Meesho redefines work culture, reaps benefits

Meesho chose to let employees work from anywhere permanently
Last Updated 25 February 2022, 21:33 IST

At a time when many in India Inc decided to bring their employees back to the office after the worst of the pandemic, Meesho chose to let them work from anywhere permanently.

The move, announced earlier this month, has helped the social commerce startup – backed by SoftBank and Facebook – win new talent, cut attrition and score higher on employee welfare metrics, Meesho’s Chief Human Resource Officer Ashish Kumar Singh told DH.

The startup, which joined the unicorn club last year, said the decision was a no-brainer after the pandemic showed clearly what people wanted from their employers.

“Cultural or employee initiatives attract the best talents from the industry,” Singh said.

Moving to a “boundaryless workplace model” came with its own challenges, forcing the startup to develop specific tools to address issues such as how to boost in-person interaction and onboard new joiners if they are allowed to work from anywhere.

“Our policy addresses each of these problems by way of quarterly summits, annual “workation”, virtual real-time collaboration tools and virtual boot camps for new joiner assimilations,” Singh told DH.

Some industry experts praised the move.

In a post-pandemic world, location-agnostic working is the future and team bonding exercises such as boot camps and meet-ups do wonders for employee morale, said Chandra Sekhar Garisa, the chief executive officer of Monster India.

“Whether or not the work quality would differ depends heavily on the industry in question and how well an organisation can meet deadlines and deliverables while giving their employees the flexibility to work,” Garisa said.

Others were more sceptical.

“Boundaryless looks fashionable on paper,” said K Sudarshan, Managing Director at EMA Partners India, highlighting potential issues such as lack of coordination and difficulties in building a sense of ownership within the team.

“In a world where things are getting back to normal, there is no reason why people should not go back to the office,” he said.

Chandrika Pasricha, the founder and CEO of Flexing It, which helps organisations find independent consultants, said the future of work was hybrid.

“We are finding that even as offices open, the increased comfort with remote work and a strong acceptance of the benefits of agile talent is leading many organisations to plan long-term around distributed teams, and build a mix of full-time, flexible and freelance talent.”

Meesho chose to let employees work from anywhere permanently

(Published 25 February 2022, 17:21 IST)

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