Indian startups are really setting up benchmarks for a fun and productive work environment. By adding new policies and things such as allowing pets in offices, sleeping pods for power naps, table tennis, tie-ups with nearby daycare centres etc. These progressive Indian startups are doing everything to make life comfortable and fun for the millennial work force. Some startups are even leading in progressive HR practices, such as hiring transgenders and creating gender-neutral policies in their firms.
Setting up the right culture where you can get maximum productivity out of your resources without making it feel forced, is an achievement that not many HR’s can boast about.
“In our annual survey, where we approach hundreds of large corporate firms, we found that startups are often more friendlier than their larger peers. Since the founders themselves are young, they drive the culture; startups being smaller are more nimble and faster at bringing in change,” says Sarika Bhattacharyya, CEO, BD (Beyond Diversity) Foundation and author of the India Inclusion Inc report, which measures how proactive corporations are towards making offices friendly for women and LGBTQ workers.
The online brokerage Zerodha is making its work place more fun for its employees by adopting stray dogs as office mascots. Deepa Manjunath, who works in Zerodha starts her day by greeting company mascot Zero.
“She was abandoned and Nithin Kamath (the company founder) found her in a lift. Her arrival soon brought in four more dogs. She’s going to get really fat one of these days, as the whole office keeps feeding her chicken kabab and ghee rice,” says Deepa.
Zero is often a shocker to clients who walk in. “Our policies evolved as our staff increased,” Nikhil Kamath, co-founder of Zerodha, which has over 2,000 employees. “We’ve given up to a year’s maternity leave, because we didn’t want to lose good talent. We have no structured workday, anyone can walk in and walk out any time. Attendance is purely voluntarily and not tracked by us. We also try to be as non-intrusive about people’s personal lives as possible – for instance, in application forms and interviews, we never ask about marital status,” he says.
Financial tech firm has around 525 employees.
“We don’t want to treat our employees like they are in kindergarten. We trust them to work and work excellently. There are no office timings. We’ve found this works better for us,” says Jitendra Gupta, MD of PayU.
The company also sponsor teams to work out of Goa –
“We sponsor their stay, food. So entire teams have flown down and stayed, worked hard and partied harder. It has worked well as a bonding exercise and it has definitely increased productivity,” says Gupta.
Chumbak office is a pet-friendly office. They have their own mascot Hugo, who can be seen snoozing around in the office. Apart from Hugo, employees can bring along their pets to work, giving Hugo some company. Ginger, a naughty cat is Hugo’s favorite, she belongs to one of the employees and the whole office lights up when these two get together.
“Pet-friendly workspaces, we think, just tend to be that less stressful, because what could be more of a welcome break than an adorable puppy gazing into your eyes with a toy in its mouth, inviting you to play? There’s a certain synergy they bring to the team, and one of the first things they teach us is how much happiness there can be in spontaneous moments,” from a blog in Chumbak.
Their HR department ensures that every HR policy gets voted into implementation. With a growing strenght of about 1,800 employees, they all get to vote on any proposed policy.
Recently, they voted a rule that everyone from CEO to ground staff should get the same benefits, perks and allowances. “Be it mobile bills, travel allowance or number of leaves in a year, Adhil Shetty (the founder) would get only as much as a fresher,” says Sriram.
This fast-growing startup allows pets at work. There office has two mascots – Walter, the lab and Becky, the cat. It all started when a top executive brought her pug Bella Boo to the office. Spending time with pets in the office has now inspired their co-founder, Mohit Saxena to get a pet dog of his own. Employees tend to bring their pets to work on daily basis. The numbers go higher during the weekends.
Source: TOI and OfficeChai
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