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How startups are helping employees maintain work-life balance

Raunak Raheja, director of categories at online marketplace Shop-Clues, is upbeat about a two-week vacation in the US. For someone who puts in an average nine hours in office every day, the trip is coming as a welcome break.

“Despite joining only seven months ago, I’m going for an extended holiday, possible only because the startup culture allows for adequate time off,” he said.

At startups, which are generally looking to scale up quickly, employees grapple with long hours and the need to be connected. In particular, those who are parents often find themselves struggling to strike a balance between professional demands and spending quality time with their children. The risk of startup employees’ work-life balance taking a beating is a very real one, and in recent times it has become more tangible.

HR consulting strategist Jappreet Sethi takes a pragmatic view of the scenario. “Realistically speaking, having a work-life balance is tough when you’re sometimes putting in 90 hours a week at the office,” he said, adding that Idea Katalyst, the startup consulting firm he heads, receives many enquiries on the subject from top management at startups.

“Startups need to take a multi-tiered approach to helping their employees manage their work-life balance better; this includes concierge services, workshops and counselling to reduce risk of imminent burnout, and offering options for a healthier lifestyle,” Sethi said.

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