Indian women are experiencing menopause earlier than their counterparts around the world. Almost 4% of Indian women experience signs of menopause between the ages of 29 and 34, according to a pan-India survey conducted in 2009 by researchers for the Institute for Social and Economic Change. About 8% of women between the ages of 35 and 39 start feeling the symptoms of menopause. The average age at which women around the world reach menopause is between 51, a range between 45 and 55.
Even though the symptoms of premature menopause – change in pattern of periods, hot flashes, mood swings, crying spells and sleeplessness – are the same as natural menopause the cause, gynaecologists suggest, could be premature ovarian failure, a condition that can be triggered by changing food habits and stressful lifestyles.
Early menopause can have repercussions on a woman’s general health as well. For example, research published in November 2016 shows that women who hit menopause before the age of 40 are at higher risks of fractures even if they take calcium and vitamin D supplements to counter osteoporosis. Menopause also increase the risk of cardiac disease. With younger women getting menopause, this means more people at risk of heart disease in the general population.
With public discussion of menstruation in general only slowly picking up in India, where it has long been a taboo subject, there is little discussion about menopause and its health and social effects on a woman. This short film by a student of the National Institute of Design highlights why dismissing menopause as a trivial health issue might be dangerous as women and their families might miss signs of depression, suicide risk and even cancer in the process.
An extensive survey reveals the forces that are shaping our new workforce
Shreya Srivastav, 28, a sales professional, logs in from a cafe. After catching up on email, she connects with her colleagues to discuss, exchange notes and crunch numbers coming in from across India and the world. Shreya who works out of the café most of the time, is employed with an MNC and is a ‘remote worker’. At her company headquarters, there are many who defy the stereotype of a big company workforce - the marketing professional who by necessity is a ‘meeting-hopper’ on the office campus or those who have no fixed desks and are often found hobnobbing with their colleagues in the corridors for work. There are also the typical deskbound knowledge workers.
These represent a new breed of professionals in India. Gone are the days when an employee was bound to a desk and the timings of the workplace – the new set of professionals thrive on flexibility which leads to better creativity and productivity as well as work-life balance. There is one common thread to all of them – technology, tailored to their work styles, which delivers on speed and ease of interactions. Several influential industry studies and economists have predicted that digital technologies have been as impactful as the Industrial Revolution in shaping the way people work. India is at the forefront of this change because of the lack of legacy barriers, a fast-growing economy and young workers. Five factors are enabling the birth of this new workforce:
Smart is the way forward
According to the Future Workforce Study conducted by Dell, three in five working Indians surveyed said that they were likely to quit their job if their work technology did not meet their standards. Everyone knows the frustration caused by slow or broken technology – in fact 41% of the working Indians surveyed identified this as the biggest waste of time at work. A ‘Smart workplace’ translates into fast, efficient and anytime-anywhere access to data, applications and other resources. Technology adoption is thus a major factor in an employee’s choice of place of work.
Openness to new technologies
While young professionals want their companies to get the basics right, they are also open to newtechnologies like Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence. The Dell study clearly reflects this trend — 93% of Indians surveyed are willing to use Augmented/Virtual Reality at work and 90% say Artificial Intelligence would make their jobs easier. The use of these technologies is no longer just a novelty project at firms. For example, ThysenKrupp, the elevator manufacturer uses VR to help its maintenance technician visualize an elevator repair job before he reaches the site. In India, startups such as vPhrase and Fluid AI are evolving AI solutions in the field of data processing and predictive analysis.
Desire for flexibility
A majority of Indians surveyed rate freedom to bring their own devices (laptops, tablets, smartphones etc.) to work very highly. This should not be surprising, personal devices are usually highly customized to an individual’s requirements and help increase their productivity. For example, some may prefer a high-performance system while others may prioritize portability over anything else. Half the working Indians surveyed also feel that the flexibility of work location enhances productivity and enables better work-life balance. Work-life balance is fast emerging as one of the top drivers of workplace happiness for employees and initiatives aimed at it are finding their way to the priority list of business leaders.
Maintaining close collaboration
While flexible working is here to stay, there is great value in collaborating in person in the office. When people work face to face, they can pick up verbal and body language cues, respond to each other better and build connections. Thus, companies are trying to implement technology that boosts seamless collaboration, even when teams are working remotely. Work place collaboration tools like Slack and Trello help employees keep in touch and manage projects from different locations. The usage of Skype has also become common. Companies like Dell are also working on hi-tech tools such as devices which boost connectivity in the most remote locations and responsive videos screens which make people across geographies feel like they are interacting face to face.
Rise of Data Security
All these trends involve a massive amount of data being stored and exchanged online. With this comes the inevitable anxiety around data security. Apart from more data being online, security threats have also evolved to become sophisticated cyber-attacks which traditional security systems cannot handle. The Dell study shows that about 74% of those surveyed ranked data security measures as their number one priority. This level of concern about data security has made the new Indian workforce very willing to consider new solutions such as biometric authentication and advanced encryption in work systems.
Technology is at the core of change, whether in the context of an enterprise as a whole, the workforce or the individual employee. Dell, in their study of working professionals, identified five distinct personas — the Remote Workers, the On-The-Go Workers, the Desk-centric Workers, the Corridor Warriors and the Specialized Workers.
Dell has developed a range of laptops in the Dell Latitude series to suit each of these personas and match their requirements in terms of ease, speed and power. To know more about the ‘types of professionals’ and how the Dell Latitude laptops serve each, see here.
This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Dell and not by the Scroll editorial team.