible working includes part time job, flexitime, job sharing, annual hours, compressed hours, Shift working, work from home. In part time jobs employees work considerably lesser hours than the normal full time employees. Flexitime allows the employees to choose their timings within a set limit. Employees are required to work during the core hours and must work for compulsory number of hours. (Acas 2007)

Job sharing is also encouraged in some organisations. Job sharing is a type of work where two people share the work of one full time job. It is nothing but two part time jobs. In case annual hours the employers define the total number of working hours in a contract to the employees. Employers are contracted to work for set shifts which covers most of the hours and may be called for unallocated shifts within short notice. Compressed hours does not reduce the working hours instead the employees work extra hours. For example an employee will work an hour extra for 9 days and will get the 10th day off. (Acas 2007)

Shift working means different employees are replaced for the same job within 24 hours. Shifts can be morning, noon or night. Organisations which operate 24 hours follow this type of flexible working. Work from home is where the employee can work from home but not all week. They can even work from some other location apart from home. (Acas 2007)

Leave (Maternity, Paternity):

Maternity leave is given by most of the employers in the recent years. Paternity leave has gained importance in recent years after passing the Family and Medical Leave Act. The reason for passing this Act was to standardise family leave for all the employees. In US currently its minimum of 12 weeks but some companies do offer more leave.

Vacation:

Vacation time in US is one area which is not associated with any legislation. So each company offer vacation according to their company policy. Most of them provide a minimum of 2 weeks for new employees. Employees with more experience receive more vacation period. Since there is difference the vacation period of all the companies, this acts as competitive advantage (Parsons, 2002).

Telecommuting:

This is a new concept from the development of technology and internet. It allows white collar employers to work from home by linking to company's network and to finish job from home. Telecommuting reduces the commuting time and gives flexible time for the employers. About 30% of the companies in US use telecommuting (Parsons, 2002).

WLB Policies and Programs in the European Union:

The EU countries have different cultural approach towards Work Life Balance than that of US. Its approaches depend upon the cultural characteristics of the member countries. "In March of 2000, the French Presidency administered a set of questionnaires to the EU countries to gather data about work life balance indicators so that overall EU guidelines could be recommended." (Euro stat working papers)

Some of prevalent WLB programs in EU are as follows:

Work Hours:

The Council of EU in 1995 suggested 48 hour work per week to protect the health of the workers. Today the working hours varies in the EU countries. According to a report published by the Trade Union Congress in the year 2000, British employees were working on an average of 43.6 hours per week, France 39.6, Italy 38.5 and Germany 40.1(The Engineer, February 2, 2001). In France workers are who work more than 35 hours a week are given bonuses. Flexible timings are become popular in EU countries as well. In the UK part time jobs are very much in trend.

Paternity Leave:

Paternity leave is new to some EU countries. But in Denmark this is existed for the past 20 years. In recent years paternity leave is granted to fathers also. In UK paternity leave began only 2003, two weeks paid paternity leave (Parsons, 2002).

Vacation:

The EU in 1993 recommended that the employees should receive four weeks mandatory vacation. This varies in each EU countries. The EU countries are embracing flexible holiday policies (Parsons, 2002).

Child Care:

Child care programs in EU countries is been developing for the past couple of years. As more men and women started to work the concern for child care is increasing. Child care subsidies are available throughout EU. UK is said to the most expensive place for child care. Parents spend more for child care in UK than any other EU countries (Parsons, 2002).

Telecommuting:

"Research from a UK Labour Force Survey, conducted by industry analyst Data monitor shows that 1.7 million people, about six percent of Britons, now telecommute at least one day a week".(The Financial Times, January 31,2002)

This would have definitely increased to 50% by now. The main reason for this is because of employee's willingness to balance their work life in a better way. Telecommuting is prevalent in other EU countries as well.

Work Life Balance in India:

India's culture when compared to other countries like US and UK is considered to be very different. The views upon WLB also differ in India. India is an emerging economy and concerns for work life balance are also increasing. In India family support for work life balance is usually given by the extended family like in-laws, husband etc.

Today many organisations, especially IT industry have started to introduce WLB programs. Flexible working is gaining popularity. Employee can avail part time jobs, job sharing options, telecommuting etc. In India IT industry which has pioneered WLB policies to increase the employees' productivity and retain them.

Child care centres are increasing in few cities but are still not common in most of the rural areas. Earlier Elder care centre did not exist in India. It used to be their culture to look after the elderly people in the family. But now the trends are changing. Homes for elder are increasing in India.

Institutional support is poor in India. Though there are many Government Acts, they not properly implemented. Some of the important Government Acts are The Maternity Benefits Act 1961, The Factories Act of 1948, The Indian Penal code amended (1869) section 509 which aimed at sexual harassment at work place.

Under The Maternity Benefits Act 1961, employers are entitled to give 12 weeks paid maternity leave to its women employees. The employers cannot dismiss the employee during her maternity leave, it is unlawful to do so. Apart from this employee should get two nursing breaks till the baby is 15 months old.

According the Factories Act, a factory is said to b a organisation where a minimum of 10 labours are working and who are involved in manufacturing.

If the factory has minimum of 30 workers it must provide child care for child less than six years. The Act also provides the number of working hours for the workers, annual paid leave, restrictions regarding over time. (Bhargava, 1996; Jain & Agarwal, 1995) The Indian Government policies does not directly deal with balancing work /life. There are many gaps in addressing these issues.

Boom of Information and Technology in India:

From the late 1990's Indian economy saw great boom in Information and Technology (IT) sector. The IT sector begun to follow the work style from western countries like US, UK etc. Employees were expected to work 24 hours and 365 days. The recent boom in outsourcing has increased late night working hours tremendously. Once this sector started to flourish, a lot women workers were attracted to IT sector. Heavy work load, high work hours, late night work in IT sector has made work life balance very difficult. Though many IT companies have provided many facilities like child care, gym, entertainment facilities etc it has only increased the stress of balancing work and family.(Uma Devi 2002)

The Indian Government policies does not directly deal with work life balance issues and most of the policies are not followed by many organisations. The private companies especially in IT sector seems to give importance to work life balance and have number of WLB programs.

Work Life Balance programs have become a part of HR practices in multinational companies because of the demands of young men and women workers and also a tool to retain their employees. For example many companies like Merck Sharp and Dohme, Procter and Gamble, Wipro, Infosys, Tata etc provide health and hospitalization benefits to all its employees. Many local BPO companies in India are also getting the awareness of Work Life Balance for example a local BPO in Delhi has created in house child care facilities.

Reduced Labour Cost

Employee Retention

Profit

Employee Satisfaction

Work Life Balance Culture

Effective Business Processes

Sales/Customer Retention

Productivity, Creativity etc

Customer Satisfaction

Employee Wellbeing

Work Life Culture Profit Chain

Policy and Practice:

Policies and practice are not always followed. Earlier in the study we discussed about many policies and practice used in different countries and companies. Not all of this WLB programs are practiced and run successfully most of them fail to follow it. The five aspect to be identified by the organisations while attempting to achieve work life balance to their employees are:

Managerial Support

Career Consequences

Time Expectations

Gendered Perceptions

Co-worker Support( Mcdonald, Bradley & Bond, 2005)

Managerial Support:

Managers play a very important role in reducing the work/life conflicts. It is the manager's hands to encourage or discourage an employee to take up the work life balance programs. (Perlow, 1995; Thompson, Thomas & Maier, 1992) Manager's support has great impact on employee's decision to take up WLB programs/benefits. It is also noted that employees well supported by their managers have less work/life conflicts.

Career Consequences:

The second factor which reduces the utilisation of WLB programs is career consequences. One of the best examples for this is part time work. Part time workers have the career disadvantage which was first discovered by Schwartz(1989). They receive less training, low pay and hardly get promoted to higher positions. But this scenario is slowly changing now. Many organisations promote their talented part time workers to full time.

Time Expectations:

The third factor that hinders the WLB programs is the organisation's time expectations i.e the number of hours the employees work, how they use their time etc. A supportive organisation's time expectation reduces the problems of work/life balance. Long working hours may improve the company's productivity but it will conflict in meeting employee's responsibilities. "It has been suggested that organisations could move towards more supportive time expectations by loosening managerial control while fostering high productivity through outcome-oriented employee evaluation." (Glassy & Finley 2002)

Gendered Perceptions:

Although most of the organisations are said to be non-discriminatory and neutral to both the genders but most of the policies revolve in facilitating balance for women. Men have certain barriers from using work life balance programs. Men have more work pressures like maintaining market share, increasing their earnings. Encouraging men to use the work life programs is very important. Paternity leave is now available for men also.

Co-Worker Support:

The 5th factor which will help in achieving work life balance is co worker support. "Kirby & Krone (2002), for example, explored the views of employees in a finance organisation about the implementation and utilisation of work/life balance policies. They found that attitudes expressed by co-workers illustrated how the construction of work/life benefits was affected by factors such as expectations of business travel for employees with and without family

responsibilities; orientations of individualism and meritocracy; and traditional separations between public and private spheres." Therefore the reactions of co-workers towards the WLB policy users must be considered by the managers.

Advantages of work life balance programs:

Growth and Profit impact: If the employees of an organisation work stressfully it will definitely affect its growth and profit. A well defined work life strategy would help to remove the stress and work pressure from the employees and this would result in better productivity and increase the return on investment.

Full Engagement and customer service: Organisation with stressful employees who are out of balance will greatly reduce their involvement in work and their services to the customers. This will affect the growth of the company. So if the work force has balance with work and life they can strive hard to work toward the objectives of the company and achieve customer satisfaction. So effective work life strategies directly results in well being of the company as well as employees.

Competitive advantage for talent: The recent increase in the number young workers also increased their expectations towards positive work life culture. The workers expect the employers to understand that work is not the only thing in their life, they also have other important things in life to be taken care of. Work life balance issues are one of important reasons for employees to quit their job. So effective work like balance programs and policies will definitely help the companies to retain their talented work force and act as competitive advantage.

Health-care cost solution: As cost of health care is rising it creates a concern on the management to become proactive about the worker's health. So the management can try to engage the employees in better life style by creating a healthy workplace as key component to the solution. (Bird 2006)

Retention because of WLB:

WLB programs play an important role to retain the existing employees. Successful organisations have realised the importance of WLB for retention (Cumming, 2004). Infact one of the key reasons for employers to introduce WLB programs in organisations is to keep the existing employees instead of recruiting new ones. For successful companies either formally or informally WLB programs are part of their retention strategies Flexibility a part of work life benefits is an important factor to retain the employees. Employees prefer staying with employers who provide flexible working (Cumming, 2004). WLB programs is used as a marketing tool to attract new employees. Candidates are often influenced by the job offers and programs given by the employees (Joshi et. al, 2000). The cost involved in employee turnover and the loss of companies important information will be significant. A WLB program offers a solution for these retention problems (Lockwood, 2003).

Work Life Strategy- Individual Difference:

Work Life balance is not the same for everyone. The best WLB program for new may not be the same for your co-worker. A good work life balance for an individual who is starting his or her career will be different from the person who is going to retire, a person who is single will have different work life balance from the person who is married. Our own work life balance may also change daily at times. So the company cannot identify the right work life balance for us, we should identify it. (Bird 2006)

Brad Harrington, the director of Boston College's Center for Work & Family, has reflected on past efforts. He says, "Work-life balance comes down, not to an organizational strategy, but to an individual strategy. Often organizational 'programs' cost a great deal of money and miss the mark for the individual, or at least most of the individuals. We have built in-house child-care centers that require a large investment in bricks, mortar, and staffing. They create a lot of visibility. But at the end of the day, what about the 9 out of 10 individuals who don't have kids between 1 to 5?" Harrington does not say the work life balance programs are of no use but he what feels necessary is "something that takes it down to the individual level--more help to the individual to help them sort it out for themselves."

Dual -Purposes Work and Life Training:

Dual purposes training program is education that applies both to learners' on the job lives as well as off-job lives. It has been proven to be the quickest way to achieve both organisation's work objectives and individual's work life balance. This training program fits all levels of employees from the senior management to low level workers.

Human resource managers who conduct this training program achieve two major goals. One they increase the commitment, productivity, retention of the most valuable workers of their organisation and second they make their senior managers and supervisors develop a positive view of the organisation at all levels. From the studies of worklifebalance.com dozens of corporate and government clients have started this dual training program. The result has impacted the productivity rate also. In the study of over 5000 users of dual learning program approach, 94% reported on the job productivity gain and 24% on individual productivity.

Work Life Balance Policies and Practice - Case analysis:

This chapter elaborates the case analysis, policies and practice of work life balance in Tata Consulting Service, the Indian IT giant. It gives an in depth knowledge of WLB programs and practice in the organisation.

Company Information:

Tata group of companies operate in seven business sectors namely communication and information technology, engineering, materials, services, energy, consumer products and chemicals. Tata Consulting Services (TCS) was started in the year 1968 with its head quarters in Mumbai, India. It was formed as a division of Tata Sons Limited (TSL) one of India's largest conglomerates. Tata now operates in 42 countries and has more than 142 branches around the globe. (Tata 2010)

TCS's first assignment was to provide punch card services for its sister concern Tata Steel. TCS offers a consulting-led, integrated portfolio of IT and IT-enabled services delivered through its unique Global Network Delivery Model, recognised as the benchmark of excellence in software development. TCS being of the largest private companies in India has over 130000 individuals working in the company. Today, TCS is a leading global software company. (Tata 2010)

WLB in TCS:

The importance of WLB has been greatly recognised by TCS. Ritu Anand, Vice President and Deputy Head of Global HR, TCS, says: "The knowledge industry is characterised by a very young and dynamic workforce. The new breed of IT professionals aspires for a work environment that is holistic, balanced and complete. A flexible work environment and work-life balance are key drivers of employee satisfaction."(Arora, 2010)

TCS offers a flexible work environment where employees are given the option to work part-time or work from home under special circumstances. We offer adoption leave to the parent irrespective of the gender. If some of our female associates choose to discontinue work for a temporary period of time due to family commitments and rejoin the organisation at a later stage, continuity of service is considered. Employees also have the option to go for sabbaticals," she adds.

TCS encourages all its employees to maintain a balance between work and life. To make it easy for the employees to achieve it TCS offers a wide range of benefits and programs to its employees. The following are the benefits offered by TCS to its employees.

Bouquet of Benefits:

This is a program offered by TCS to its employees, where the employees can design their own benefits package. Each employee will have different needs of benefits. So this program BoB allows them to choose the benefits according to their own needs. All the employees are entitled to this programs but the range of benefits differs for each level of employees. Few examples of the benefits offered are house rent allowance, food coupons, conveyance allowance, sundry medical, personal allowance etc. (Knowmax, 2008)

Insurance:

TCS does understand the importance of having a healthy workforce to build a productive work place. For TCS, wellbeing of their employees and families is very important. TCS provides Health Insurance Scheme to its employees which provide best class insurance at subsidised cost. This scheme protects the employees as well their families. It protects the employees from financial loss during any accident or medical issues. (Knowmax, 2008)

Leave:

Every employee in TCS is allowed to take leave for fixed number of days as defined in the internal policy of TCS. Leave may be availed under different leave types such as sick leave, maternity leave etc. TCS provides maternity leave as per the Maternity Act 1961, i.e. 12 weeks leave. The employees of TCS get 7 days casual paid leave in a year. This leave if not used gets accumulated in the coming years. The employees are also entitled to take 10 days paid sick leave in a year. (Knowmax, 2008)

Perquisites:

Perquisites are certain additional benefits given to certain grade of employees alone. Earlier in TCS company cars were provided to employees of certain grade, but now car allowance is provided every month so that the employee can purchase or lease a car of his own choice. The car allowance amount is exempt from income tax.(Knowmax, 2008)

Employee Wellbeing:

Employee Wellbeing Program by TCS is an approach to provide the employees with caring and supportive workplace so that they get a sense of belonging and commitment towards the company. TCS believes such program will create an environment where employees get higher motivation, commitment to stay in the company and encourages advocacy by employees about the Company to their acquaintances outside the Company. TCS also believes that a well designed Employee Wellbeing Program and policies goes a long way towards enhancing employee engagement. (Knowmax, 2008)

Loans and Advances:

TCS understands that many employees will undergo financial difficulties or financial needs for any planned personal expenses like building a house or any emergencies. Hence TCS provides its employees loans and advances which the employees can avail for specific purposes. The employees can repay the amount according to a convenient repayment plan which reduced their financial burden. (Knowmax, 2008)

Transport:

Most of the employees would experience difficulties in commuting especially driving during peak traffic hours, travelling in crowded public transport would be really stressful. As a part of employee wellbeing program, TCS provided convenient and comfortable transport facilities to the employees for commuting from office to a place nearer to home. (Knowmax, 2008)

Work Life Balance Programs/Policies in TCS:

Holiday Homes Policy:

TCS understands the need of work life balance for their employees and so encourages the employees to relax themselves from work and go to vacation to spend some quality time with their family. Planning a vacation, booking tickets, accommodation may all be a difficult task and expense as well. For this reason TCS lends support to the employees by letting them stay in TCS Holiday Homes. TCS Holiday Homes are located in many locations across India. These homes are provided at very nominal rate and also provide a comfortable stay.

This policy is available to all the full time employees in TCS. The employees can use the holiday homes for maximum of 4 consecutive days. There no limit on the number times a employee uses holiday homes during his/her tenure.(Knowmax 2008)

Pulse:

Pulse is TCS's annual Employee Satisfaction Survey. This survey is conducted every year to measure and understand employee's attitude, motivation, satisfaction, opinions. It helps the company to know its employees better. Based on the survey necessary changes are made according to the employees need to make the workplace better and easier to work. TCS always believes in continuous improvement and giving best to its employees. Through Pulse suggestions are welcomed and shortcomings are ascertained. (Knowmax 2008)

Maitree:

The word 'Maitree' means Friendship. TCS has bought great significance to this word and translated it into the "Spirit of Camaraderie" with meaningful social activities for the employees and their families.

Anand, Vice President and Deputy Head of Global HR, TCS, goes on to say that "at TCS, they strive to make work a joyful experience and encourage work-life balance through "Maitree", a unique platform for all employee engagement activities. Different clubs like Theatre Club, Bibliophile Club, Adventure and Trekking Club, Fitness Club, Sanctuary Club, Music Club and Community Services Club, among others facilitate fun at work. These clubs organise various activities like yoga, dance lessons, music competitions, trekking expeditions, sports activities, regular visits to NGOs, among other activities for TCS employees". (Arora 2010)

Maitree also involves the engagement of families of the employees. An example of this would be on Family Day, all the employees bring their family members to the workplace and take around the workplace. Fun activities like painting, games, movies etc for children of the employees are organised. This creates a bond not only with employee and organisation but also with their family and helps to drive retention. (Arora 2010)

Biswabijoy Sen, Associate Consultant with TCS, says that the "Maitree has greatly helped him to balance work and life. Sen, the lead singer of TCS band "Kollage", recalls that the six-member band had been given a place for practise after the office hours, and all the equipment was bought by the company. We also released an album, 'June', which was greatly appreciated by TCSers. What was really encouraging is that our CEO took a personal interest in the making of the album," he says. (Arora 2010)

Maitree apart associating with employees and their family also does social activities to certain communities which will be benefitted from helping hand. Other programs initiated by Maitree are employability to differently abled, HIV/AIDS sensitization and peer education, Green Audits to check the excess consumption of water, electricity and water etc.Maitree has an official website www.maitree.com. This site enables the members of maître throughout the world to contact each other and keep in touch. (Knowmax 2008)

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