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Superstitions run high at workplaces: Report

Posted on Nov 19, 05:02PM | IBNS

TeamLease Services, India's largest composite staffing company, on Monday released the findings of its latest survey 'Superstitions@Workplace' as part of its survey series to understand 'India's new World of Work'.

The survey revealed that overall faith in personal belief or superstition is quite high (62pc ) among employees in India and more than half of respondents (51pc ) follow superstition at their work place.

While Vaastu Shastra and Feng Shui are the most common practices followed at the workplace, the personal favourites are lucky charms like stones, colour specific items, specific number oriented items and the ubiquitous bamboo shoot.

The study also states that management in India is generally adaptive to various superstitious beliefs of employees and does not restrict them from practicing it at work as long as it does not negatively affect productivity.

Add to this, majority of the senior management at companies themselves believe that superstitious practices are more prevalent at the top of the order.

Commenting on the study, Surabhi Mathur Gandhi, Sr. V-P and Co-founder, TeamLease Services, said, "The aggressive drive to a higher productivity and performance based output is reflected by the radical shifting of gears within the corporate circle. Keener business focus, stringent performance metrics and an acute sense of onus has set the pace for our work force today."

"With equal fervor we observe popular practices like FengShui or Vaastu being discreetly incorporated by all and sundry as a good measure of support.

"Favourite 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," said Gandhi.

The study goes to say that more than 48pc of the respondents felt that practicing superstition at workplace has had a positive effect and modern organizations impose fewer restrictions on such practices.

While management does not lend explicit support to employees who practice superstitions, they also said in the same breath that no one interferes as well when an employee is seen to be following some superstitious belief.

Furthermore, when the senior management of companies was quizzed, majority of them revealed that though practices like FengShui, Vaastu Shastra, lucky charms, arrangement of idols and stickers of gods at workstations, laughing Buddha, money plant, etc. are common at workplaces, they do not have any significant influence on people and the corporate culture.

Practice whatever you may, but ultimately the work and outcome will be subject to your skills, knowledge and application, is what they seem to say, according to the TeamLease study.

Employees across all levels and cities are happy with the kind of superstitious practices being followed in their organisations.

A higher percentage of female employees (80pc ) are happy with superstitious practices followed in their organisations as compared to males (68pc ).

When asked who follows superstitions more at workplace between men and women, majority of the respondents (63pc ) felt that female workers are more superstitions than their male counterparts.

The survey, conducted by Market Search IPL for TeamLease, covered 800 companies across the top eight cities in India - New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune and Ahmedabad.

The respondents' profile ranged between the age group of 21 to above 45 years with 60pc from the junior level, 25pc from the middle management and 15pc from the senior level.

Among the cities, it was observed that the level of superstition seems to be comparatively less followed in Ahmedabad and Pune whereas it was higher in Bangalore and New Delhi.