Powering Financial Wellness for Corporate India: EarlySalary’s Employer tie-Ups

As an increasing number of organisations across the globe recognise the paramount significance of financial wellness programs for their employees’ financial health and well-being, a common awareness in the corporate sector is the concern about financial literacy among new and existing employees. 72% of the employees in Indian workplaces had no idea about how to manage their retirement savings, as per a survey by ArthaYatra. The same survey pointed out that a whopping 68% of the employees faced financial stress in their lives and 37% of the employees faced distraction at work due to the building stress. 

Firms and organizations have come to discern the futility of the traditional financial programs in the wake of current times.  New customized programs are required to handle employee stress by helping them manage their expenses, investments, insurance, loans, and guide them in planning their finances in the present and for their retirement in the future. The firms, therefore,  are entering into tie-ups with lending portals and financial wellness partners to help them manage their employees’ finances and promote better productivity at work. By 2018, over 77% of Indian companies were expected to onboard financial wellness partners, a survey reported.  

EarlySalary, among the top online lending portals in India, has partnered with more than 250 companies and assisted over 4 million employees in overcoming their financial worries. So far, it serves as a financial wellness partner to 350+ organizations. By focusing on a singular problem faced by its core target group – young salaried working professionals, EarlySalary enjoys a considerable edge over other lending portals. Let’s delve deeper into this interesting conglomeration with organizations powering financial Wellness for Corporate India. 

Powering Financial Wellness for Corporate India: EarlySalary's Employer tie-Ups
A PWC survey indicated that 62% of the employees were concerned about not being able to meet their monthly expenses. 

Managing The Monthly Cash Crunch

Young professionals who may be underserved, or have just begun earning usually find it difficult to manage their expenses. The month-end financial slack is a major cause of financial stress among such professionals.

The objective behind such corporate partnerships is simple – to revolutionize the short-term loan scenario by introducing the concept of an instant digital salary advance:

  • A professional can get up to 4 times their monthly salary amount as a salary advance with no liability accruing on the employer.
  • The interest rates start from INR 6 per day. 
  • Short-term loans ranging from INR 8000 to 200000 can be availed to meet emergencies.

This helps in relieving the employer of the need to grant loans and the employee of any financial stress. The flexible repayment schedules act as a cherry on the cake letting the employees plan the repayment as per their convenience. 

Education and medical needs

Besides monthly expenses, employees may require funds to finance their higher education or to pay their children’s tuition fees. At other times, a medical emergency may force them to opt for credit. Such expenses, if not met at the right time, can have serious implications on the lives of these professionals. To cover such expenses, EarlySalary ensures:

  • One-click emergency loans to cover hospital bills and to pay EMIs of a previous loan. 
  • Tie-ups with a large network of schools and colleges for easier reimbursement of school, graduation or skill up-gradation courses’ fees. Zero down payment and zero interest on EMIs further relieve the burden of the employees. 

Travel and recreational needs

A Majority of employers rightfully consider recreational needs as an intrinsic part of employee health and well-being. EarlySalary assists here as well, taking care of the travel plans, shopping needs and recreational ventures professionals may have. It has partnered with major brands – like MakeMyTrip, Flipkart, Amazon, and others- helping employees derive direct benefits:

  • Employees get the convenience to shop and travel at 0 % EMI with the click of a button. 
  • The ES Salary card provides exclusive benefits by providing safe credit to the employees 24*7. The ES salary card provides a dynamic limit for all types of transactions. 

Future financial planning

As per a survey, 33% of employers have found an increasing number of employees coming to work but unable to engage with their work. Financial stress also leads to the issues of employee turnover and absenteeism on part of the employees. Firms spend considerable amounts in recruiting and training personnel and hence, naturally making fixing such issues their prerogative. Besides current financial planning, retirement and insurance plans should also figure on the list of priorities.

With partners such as Bajaj Allianz, Apollo Munich, Coverfox – EarlySalary takes care that the premium of the insurance plans is paid on time. It offers top-ups for existing insurances and parental coverage over insurance. 

Seminars and Education programs

The idea here isn’t to just assist professionals with quick cash but to ensure a high level of financial literacy for long term benefits. to boost financial courage. and their confidence. Via seminars and educational programs, employees can gain from practical advice related to credit management, budgeting, and the knowledge to go ahead with their day to day expenditure.

EarlySalary has been offering these customized solutions in association with Talent Edge. It is also engaged in conducting financial wellness seminars related to:

  • Financial planning
  • Credit counseling
  • Debt management
  • Budget guides

These programs intend no liability for the organization. There is no working capital or financial loss to the employers from running the program internally. A more productive and financially resilient workforce has organizational advantages that are fairly obvious, with the potential to go a long way in helping a firm achieve its objectives.

EarlySalary is assisting employers and employees bridge the gaps in their financial understanding via its succinct utilities and employee-centric programs. So far, over 1650 crore loan amount has been credited to the accounts of the blue and grey collared class of working professionals across India.

Many more to come!

World Thinking Day 2020: How Is Corporate India Doing on Diversity & Inclusion?

Compiled By: Raksha Agarwal Gupta, Head Talent Management, Rewards and Culture.
About Raksha: She has 13+ years of experience in all facets of HR with core strength in Total Rewards, HR Shared Services, and Business Partnering. Prior to Ecom Express , she has worked with Max Life Insurance, Religare Enterprises, and HSBC Securities Services, in her previous assignments. She has worked extensively on designing and implementation of Performance Management, Career Path, Succession Planning, and Sales Incentive plans for large retail workforce.

Having been in the HR function for a number of years now, I’ve had the chance to work alongside great colleagues on a variety of challenging assignments. One challenge, however, that has consistently left room for delivering better, has been the issue of workplace gender diversity. India still lags significantly behind the global average for women’s participation in the workforce. At around 23%, we only have 9 other countries in the world to look back on. 

Lower labor female participation rate than In

The numbers are not too different in upper management roles either. A global study by Deloitte indicated that Indian women held a little more than 12.4% of board seats, and only 3.2% cent of board chairs in 2017. With 48.5% of our population being female, these numbers are unimpressive, to say the least.  

Women as a percentage of total men in the workforce

It is true that historically, Indian culture and tradition have not been the most supportive factor in driving gender diversity at workplaces. But beyond admiring and appreciating women who broke these shackles to build strong careers for themselves, perhaps the question that deserves more attention is what we, and Corporate India, are doing to address diversity challenges. 

Diversity is easier but Inclusion can only be achieved when instead of raising eyebrows on the differences, the differences are embraced.

Women are and will be in most cases the primary caregiver for home, children and the elderly. Due to this at times, they have to opt for a break from career to attend to the special needs of the family. Unless these breaks are not looked at negatively or in a way that the company is doing a favor to them, their profiles will never be shortlisted for bigger roles. The salary offered will never be at par with the male counterparts as they will be lagging behind in salary increases due to maternity breaks/ career breaks.

There is a handful of females in the top management or as board chairs compared to males. Because only a handful of females has been able to manage both personal and professional demands effectively. Their profile is impeccable thanks to their will power and support from family, friends, and colleagues. Not all women get the perfectly synced ecosystem to succeed and grow up the ladder. So what needs to change – Embracing the differences.

As hiring managers, career breaks should not be looked as lack of experience or ability. The role and salary offered should be comparable to a male counterpart or atleast the intention should be to neutralize the difference post a defined appraisal period to understand the capability/intention to do the role.

World Thinking Day 2020: How Is Corporate India Doing on Diversity & Inclusion?
According to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2018, India ranked 108th out of 149 countries on the gender gap index. Yeah, it’s sad and we have plenty of catching up to do towards gender diversity and inclusion.

For companies that have gender pay imbalance, it is important to open communication channels so that employees can give their feelings and opinions. Additionally, present to them with clarity, the strategy the company is or will be using to address the gap. That way, they will feel safe knowing that the company is committed to taking action to bridge the gender pay gap.
Hiring is just a number which companies achieve for Diversity but what matters is that are the hired employees feel inclusive in the culture without any fear of being judged by biases or preferences. Inclusivity is the key to actually maintaining diversity in the workplace. Each person is not only recruited but also counted and recognized for their efforts in growing the company.

As the team manager, eyebrows should not be raised when a female colleague as to rush home to fulfill unplanned primary caregiver responsibilities. At performance appraisals, they should be evaluated against the male counterparts who burned the midnight oil to do stretch targets or were able to attend all after hour office meetings. Females are also burning the midnight oil but for different reasons.

I think, instead of drafting our policies on flexible working hours, employee benefits, career progression as gender-neutral policies, it should be more towards a gender-sensitive policy. A gender-sensitive policy premise will be that women do play a dual role and are irreplaceable in the family ecosystem.
Introduce diversity and inclusion in the employee’s cycle. From the onboarding process to the exit process, each part of the employee life cycle can be more inclusive. For example Lack of flexibility makes the lives of some employees unnecessarily difficult and just by giving work from home or flexibility in working hours to new mothers/ fathers results in healthy work-life balance and happy employees. Also, it is important to note that ensuring gender balance is not just the ethically right approach, it also translates into tangible business outcomes.

Even this year’s theme for International Women Day is #EachforEqual. “The race is on for the gender-equal boardroom, a gender-equal government, gender-equal media coverage, gender-equal workplaces, gender-equal sports coverage, more gender equality in health and wealth … so let’s make it happen. Let’s be #EachforEqual” – International Women Days 2020

World Thinking Day: Do Millennial Women Have Equal Access To Credit?

“On virtually every global measure, women are more economically excluded than men.” – The World Bank’s Gender at Work report (2014)

Millennials across the globe have been defining their equations and setting their own norms in the career they choose or the business they own. They are the trendsetters, the startup generation, the innovators irrespective of their sex or background. The current era is ushering in a new sense of equality among working professionals. Still, it won’t be an understatement to quote that the discrimination and lack of opportunities millennial women face with respect to pay, credit and spending choices are quite conspicuous. On this World Thinking Day, a discussion about the insights into what makes the other sex a lesser suitable candidate for institutional and formalized credit facilities is much needed. 

There’s plenty of statistical evidence pointing to the severe gender inequalities in terms of financial inclusion operating at the ground level. In spite of the great amount of publicity over gender parity legislations and erudite discussions over the state of affairs at the world forums, figures point to gaping holes in the provision of financial inclusion for the millennial females: 

The World Perspective

  • Of the 141 countries surveyed by the European Bank for reconstruction and development, 
  • In 79% of the countries, women had far less access to bank accounts than men.
  • In 78% of the countries, women found it more difficult to get a loan than their male counterparts. 
  • 82% of the countries had their women less conspicuous in terms of savings in a financial institution. 
  • Similar stats showed the imbalance in terms of debit and credit card usage with 78% and 79% of the countries with debit and credit card usage disparity respectively. 
  •  In 2014, 58% of women had a bank account compared to 65% of men.

The Indian Case

India ranked 142 out of the 149 countries on economic participation and opportunity in the 2018 World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index. This figure clearly denotes the extreme gender imbalance in the labor market and entrepreneurship. Gender roles have been defining the opportunities and share women get in the business space. And the major obstacle in this imbalance is the denial of equal credit and borrowing facilities to females.
Let’s look into some major factors leading to this lopsided credit rationing:

#1 Share in the Total Workforce

All around the world, women comprise 40% of the workforce, while in India they form only 23.3% of the total workforce. This disproportionate workforce ratio is one of the major factors. A male is still considered the breadwinner of the family, while the female has the role of a subsidiary. The economic contribution of the females to the GDP is less because:

  • Domestic services are never a part of GDP as they do not hold any economic value nor do they provide the women with any financial independence.  
  • Women have lesser access to higher education and career opportunities in comparison to men. 
  • Societal norms and maternal responsibilities often push women to the periphery of the economic conundrum.  
  • Safety issues and poor infrastructure leading to greater crime rates against women often dissuade them to have a career path. 
  • Labor-market deregulation policies are given effect without prioritizing women. 
Gender parity in workforce participation can set an economy on a prosperous path. According to Cuberes and Teignier (2016), closing the gender gap in entrepreneurship and workforce participation in India could boost GDP (gross domestic product) by 27%. 

#2 Entrepreneurship 

In India, women entrepreneurs are meagrely represented at 10% of the total number of entrepreneurs. 98% of the women entrepreneurs hold micro-enterprise ownerships across India and 84% of such enterprises do not hire workers at all. Though the equations are changing, the names of such successful female entrepreneurs can be counted on the fingers. Small and medium scale enterprises house the largest female workforce majority of which are either contract workers or salaried employees. 

The informal sector contributes to nearly half of the GDP in India. Women working in this sector have no or very limited access to credit facilities:

  • Patriarchal mindset is still prevalent in the work culture of offices due to which many men find it derogatory to work under a female boss. 
  • Institutional hurdles and high reliance on self-financing. 
  • Insufficient maternity provisions in the legislature limiting their career growth. 

#3 Property Inheritance norms

A woman may be earning sufficiently to fend for her family but her right to say in financial matters of the house is almost always overshadowed by their partners. They may have a bank account or use debit/credit card but being the second sex, women are deprived of complete financial liberty. Restrictive norms around inheritance implanted by society further impede their access to secured credit. Over 90% of the establishments owned by women rely on informal sources of finance. Institutions refrain from granting loans to females for the lack of collateral or stability of job tenure.  80% of women-owned businesses with credit needs are either unserved or underserved. This is equivalent to a massive $1.7 trillion financing gap.

#4 The pay gap and financial awareness

Women are largely employed in small scale industries with low productivity and the majority of these industries form a part of the informal sector (such as agriculture and construction) where no labor laws are put into force. For equal work, women:

  • Receive lower wages, 
  • Spend less average time for schooling and 
  • Have to opt for the responsibilities of a homemaker curtailing any scope for growth.

Only 20% of the female workforce is employed in the formal sector. Financial planning and management, when it comes to women, is considered the partner’s job for lack of financial awareness. Millennial women are trying to break out of ignorance and managing and planning their finances but the parity is still a far-fetched dream. 

Virginia Woolf stressed the need for financial independence for females to become full-time writers in her essay ‘A room of one’s own’. On similar grounds, the utmost need is to provide equal opportunities to women workers and entrepreneurs, especially millennial women, by unhindered access to credit and capital. 

EarlySalary, one of the popular lending portals, has been known to provide consistent financial services to professionals and underserved salaried millennials irrespective of their gender and with minimal formalities involved. The idea is to contribute towards the financial inclusion of every male and female in the economy.

Valentine’s Day Stats: How Credit Helped Celebrate Love In 2020

Compiled By: Akshay Mehrotra, Co-Founder & CEO EarlySalary
About Akshay: He has more than 16 years of experience, with large conglomerates across multi-industry domains such as Retail, Consumer Services, Banking, E-commerce, and Insurance. He is responsible for devising EarlySalary’s product strategy, and in pursuing his mission of turning his Fintech venture into India’s next unicorn.

The towns were painted red last week. But so was the consumer economy, thriving on the emotion of love during Valentine’s week we just had. And the marketing around V-day made sure that firms and enterprises capitalized and participated thoroughly on the sentiments of urban millennials. This year, Indians didn’t shy away from showering their baes, partners and loved ones with gifts, treats, dates, and vacations. And I have the numbers to prove it!

The V-day tradition is more or less evolving into a custom, quite comfortably adopted nationwide now. The acceptance of this originally Western notion of the celebration of love is fast gaining grounds in India.  Of course, the Americans left no stone unturned this time to become the highest spending nation averaging at $192 planned average spending, bringing the total expenditure to a whopping $27.4 billion. But Indians weren’t lagging behind.

It’s been a week since Valentine’s day, and it’s time to catch up on the trends and stats we witnessed this year. Thanks to my team, I have some interesting facts and figures on the evolving patterns of spending and borrowing habits of millennials and Gen Z.

Loans For Love

A significant proportion of consumers today feel the need to substantiate their love by pampering their partners, regardless of how these indulgences are financed. 

  • At EarlySalary, we lent 23 crores within a 3 day period from 12th February to 15th February to young millennials and Gen Z folks. 
  • The credit disbursed saw an increase of 43% from that of last year. 

These statistics both reveal the nature of expenditure being favored by the young professionals and the trust bestowed by our customers on us on occasions like these.

When it comes to marking the averages, the figures followed a similar upsurge. The average borrowed amount was INR 23,500 – a 35% increase Year On Year during the same period. 

Love Is Young

The young salaried working professionals being our core focus, the average age of the borrowing individual at EarlySalary was 27 years. Currently, India is the youngest nation in the world, and our customer base quite corroborates with these demographics. If we further segregate the figures, we see that about half of the borrowers belonged to the IT and IT service industry.  

Gender Games

Numbers suggest that it is the men who like to please their lady love more: with 86% of the borrowers being male and only 14% females. The trend falls in line with proportion to the male working population, hence not surprising at all. 53% of people who borrowed were single, further reiterating the fact that young unmarried couples rule the V-day economy.

Cities of Romance

Valentine’s day celebrations are more conspicuous in urban cities, which house a larger number of independent young professionals and affluent millennials. The year 2020 saw the highest amount of credit being served in tier-1 cities like Bengaluru at 24.8%, Mumbai at 12.5%, Delhi at 20.6%, among others. These figures clearly bring out the fact that the younger generation believes in collecting experiences and memories even if they require to go the credit route. And we, at EarlySalary, made it sure that that received the credit at the best possible terms and in a hassle-free way. 

Love Has Gone Online

Dates and candle night dinners seem to be losing their charm when it comes to Valentine’s day. During an entire week of celebrating each other’s’ love, the millennials and Gen Z showered their partners with teddies, chocolates, flowers, and other goodies. Among the borrowers of EarlySalary, 29.6% sought the unconventional and spent their weekend on a vacation. A majority of the gifts were purchased via e-commerce websites. On this front, 1600 transactions were financed on borrowed money. Each transaction on an average amounted to INR 10,000. 

These spending habits of young millennials and Generation Z exhibit the changing dynamics of credit in their lives in the coming future. Online lending portals are quickly becoming a popular source of credit by easing and transforming credit and lending facilities across the world. EarlySalary, with its instant loans and salary advances, customizable repayment schedules, and low rates of interest is a trusted name among the millennials and Gen Z in India.

I’m honored, and beyond happy we’re a part of our customers’ celebrations in every occasion and emotion of their lives, ensuring they remain unhindered and without financial worries, be it Valentine’s day, or anything else.

God Helps Those Who Help Themselves: This Shiv Ratri, Pick The Right Personal Loan

In India, there’s rarely a month without a major festival. As we get ready to celebrate Shiv Ratri with grandeur and families plan to get together to make memories, it is important to ensure we’re well set to fund our grand celebrations. With family gatherings, outings, or even short trips on the horizon, our wallet should hopefully not be cause for concern. This holds true even in a broader context throughout the year – financial stability is critical for whatever life throws at us, whether it’s medical emergencies, travel plans, or even daily expenses. 

Many of us may need loans in such circumstances. And while credit is a great enabler, it also comes in all types. As borrowers, we need to make sure we pick the one that is best for us – in terms of interest rates, accessibility, the entire application process, and many other aspects. Our finances, after all, are entirely our responsibility. As they say, God helps those who help themselves. 

What To Look For In A Personal Loan

1.Usage Flexibility 

Personal loans are meant for a wide variety of uses, and they should remain that way. A personal loan that restricts how you deploy your funds isn’t one you should be going for. There are plenty of dedicated loans in the market, whether they’re for educational purposes or vehicle purchases. Your loan should ideally be free of any restrictions.

2. Collateral Free Loan

By nearly all commonly accepted definitions, a personal loan should require no collateral as security. For many of us, collateral may hold more than just tangible value. With plenty of personal loan apps in India, you’re more than likely to find options that don’t demand collateral. 

3. Repayment Flexibility

Restrictive repayment schedules can often be a considerable source of stress once you’ve borrowed your funds. A hassle-free loan experience must essentially include flexibility in repayment schedules. No prepayment charges are a welcome bonus you should keep an eye out for. 

4. Quick Processing

It’s 2020, and with all the digitization around us, especially in the financial sector, loan processing should be a quick procedure. This is only possible if loan providers eliminate paperwork, rely on automated tools for assessing borrowers, and seek to improve borrower experiences. There are already a number of instant loan apps across the country, making the market competitive, and ensuring borrowers can pick from the best lending services out there. 

5. Attractive and fixed interest rates 

Perhaps the most important aspect to keep an eye on – interest rates can vary wildly based on who you borrow from. They’re largely determined by your credit score, salary and other factors. With new-age quick personal loan apps however, they remain competitive, and are determined with a broader perspective, and not just your credit score. In fact, you can borrow even if you do not have a credit score. The interest rate should be fixed throughout your loan tenure. 

EarlySalary

EarlySalary, a pioneer in personal loan offerings in India, offers a variety of custom borrowing solutions in the form of instant cash loans to help you meet all your financial requirements, scoring optimally in all the metrics we just discussed.

EarlySalary’s instant personal loan app requires no paperwork, with its online document submission. With approval times within 8 to 24 hours of application, and direct disbursal into your bank account, urgent festival expenditures can be fulfilled within a day. Borrowers can borrow up to Rs 2,00,000 at interest rates as low as Rs 9/day.

Whether it is a visit to Kashi Vishwanath or a grand pooja ceremony, EarlySalary’s loan schemes capture the festive mood and spending needs of borrowers by reducing the hassles and exorbitant fees involved in borrowing. But the offerings don’t stop there.

This Shiv Ratri, you could fulfill your parents’ long-awaited dream of visiting a place that can give them peace, on a journey away from the doldrums of life into solitude. A travel loan from EarlySalary can take care of all expenses related to your journey. 

A shopping loan from EarlySalary gives you the ease of buying all the essentials. Cash crunches are a thing of the past. With EarlySalary’s tie-ups with e-commerce giants like Amazon, Flipkart online shopping can’t get more convenient. You can shop and repay in 3 EMIs at zero extra cost.

As a borrower, you’re honestly spoilt for choice, with a wide range of instant credit options available right from your smartphone. You can shop across brands, or get instant online cash loans, all through the app.
It may finally be time to make your big-ticket purchases on the auspicious occasion of Shiv Ratri.
Live, unrestricted!

Spouse In The Same Office: A Closer Look At The Implications for HR

Compiled By: Sandeep Raghunath
About Sandeep: He is the Head of Human Resources at EarlySalary, with 10+ years of international experience in HR across industries.

It is perfectly natural for a professional to fall for another if they’re working in the same office, or are spending a significant amount of time together. Open and vulnerable conversations are fairly likely to occur, and the more familiar they become with each other, the more potential there is for mutual attraction. While they may be frowned upon, relationships within an office setting are far from uncommon. Some partners even often end up getting married. 

In this context, however, the HR function isn’t expected to remain out of the loop. Organizational policies, cultural sensitivities, etc – there are many factors influencing the HR functions’ role in managing professionals with a spouse in the same office. How can they approach this? Let’s look at some important aspects.

Disclosure of relationship

It is vital to maintain an environment where it is known that keeping a relationship or marriage secret is not in the interest of the company and can have larger implications. According to Sarah Churchman, head of diversity and inclusion and employee well being at PwC, the only way to manage relationships is for the couple to be totally out in the open. “If they don’t inform us, someone else in the department will. Not because they are necessarily behaving in an inappropriate manner, but simply because they may fear a problem with favoritism.”

Some enterprises have a policy in place allowing for managers to be demoted, transferred or even dismissed in the case of the manager being in a relationship with their direct report without disclosing the same. It is, therefore, essential that an office couple is made to sign out a disclosure form with the HR Department. This allows for a line of communication between the office and the parties involved and also serves as a formal notice of their relationship. It also prevents misinformation and rumor-mongering in the workspace which hampers productivity. 

Different organizations have varying HR policies on how they deal with a spouse at the same office. If a company is strictly against work relationships, one of the spouses can be dismissed, though it would not be a popular move and discourage transparency. “You can’t legislate against office romances or indeed falling in love, and an outright ban would be totally unworkable,” says Churchman.

It is imperative for a company to have a policy on office relationships and furthermore ensure that all employees, especially spouses, get familiar with these and abide by them at all times during work hours. This includes coffee breaks, lunch breaks, business trips, etc.

Personal life and Professional life

The need to maintain a professional relationship between spouses in the same office space is vital. Often, the hardest battle in managing office relationships is inculcating the need to strike a balance between personal life and professional life. According to a research “on flirting at work” conducted by Amy Nicole Baker, an associate professor of psychology in University of New Haven, and an author on workplace romance papers, it was found that people who frequently witness other colleagues flirting often feel less valued by the company and have a decline in job satisfaction. This feeling of discomfort can also lead to many quitting their jobs. In order to prevent others from being uncomfortable and thus putting oneself under the radar. 

Spouse In The Same Office: A Closer Look At The Implications for HR
“Open and vulnerable conversations are fairly likely to occur, and the more familiar they become with each other, the more potential there is for mutual attraction”

Public displays of affection and flirtatious conversations can disrupt the working of the office and reek of unprofessionalism. It is essential to treat your spouse like a regular colleague within office hours and even in work parties, off-sites and other such events which are an extension to the office workspace.

Senior-Junior Relationship

In the case of a senior and subordinate getting married, the need for professionalism is critical in order to prevent conflict of interest. According to most office guidelines – it is necessary for the senior spouse not to be involved in the appraisal or evaluation of their partner. The two must not work together in the same department in order to curb the space for favoritism and nepotism within the workspace. There is also a potential threat to the security of confidential client information and the risk of information leaks.

To avoid the occurrence of favoritism, one spouse should be transferred to another department, and ideally, no couples should work together in the same department.

Divorce

The unfortunate scenario of a married couple splitting up can have deep repercussions on their work ethic, their behavior in the office as well as the office environment itself. The disclosure form should specify what would happen to both the parties in case of this occurrence. The way two ex-partners are treated in the office also deserves attention. They might act in a more isolated nature and may be unable to maintain good performance. This situation is a nursing ground for potential blame-game and office politics. This difficult period of the employees’ life should be battled with care and acceptance. They might not need advice and might need someone to listen to them in order to clear their mind and concentrate during work hours. In case of poor performance, they should be nudged towards the direction of working better and given gentle reminders instead of indifferent statements like “Your divorce is not our problem.”
Perhaps an Employee Assistance Program to help deal with such traumatic instances is worthy of consideration from employers.

#MattersOfHeartAndWallet: 7 Signs You’re In A Relationship With A Freeloader

Ritvik had planned a movie and dinner date with Smita on Valentine’s Eve. He’d switch to a new job very recently, but despite being a little short on funds, his lovey-dovey spirits weren’t hampered. The couple watched the movie and enjoyed their dinner date but when it came to sharing the bill, his girlfriend was simply horrified at the idea and broke up with him at the very instant. 

This fictional story is the reality of so many couples around where any one of the partners, irrespective of the gender, presumes that the other will bear their finances. This unequivocal balance in terms of money matters often harms relationships and partners. Love may be blind, but lovers don’t have to be, not to the presence of a FREELOADER PARTNER, at least……What is a FREELOADER, you ask? A freeloader is a person who does not pay or contribute fairly. It is difficult to understand the true nature of a person in the first few meetings but of course, there are some distinct signs of a freeloader in a relationship. In our third (and final) for #MattersOfHeartAndWallet series for this Valentine week, we take a closer look at the financial red flags in partners:

Money talks in between cuddles

There are chances that your date or partner will often try to discuss their financial issues while sipping a pina colada with you on a romantic night out. Being empathetic and helping your guy/gal in dreary times shows your affection towards them until that person has no intentions to hide behind you each time a problem surfaces. Companionship is all about caring and sharing and not piling one’s burden on your counterpart. Be wary!

No insistence on sharing bills     

It was ages ago when paying the restaurant bills, and bearing the finances of dining out, watching movies among others was considered gentlemanly and all girls did was to dress up for their man. The world has moved forward and with gender roles being rewritten, it is appreciable if both the partners share the bill or expenses. Pretentious ways with no real concern can often lead you to empty your wallet while the other just stands by, smiles and take it for granted. Stop taking things at face value. 

Relationship with a Freeloader
Promises are never meant to be fulfilled when it comes to freeloaders

Fancy habits and addictions 

Despite a meager salary, if a person splurges excessively on clothes, dine outs and indulges in other unnecessary recreations, there are all the chances of them borrowing loans from you. And assuring you with hugs and kisses that they will return the money as soon as they get their salary next month. But promises are never meant to be fulfilled when it comes to freeloaders. They enjoy other people’s hard-earned money without much remorse or guilt. Before you land yourself in some trouble and lend them a much bigger amount, start seeing the thorns in that rose they gifted you on Rose Day!   

Financial dependence on parents

Someone who jumps from one job to another and cites unusual reasons always leading them to be the victim and the world the culprit is cause for a red alert. Partners who like to depend on their parents for money might continue to do so in the near future as well. Take note when the other person starts asking favors from you like using your car or credit card, almost always forgetting their wallets, always hoping to be showered with expensive gifts- are clear-cut requisites of a freeloader. Oftentimes the relationship can turn abusive and may take a toll on your health.

Intentions to share accommodation but not rent

If your partner insists on moving in with you, an arrangement where they don’t split the rent may be acceptable depending on your relationship dynamics. Perhaps they contribute in other ways, such as on the groceries or utility bills? If it’s entirely your wallet though, that is cause for concern. Such tendencies indicate a shunning of financial responsibilities, and letting the partner bear your expenses explicitly shows that the person is a freeloader who likes to while away and sustain on other’s money. 

Before putting your heart and soul into a relationship, it is advisable to use your mind and check whether your partner isn’t a financial defaulter with a bank or lending institution. If they are a freeloader, there are complete chances of yours paying their interest and loan amount. Of course, out of love! 

Lacks a sense of pride and finds fault with others

As an individual, we’ve got to take responsibility for our actions. Your Mr./Ms. dependable is not worth your love if they know nothing about self-worth. A laid-back attitude can look quite chilled out and appealing, but that does not help in relationships in the long run. Also, if a person claims they lost their job because of the boss, they got late because their friends held them up, or that they have no savings because they spend all on their family – then watch out! You may have encountered a potential freeloader and the next target maybe you. Efforts have to be taken from both sides.

Bundle of excuses to extract dough

A sad tale of relative admitted in hospital or insufficient funds to pay off the rent or college fees – there can be innumerable excuses from your partner intermittently spread over a period of time. And so cleverly claimed that you cannot help but feel sorry for them and sigh while your partner spends your money elsewhere with their friends, or by going to expensive clubs and places. A person committed to you just to take advantage considers it your duty to pay and pamper them. Love, for them, is measured in rupees and gifts. It is better to keep a keen eye and keep looking for signs. Informed love is not a sin!

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and lovers all around the globe will be celebrating their love in their own special and intricate ways. Before getting struck by the winged-cupid, it is better to take a step back and observe your current or prospective partner’s financial habits and ways. Once committed and deep into the relationship, it becomes increasingly difficult to attach greater significance to anything but love. EarlySalary, one of the leading online lending portals, can assist your partner whenever they find themselves in a financial emergency. They can easily get a loan of up to two lakhs directly transferred to your bank account, and successfully prevent money from being a thorn in your relationship.

“This Valentine’s day, go red with love, but avoid it in your budget!”

Valentine’s Day Fact Sheet: Matters of the Heart And Wallet

Love is the most uncensored emotion that creeps unknowingly in each of our lives. Or, to put it better, it has been ubiquitously present as a part of our existence. Underlying in almost every benevolent act of ours, we celebrate it every day. But just as a sapien needs his birthday to claim another year to their existence,  we have Valentine’s Day celebrated each year as the day of love. St. Valentine would feel alien to the concept of an entire week of roses, hugs, kisses, teddy bears and chocolates but Valentine’s Day has actually become a fairly commercial, multi-million industry on the rise each year. 

In this second post of our 3-part Valentine’s series – #MattersOfHeartAndWallet, we explore how India shops, and splurges, on Valentine’s week. 

Love is not a commodity to be bought or sold, of course, but today love has equal sync with money and romance. India has seen a steep surge in Valentine’s Day rush in terms of gifts, dates, and trips whether for partner or others, whether as a couple or all alone. Let us mark in terms of numbers the trends in India of how love transpires and conspires to empty our kitties.

Indians Love Valentine Gifting 

We like to pamper each other when in love and what better day than Valentine’s’ Day to do that. The spending stats of Indians show some interesting and some queer facts about the expenditure on love:

A survey by CashKaro.com indicated that about three-quarters of couples bought gifts for their partners to celebrate the Day, while 80% thought this was essential practice for Valentine’s Day.
Younger couples lead the way here – those indulging their partners through gifts most commonly belonged to the age group of 16-24 years. India, with 70% of its population below the age of 35 years, is sure to witness a rapid increase in this gifting trend in the coming years. Interestingly, 77% of the men felt that they ought to pay on dates.

The Heart & Wallet Go Hand In Hand

Valentine’s Day records the third-highest number of orders (after Diwali and Raksha Bandhan) placed for gifts in India. Money and love have surely got a connection with each other when it comes to 14th February. Thousands of crores are spent on gifts and dates all across the lovestruck regions of India. Take a look at the facts:

  • Even as early as 2014, we’d seen a whopping INR 16,000 crores being spent, which swelled to 22,000 crores next year. 
  • A majority of the people spent anywhere between
    INR 1500 – 3000 on flowers, candies, and chocolates among other gifts. 
  • Corporate employees and those aged 30+ years prefer more expensive gifts, with their spendings ranging anywhere between INR 1000 – 50,000. For the younger generation, the range comes down to INR 500 – 10,000. 
  • Another interesting finding is – changing gender roles. Women between 25-35 years spend 35% more than their male counterparts.

V-Day Preferences

When it comes to making our loved ones happy, we don’t count the bills. The week starts with Rose Day, when gifting flowers especially roses and orchids are the trends, followed by other days such as Chocolate Day, Teddy Day and others before Valentine’s Day finally arrives. Besides gifts, people like to go for dates, on holidays and on short adventure trips as well. Check out the trends:

  • Candlelight dinners seem to be losing their popularity. The top preferred gifts now are Jewellery, Bouquets, Chocolate hampers, and Teddy Bears.
  • People don’t just gift their partners. About 43% of the gift orders placed were for loved ones other than the buyer’s partner. 
  • We’re also opting for more thrilling options too – such as adventure sports like bungee jumping, surfing, among others, and holidays to offbeat destinations.
  • Singles are trying to find love in pampering themselves. The number of trips by solo-travelers to foreign locations increases considerably around Valentine’s Day.

This V-Day why to worry about managing your finances

Indians are die-hard romantics and know how and when to please their loved ones. But sometimes these splurging can fall heavy on the pockets of the salaried class. Enjoy each moment of this Valentine’s Day and shower your partner with gifts and dates without the worry of managing your finances. With EarlySalary, you can get an instant loan from anywhere between INR 2,000 to INR 2,00,000 at rates of interest as low as Rs 9/day. The loan amount can be availed of even if the employee has no credit ratings. The loan amount can be paid in installments over a period of time adjustable as per your needs and convenience.

So don’t stop yourself from proposing your crush or rekindling your romance this Valentine’s.

How to deal with MONDAY BLUES for your employees

It’s common to feel an overwhelming sense of anxiety, stress or sadness on the first day of the workweek. This can sometimes demotivate you, and your colleagues, despite the bright Monday morning. Worse, it can cause tension and fatigue. Monday Morning blues are fairly common and have been known to decrease work output and efficiency across the corporate sector.

What exactly are Monday morning blues?
Researchers like to think of them as sets of negative pessimistic emotions that many suffer from at the beginning of a workweek, causing discomfort and unhappiness at the office. According to Alexander Kjerulf, a well-known writer and speaker, Monday blues contain “elements of depression, tiredness, hopelessness and a sense that work is unpleasant but unavoidable.”

Monday blues are region agnostic and have almost become a cultural phenomenon now. But these signs of tiredness and anxiety are not something to be trifled with. They can be much more than just passing tiredness. Sometimes, these can be serious indications that something isn’t quite right at your workplace and hint prolonged mental impact due to your daily job. Happiness is the key to this type of situation. Only when you enjoy your work to its full potential, you will feel good and energized about it, at any point of time in the week. 

As an employer, there are a number of steps that can be taken to address the issue, and  help your workforce beat their Monday blues:

#1 Identify Core Issues

Are there workplace culture issues your org is facing? Have they been working long hours for too long? Perhaps it’s due to some policies? The bottom line is, your workforce isn’t looking forward to a day at work, and this can be indicative of some deeper issues that must be addressed before any other remedy is tried. 

#2 Unplug for the weekend

Sure, successful organizations like Tesla and SpaceX are known for their long, grueling work hours, and a consistent work-life imbalance across their workforce. But these are more the exception than the norm. Unless you’re a brand that wants to specifically attract a workforce with a preference for that working style, you’d do well by encouraging teams to disconnect over the weekend and recharge their batteries!

#3 Foster Positive Culture

Ensuring positive attitudes, and an environment that makes room for them is critical for an organization’s long term success. Not only does it address many minor issues, but it also certainly contributes to tackling Monday blues.

#4 Review Benefits Programs

Another long term, yet impactful solution – ensuring that your benefits programs, such as financial wellness initiatives, are running smoothly and achieving long term goals and objectives, is key to ensuring employee happiness. A workforce less stressed about health, finances, and more is a workforce that turns up on Monday raring to go!

#5 Personalise Attention

How to deal Monday Blues

On an individual level, HR professionals may want to consider prioritizing individual interactions at the workplace. In addition to the potential for self-satisfaction here, such initiatives can result in valuable insights into employee morale, their issues, and the challenges that the HR function faces, from the most authentic of sources – the workforce, and not text or numbers in a survey. 

Happy Mondays are certainly possible, in a far higher proportion than we’d think. As long as Monday blues are addressed as a challenge that can be tackled successfully with the right strategy, the HR function doesn’t have much to worry about. 

#MattersOfHeartAndWallet – Romance & Financial Compatibility: Questions to Think About

Renowned American jazz pianist, Willie “The Lion” Smith, once said, “ROMANCE without FINANCE is no good”. 

Compatibility between romance and finance is akin to the compatibility between the heart and the brain. While the heart may run wild and wants the best, the brain needs to step in to make wise decisions. If the decisions of the heart may be made based on reel-life fantasy, it’s the brain that does the real-life processing to reach beneficial conclusions.

In the first of our 3-part Valentine’s Day series – #MattersOfHeartAndWallet, we tackle financial compatibility. 

When it comes to our significant others, romantic gestures often overpower financial constraints. We often consider it alright to extend the budget a little when expressing our love. Alas! If only being romantic did not cost a fortune. It does not take long for matters of the heart to become the prime reason for the worries of the wallet. 

Romantic and financial compatibility is equally essential, raising important questions that need to be asked to maintain a balance between the two. Let’s take a deeper dive into the interplay between these two concepts:

Is There an Equal Financial Contribution?

Of course, we’re well past the culturally male-dominated days where only one partner – the husband – generated income in the household, with the couple’s immense love for each other being sufficient to spend the rest of the life

With evolving cultures, economic progress, and inflation on the rise, priorities have significantly changed. Financial security has become essential to continue living happily. In today’s time, rather than the “head over heels” sentiment, perhaps financial soundness sustains love between people more. 

A major factor behind arguments between couples is their finances. A lack of money and ever-increasing debts can lead to sustained stress between partners. At times, issues escalate to a greater extent, where relationship strife turns into reasons for divorce. A financially stable person far outweighs a broke selfless person when it comes to choosing a life partner. 

Are Your Spending Styles Compatible?

Is one of you a spendthrift while the other a miser? It doesn’t have to be that extreme, but the point is – is there a considerable gap between how you and your partner spend money? Some believe in extravagance, after all, what’s the point of earning money in the first place?

Others prefer to only spend on ‘value’, and save for a rainy day. 

There’s nothing inherently wrong or right with either approach. What is critical is ensuring there’s a minimal gap between both your styles. The further apart you are on this spectrum, the higher the chances of issues cropping up, since this would be an aspect you’d perceive on a daily basis.

Do You Discuss Monetary Contributions With Each Other?

Believe it or not, romance does flourish when each partner pulls their own weight. If you do not discuss contributions and finances with your partner, it may sprout seeds of resentment and disdain in your relationship. It is essential to be open in your discussions about money whether it is regarding saving it, spending it, earning it or investing it. 

Even if one of the partners is not earning, it doesn’t mean that you should not have money discussions. The one who stays at home makes a greater contribution than the one who goes out to earn. Budgeting is the crux of many issues. Hence, participation and awareness of all parties are essential. 
Couples who tend to hold open conversations about money have few to no incidents of hidden purchases. They become equally adept at planning and managing their finances. 

Are You Wise In Using Credit? 

Another crucial aspect to keep in mind is the use of credit. Credit and credit scores play an important part in day-to-day expenses. Credit can be hard to source if your partner has a poor credit score despite yours being considerably high. Simply gaining an understanding of the credit score of both yourself and your partner can help you tackle future credit urgencies. In other words, financially aligned couples tend to have easy access to affordable credit. 
Discuss and align bill payments, credit card repayments and other such things which can impact your ability to apply for credit with banks and other financial institutions. 
This potential issue, fortunately, is being addressed well with the rise of instant loan apps like EarlySalary, which offer quick personal loans right from your smartphone, and don’t rely solely on credit scores for assessing borrower credibility.

Conclusion 

You can certainly enjoy romance while staying in financial sync with your partner. On a lighter note, perhaps a bottle of fine wine can be enjoyed while you finalize your budget? Are the best kind of dates the ones where you tackle taxes with your better half?

In the next post in this series, we’ll take a closer look at what it means for your partner to be a freeloader and its implications on your relationship.