Students at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur reportedly locked the university director and dean of student affairs in their office on Tuesday night, as part of their protest against a 20% hike in hostel fees. More than 200 students have been participating in the demonstrations since Monday, India Todayreported on Wednesday.
The IIT-Kharagpur administration raised the hostel fees for its spring semester to Rs 37,000 from 29,000. A petition demanding the rollback of the decision was then signed by 1,200 students and sent to the university’s director. They also demanded an open-house meeting to discuss the matter, according to The Indian Express.
A student said that while a fee hike of between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000 was common, the rise of Rs 8,000 had angered them. “First of all, this hike to Rs 37,000 makes it the costliest IIT in the whole country, even though Kharagpur is one of the cheapest cities in India,” the student said, accusing the varsity of implementing the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission and levying the Goods and Services Tax on food even though neither has been officially rolled out yet.
While university authorities have not issued a statement yet, the protests ended after students received assurances from the management that their demands would be looked into, PTI reported.
The cost of setting up an employee-friendly office in Mumbai
And a new age, cost-effective solution to common grievances.
A lot has been theorised about employee engagement and what motivates employees the most. Perks, bonuses and increased vacation time are the most common employee benefits extended to valuable employees. But experts say employees’ wellbeing is also intimately tied with the environment they spend the bulk of the day in. Indeed, the office environment has been found to affect employee productivity and ultimately retention.
According to Gensler’s Workplace Index, workplace design should allow employees to focus, collaborate, learn and socialise for maximum productivity, engagement and overall wellbeing. Most offices lag on the above counts, with complaints of rows of cluttered desks, cramped work tables and chilled cubicles still being way too common.
But well-meaning employers wanting to create a truly employee-centric office environment meet resistance at several stages. Renting an office space, for example, is an obstacle in itself, especially with exorbitant rental rates prevalent in most business districts. The office space then needs to be populated with, ideally, ergonomic furniture and fixtures. Even addressing common employee grievances is harder than one would imagine. It warrants a steady supply of office and pantry supplies, plus optimal Internet connection and functioning projection and sound systems. A well-thought-out workspace suddenly begins to sound quite cost prohibitive. So, how can an employer balance employee wellbeing with the monthly office budget?
Co-working spaces have emerged as a viable alternative to traditional workspaces. In addition to solving a lot of the common problems associated with them, the co-working format also takes care of the social and networking needs of businesses and their employees.
WeWork is a global network of workspaces, with 10 office spaces in India and many more opening this year. The co-working giant has taken great care to design all its premises ergonomically for maximum comfort. Its architects, engineers and artists have custom-designed every office space while prioritising natural light, comfort, productivity, and inspiration. Its members have access to super-fast Internet, multifunction printers, on-site community teams and free refreshments throughout the day. In addition, every WeWork office space has a dedicated community manager who is responsible for fostering a sense of community. WeWork’s customised offerings for enterprises also work out to be a more cost-effective solution than conventional lease setting, with the added perks of WeWork’s brand of service.
The video below presents the cost breakdown of maintaining an office space for 10 employees in Vikhroli, Mumbai and compares it with a WeWork membership.
To know more about WeWork and its office spaces in India, click here.
This article was produced by Scroll marketing team on behalf of WeWork and not by the Scroll editorial team.