Will the Hybrid Work Model be Another “New Normal” in the Future?

30 Dec 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the realisation that offices will never be the same again. Most of the companies and their employees have recognised the benefits of working remotely during the pandemic. While it is surreal to think that traditional office spaces will completely disappear, the reality is that the hybrid work model is likely to dominate the future. 

As we navigate the pandemic, the future of work has been widely debated and speculated. While one cannot replace the camaraderie in office, the increased amount of time spent indoors is expected transition into flexible spaces that will provide the businesses and employees the agility to continue operations seamlessly.

Some sectors such as IT and IT enabled services, e-commerce, professional services, and captives are better suited to follow the hybrid work model. On the other hand, sectors such as healthcare & pharmaceuticals, medical and telecom are less likely to implement remote working, owing to their strong dependence on the physical infrastructure and presence.

The report on Workplace of the Future by CII and Anarock, suggests that coworking spaces have emerged to be the most preferred option for both employers and employees. However, the new way of working requires significant preparations and technological support. 

The new normal

Workplaces are confronted with the duality of providing a space for collaborative productive work, while, at the same time, addressing concerns of health and safety of employees. Social distancing, rising focus on hygiene and the prime need to ensure business continuity amidst disruptions are compelling organisations to restructure workplaces. Organizations that are heavily dependent on physical presence are considering a hybrid model of operations that incorporates a mix of in-office & remote work, to shield themselves from future disturbances that may interrupt productivity.

Tech-enabled ecosystem 

New age technologies, data analytics and social networks are having a huge impact on how people communicate, collaborate and work. IT-enabled systems are integrating various communication tools over the web to create a digital workplace of the future that fuels productivity, which includes the following considerations:

Future of Telecommunication – Mobile wireless communication technology is increasingly becoming more integrated into the day-to-day workplace experience. Instant messaging, video conferencing, a variety of communication platforms are some of the go-to-tools for organisations keen on boosting collaborations between a hybrid workforce.
Unified by IoT – Consolidation of different cloud-based communication and production tools, including video conferencing, instant messaging, phone systems and file sharing, integrated into one central platform is enabling seamless operations for organisations across the board.
Project management – Project management tools such as Microsoft Teams Planner, Basecamp, Teamwork, Monday, or Trello have become the go-to solutions for business processes looking to promote unified operations.
Physical hardware – Organisations are providing employees with the necessary physical hardware required to perform the job efficiently. This is allowing companies avoid any data breaches.

Employers and employees

The evolution of workplace, accelerated by the pandemic, has become an enabler for both employers and the employees. While organisations are seeing a significant reduction in overhead costs, employees are saving time on commute and expenses which is increasing their take home salary and is adding to a better work-life balance. 

Work from home has increased productivity along with happiness levels of employees. Additionally, it is enabling businesses to hire from a wider talent pool as remote work removes geographical and logistical limitations. While managing efficiency and productivity remotely can be a challenging task, the consensus is for a result-oriented workforce. Employees are increasingly focusing on finishing the work rather than completing working hours. Better work-life balance, flexible working hours, and the sense of ownership is uplifting job satisfaction and is adding to the safety of employees.

The way forward

Work settings must be reimagined to be dynamic and vibrant, influencing financial, cultural and environmental spirit of the organisation. India is currently experiencing a coworking revolution. There are close to 3.7 lakh seats spread across tier 1 and tier 2 cities across the country today and it is estimated to grow at the rate of 15%, compounded annually, for the next 5 years. 

The expansion plans of major players and the increasing appetite for a new kind of a work environment will be fuelling this growth.

Read the full report at 

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