Even as India marks 75 years of freedom, PR professionals take note of the growing independence they have at work.
Shweta Patil, PR Manager, Madchatter Brand Solutions says, "From starting a career with a large company to moving to a startup, my definition of freedom of work has shifted from companies merely providing booze on Friday to companies giving space to make new mistakes and grow, being candid about the challenges at work and finding a middle ground for it that works for both parties."
Tanya Sawhney, associate account executive, Adfactors PR says, "For me, 'Freedom At Work. Means exploring unlimited opportunities beyond the horizon and expressing my unfiltered thoughts about how to address clients' issues without restricting to the traditional norms."
Saurabh Kochar, First Partners says, “For me, being empowered to voice your thoughts, share opinions, and make mindful decisions in crucial scenarios implies freedom at workplace. If you can do all three things mentioned, you are truly empowered and would be able to work with passion and not compulsion. It is crucial for a firm to understand its people better at personal and professional level. Understanding their viewpoints, encouraging them to take on challenges without fear of failing, guiding them at every step for learning and growth helps the organisations strike a chord with their employees. For employees, they feel confident which instils them with a sense of ownership (for work) and belongingness (at the organisation). I always say that happy employees make a successful firm.
One big freedom that communicators are really bullish on in the post-pandemic arena is the hybrid working environment.
Sakshi Agrawal, account director, Storytellers 101 PR concurs saying, "Working remotely allows me to have more flexibility in my life as well and this wouldn't have been possible had I been in a conventional office environment. Overall, I believe that 'Freedom at Work' is beneficial to everyone. It allows us to be more productive and get the work done in a timely manner."
Swati Bhaskar, lead- external communications at Reverie Language Technologies shared her experience with a flexible workplace sharing that, " We have also adopted the "Freedom at Workplace" policy, which allows us to experiment and see "what works" ; hence normalising failure at Reverie."
Bhaskar adds, "Most importantly , a workplace for me means where we can prioritize our personal commitments as well and it's a common norm to see our parent duties, our hobby classes as calendared activities within our work-day schedule."
Neha Mathur, Content Consultant-CommsCredible says, "I believe my workplace allows me to be my unique self. Being a mum to a 4-year old, my employer acknowledges my priorities and trusts me to make decisions at my own pace. Be it working remotely or from the office, I can confidently go about my day, straddling my roles both as an intrapreneur, as well as a multi-tasking mom, from any location with ease. And yet I am able to finish work and meet demands at work, as well as from my toddler!"
Sumedha Kanwar, 26, Account Manager, The PRactice says, "An aspect of ‘freedom’ that I truly strive for both - as a manager and from my manager, is creating a culture where no one is torpedoed for sharing ideas or even thoughts.
I do remember starting off in my current organisation and having a room full of leaders who thankfully lend an ear to anything and everything I had to share.
Not only do I appreciate the freedom to be myself with the trust that my leadership has put into me, I also aim to further instil this culture and create a safe space for people’s individuality to shine through.”
Agreeing - Divya Tejnani, a communications professional says, "We've always spoken about what freedom at work means from an employee's perspective. I think one of the most difficult part in managerial positions is self-constraint. Freedom at work for me means my team is encouraged to think, operate and make decisions independently in order to achieve the goal.
Interference/micromanagement is a huge killer of creativity and talent. As far as the team is assured that we have their backs, they do wonders if given the right opportunities. Freedom has to be both ways - if we expect it then we should impart it as well.
For senior PR professional Pratishtha Kaura, "I, as an employee will like to be coached to be equipped with skills to manage my tasks, and will depend on the employer for that. I also want to be respected at work for the value I will bring to the table. But micro-management or disrespectfulness is something that I wouldn't like or want. I don't think anybody would want that."
Zaheer Chauhan, account director, Concept PR concurs saying that "Providing equal opportunity to every employee from entry-level roles to the top management is key to freedom at work. Equal opportunity should transcend biases related to gender, qualification, age, and focus on skill sets and capabilities. A progressive work culture that encourages opportunity for all, cross-pollination of work, collaboration and teamwork is what defines freedom at work for me."
Wishing all our readers a very Happy 75th Independence Day!