Over 50% employees take their superstitious beliefs to work

Dileep Athavale

PUNE: A nationwide survey of new-age workplaces has revealed that the highly educated, technology savvy workforce finds sanctity in its superstitious beliefs and even carries lucky charms to office desks. Most companies do not frown upon such practices as long as they are not offensive to others, the survey reveals.

The study covered 800 companies across top eight cities, New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune and Ahmedabad and found that as many as 62 % respondents admitted to being superstitious in personal matters and as many as 51% respondents said they adopted superstitious methods at the workplace. The survey found Vaastu Shastra and Feng Shui most popular among Indian employees in these cities even as several others said they were happy keeping their stones, colour specific and number oriented items and the ubiquitous bamboo shoot on their desks.

The study also states that managements inIndiaare generally adaptive to various superstitious beliefs practiced by the employees and do not restrict them as long as it does not affect productivity negatively. In fact, senior management officials believe that superstitious practices are more prevalent among the company top brass.

The study, Superstitions@Workplace, is part of a series of surveys to understandIndia’s new world of work by human resources management firm Teamlease. The study found employees inBangaloreandNew Delhimore superstitious compared to other cities. While Chennai had as many as 72 % respondents following a superstitious practice at their workplace, Mumbai disagreed dramatically with just 22% saying they followed any such practice at work. Cities like Pune and Ahmedabad too had few respondents agreeing to taking their superstitions to work.

The age group of the respondents ranged between 21 and 45, with 60% of them employed at the junior level, 25% at middle management and 15% at a the senior level. The survey found more women employees (80%) practicing superstitions at work as compared to men (68%). Also, a majority of the respondents (63%) felt that female workers are more superstitious than their male counterparts.

Surabhi Mathur Gandhi, senior vice-president and co-founder of TeamLease Services, said, “Popular practices like Feng Shui or Vaastu are being discreetly incorporated by all and sundry. Good luck charms like the laughing Buddha, the musical fountain, frog, tortoise or even the simple bamboo shoot stand out strikingly at most work places today; and an acceptance of these beliefs across the board has made it non-conflictive.”

Tina Vas, vice-president Global HR at technology firm Collabera, told ToI that the findings of the survey aren’t the least bit surprising. “Given thatIndia(evenAsiafor that matter) is a land of many cultures and ethnicities and people closely follow traditional practices and beliefs, a lot of us find solace in superstition.” Vas added that her company doesn’t prohibit employees from placing lucky charms or objects on their desks as long as they aren’t offensive, don’t cause any inconvenience and are in line with the office decorum. “If employees believe such a practice will help them excel at work, we have no qualms about it,” she said.

Management consultant Surendra Deshmukh said its not just employees but even companies that follow many practices which would look superstitious. “Right from choosing the office and drawing the layout and designing the seating arrangement, an upper hand is given to the beliefs the top management holds about the building. Even submission of business proposals or application for loan from a bank is done according to auspicious timings,” he said.

Courtesy: TNN | Nov 25, 2012