Retaining talent and ensuring a healthy work-life balance have always been pivotal to the prosperity of any business. However, in recent years, these aspects have come under the spotlight in India due to the rise of work-related stress and long working hours. According to a 2019 study by Assocham, a staggering 42.5% of Indian employees in private sectors are afflicted by depression or general anxiety disorder, primarily due to workload.
So, what's the solution to this pressing issue? The answer might just be closer than we think—focusing on hiring local talent. Here's how prioritising talent from closer vicinities can help address the issue of work-life balance for Indian corporates.
One of the significant factors contributing to work-life imbalance is the time spent commuting. The TomTom Traffic Index of 2019 revealed that Mumbai and Bengaluru topped the global list with the worst traffic, with people spending an additional 65% and 60% of their travel time stuck in traffic. For someone living far from the office, this translates to a significant chunk of their day spent on the road, leaving less time for personal or leisure activities.
By hiring local talent, companies can drastically reduce their employees' commuting times. This results in more time for employees to engage in recreational activities, exercise, or family time, thereby reducing stress and enhancing work-life balance.
Research has consistently shown a link between longer commute times and decreased productivity. A study by the UK's University of the West of England found that each additional minute of commuting time reduces both job and leisure time satisfaction. Reduced satisfaction and increased fatigue can directly impact an employee's productivity levels.
When employees live closer to their workplace, they're likely to be more productive, having spent less time in traffic and more time rejuvenating themselves for the next workday. This not only increases job satisfaction but also enhances the overall performance of the company.
Hiring locally can also have a profound socio-economic impact. Employees from the same locality can connect better, thereby fostering a more robust work culture. In addition, companies that focus on local hiring contribute to the development of the local economy, creating a stronger talent pool and offering more opportunities for local residents.
Lastly, hiring local talent aligns with the rising global focus on sustainability. When employees live close to their workplaces, it reduces the need for long commutes, often associated with high carbon emissions. This step not only adds to the company's corporate social responsibility efforts but also resonates well with the younger workforce that is increasingly conscious about sustainability.
In conclusion, while the advantages of hiring local talent are manifold, it's important for companies to strike a balance between proximity and talent quality. The goal should be to integrate both these aspects to create an ecosystem that promotes productivity, sustainability, and a healthier work-life balance.