Work From Home vs Return To The Office: Employers Say This

The new reality that occupiers are accepting is distributed workplace patterns and hybrid work environments

Work From Home vs Return To The Office: Employers Say This

Employers say a combination of work from home and office, shows survey

Between 75 and 100 per cent of employees have returned to work at roughly 35 per cent of the organisations, according to a C-Suite Survey by Colliers and Awfis. This includes a hybrid work arrangement where employees occasionally go to the workplace each week. 

After a hiatus of two years, the return to offices has gained momentum due to the declining COVID-19 cases. 

Approximately 74 per cent of businesses consider distributed workplaces as a way to transition from location-centric to people-centric workspaces. Employee freedom will be made possible as productivity advantages for firms are furthered.

Telecom and consulting sectors saw the highest rate of return to the office, with about 75-100 per cent of employees returning. 

Another significant finding of the C-Suite Survey was that about 53 per cent of occupiers favoured a portfolio strategy that included a combination of work-from-home and office time.

Ramesh Nair, the chief executive officer, India, and managing director, market development, Asia, Colliers, said, "The survey has made it clear that a distributed workspace strategy is the way to go for occupiers in this new era of experiential workplaces, as occupiers emerge from the after-effects of the pandemic. Flex spaces, in particular, are leading this growth, as occupiers from varied sectors are housing teams in flex centres across cities."

Additionally, occupiers want their real estate portfolios to be more agile. The new reality that occupiers accept is distributed workplace patterns and hybrid work environments.

Occupiers see flexible spaces as their top option; fostering a work-life balance and providing employees with flexibility will be the central idea. 

About 49 per cent of the occupants are likely to use flex centres to facilitate distributed workspace - a little over 54 per cent of workers in the IT and ITES sectors strongly preferred distributed workspaces.

Mr Nair added, "Further, the survey reveals that as occupiers straddle business goals and employee wellbeing together, about 74 per cent of the occupiers are looking at the distributed workspace, and more than half of the IT/ITeS companies (the largest occupier group) prefer a distributed work model for their employees."

Amit Ramani, the founder and CEO of Awfis, said, "The findings of the survey are a testament to the success of the distributed work model and subsequently of flex spaces in catering to the ever-evolved workspace needs; of India Inc."

Separately, firms operating within a special economic zone (SEZ) that want to permit work-from-home will have to formulate a scheme and take approval from development commissioners.

Units in a special economic zone that want to permit work-from-home for employees will have to formulate a scheme and take approval from the development commissioners concerned, the Commerce Ministry said on Friday.

In July, the government allowed WFH for a maximum period of one year in a special economic zone (SEZ) unit. The facility can be extended to 50 per cent of the total employees.

The guidelines issued by the ministry said the units would also have to apply to their development commissioners, notifying the scheme's adoption at least 14 days in advance from the date of implementation of the scheme.

The industry issued these rules on demand to provide a countrywide uniform WFH policy across all SEZs.

The new rule provides WFH for a certain category of employees of a unit in SEZ.

These include employees of IT/ITeS SEZ units; employees who are temporarily incapacitated; employees who are travelling and working offsite.

"The units intending to or implementing WFH will formulate and adopt a WFH scheme," it said.

It added that the application for approval of the WFH scheme would be processed and approved within 15 days, and if the unit receives no communication within 15 days, the scheme will be deemed approved.