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Telenor Pakistan's progressive work culture puts its employees first

Updated Mar 14, 2018 10:23am
Telenor’s inclusive and open work culture is designed to benefit its employees. | Photo: Telenor Pakistan
Telenor’s inclusive and open work culture is designed to benefit its employees. | Photo: Telenor Pakistan

Besides the monetary aspect, the impact work has on society and the work culture of a place is what keeps the millennial employee challenged, happy and motivated. (Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016)

Telenor Pakistan is one company that takes pride in its open, innovation-breeding work culture, while encouraging diversity of thought and ideas.

A testament to this is the HR Metrics ‘Best Practice Award’ that Telenor Pakistan won earlier this month for Diversity and Inclusion in the category of 'Flexibility, Work life Integration and Benefits.' The company has also won the PSHRM and HR Engage ‘Best Place to Work’ award in the past.

The flexibility to decide work hours

Photo: Telenor Pakistan
Photo: Telenor Pakistan

A lot of caffeine breaks and why-are-you-late excuses can be avoided if a company has a culture of flexible work hours. While this should never be a way of abusing policies, flexibility in timing and location can boost morale, give employees more control over work life balance and also entail smart usage of office facilities.

Also read: Telenor Pakistan employees share how international work travel boosted their careers

Telenor Pakistan has introduced a work model where different teams can decide their work hours among themselves and employees are empowered to take charge of their work timings and performance on their own.

The ability to work in an open and inclusive environment

Photo: Telenor Pakistan
Photo: Telenor Pakistan

A reason why entrepreneurial ventures are exciting and operate at a fast pace is because there is practically one hierarchical layer; everyone sits together and works towards achieving their ambition as a team.

According to Telenor Pakistan, their hierarchical structure is merely on the internal HR systems and there is no bar in accessing a colleague irrespective of their job group. You can walk straight to the CEO if you need a quick approval or share a light moment at work.

Also read: How Telenor Pakistan is encouraging an entrepreneurial mindset among employees

Despite evolving work practices, there is still a certain inherent bias in Pakistan when it comes to married women in corporate sector. It is often discouraged to hire female employees who might take a break for their any reason in their domestic life, be it getting married or starting a family.

Telenor Pakistan is one of those few workplaces in Pakistan where not only females, but people from all backgrounds are given an equal opportunity to prove their mettle and shine through while creating ease through progressive policies that enable them and bring them on a level playing field.

Females at the company are allowed to take a salaried leave of six months during their maternity period, and since 2015, 57 women have availed six-month paid maternity leave. There is also an in-house day care facility that working mothers can take advantage of.

Also read: Meet Sana Khan, head of digital transformation at Telenor Pakistan

Accessibility for the differently-abled in public spaces is a much ignored area in Pakistan. In congested cities where office buildings are usually confined and cramped – a lot of them with no lifts – accessibility and mobility are huge problems, especially for those with walking, speech or hearing disabilities. Telenor Pakistan has been creating opportunities to realise the value that people with special needs can bring to the society.

The chance to learn, explore and ideate on multiple platforms

Photo: Telenor Pakistan
Photo: Telenor Pakistan

The new Telenor Campus, 345, is built to create a culture of agility, keeping in mind the fast pace of this industry, and to be the hub of inventive solutions to empower the nation.

There are various initiatives that exist for employees to ideate, experiment and scale up their projects if the idea is viable. Activate, for example, is an innovation secondment where employees can take a month off from their usual work routine to re-invent their way of thinking. Similarly, Ignite is an internal platform within Telenor Group that incubates and funds its employees' entrepreneurial ideas. Since the telecom industry is moving towards a direction where digital entrepreneurs are the key players, Velocity has been introduced as an accelerator program that helps start-ups scale their businesses.

Photo: Telenor Pakistan
Photo: Telenor Pakistan

Among all the ingredients for creating a collaborative, innovation-inducing culture, a strong core based on values is the most critical. If a workplace does not have people who keep promises, are respectful, who create together and have the urge to always explore, it can’t survive in an industry as fast paced as the telecom sector. These are the core values that drive Telenor employees and the work they do, day in and day out.

While the work environment is competitive, there is also room for employees to relax and unwind, and keep their productivity levels up and running all day long. The company offers a fully equipped gym and games area within the office, encouraging employees to take breaks and socialise with their colleagues to break the rut every now and then.


Mobile phone penetration in Pakistan is currently peaking with almost everyone carrying a cellular device. This has formed the basic infrastructure needed to connect people to what matters most to them be it entertainment, information sourcing or online services. Leveraging on this widespread uptake of mobile phones, Telenor Pakistan has been developing services that empower masses like the farmers in Pakistan (through Khushaal Zamindaar 7272 and Khushaal Aangan) to get hands on customised information that leads to improved yields, income and the overall GDP of the country. Not only this, Telenor is the hub for creating innovative digital solutions to upscale masses and reduce inequalities by providing a basic Birth Registration service, which is the right of every Pakistani, through their mobile device. It is initiatives like these and platforms like Velocity and the Telenor Youth Forum that empower and provide a channel to realise dreams. All of this provides a strong sense of purpose especially when one can see the impact being created by their work in the society.


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