03 September 2021
Pandemic has forced India Inc to build workspaces of the future, now
- Posted by Arathy Nair
Covid-19 has accelerated a few trends like digitalization where the new age workforce have different attitudes and preferences compared to the millennials, according to industry experts.
“Every walk of life has been changed by the pandemic including office spaces. We are now dealing with a liberated work environment- hybrid, flex, work from home, in premises work and collaborative spaces are all subsets of a liberated environment. One thing is for
sure, office is a flag of strategic importance for the corporate world, a Dag that stands for stability and for retaining as well as hiring talent,” said Viral Desai, Executive Director,
Transaction, Knight Frank India.
In the The Awfis Leadership Summit 2021, industry experts said working from home had its impact on employees in terms of stress and diminishing the overall well-being of the employees. In today’s world, hybrid work model, remote working, work from home will
“Workspaces are no longer going to be a binary decision- it is going to have work
from home, flexibility, and tier 2 cities all these things will coexist in the world we will be moving forward to. Conversations around flex is on the rise and employee safety is becoming a matter of paramount importance along with other wellness factors. Space utilisation will also have to be monitored and behavioural adaptation to space environments will be necessary as work environments will be more
about experience and productivity,” said Badal Yagnik, Managing Director,
Cushman & Wakefield.
The other change which will take front seat in reimagining workspaces is the safety of employees. Offices will be designed in line with the new reality where space utilization will get monitored, behavior adjustments will be taken into consideration and the offices will provide an environment that yields higher productivity.
“Flexible office sector has shown remarkable growth in recent years with the pandemic not only introducing the concept of work from home but also work near home. Organizations and employees are favouring a more hub and spoke model – a trend that was already a talking point in tier 1 cities now moving towards tier 2 and tier 3 cities too. There is pressure on traditional lease models towards short term contracts and diversifying
portfolios in the different micro markets as well,” said Arpit Mehrotra, Managing Director – South India, Occupier Services, Colliers.
While Work from home has its positives, offices are about collaboration, engagement, culture building and talent development which is only possible with physical offices.
“Conversations around satellite o8ices are getting stronger and clients are looking for country specific solutions instead of location specific solutions. With respect to the purpose of office, office spaces are spaces to collaborate, engage, ideate- it is an experience,” said Sanjay Bajaj, Managing Director – Pune and Logistics & Industrial Services, JLL.
“Employee connect, bonding, camaraderie, talent integration and development, all these need physical office environments. Such spaces are required to build, sustain, and retain culture to socialise and network,” Bajaj added.
Janak Malkani, Executive Director, CBRE said that the industry is witnessing an accelerated change in performance, expectations, and role of the workplace. “Firms have been successful in changing their strategies to ensure seamless functioning, while effectively leveraging potential changes in work styles. With a renewed focus on health and safety, businesses are now incorporating smarter and people-centric business models to better not employee-wellness strategies, Malkani said.
Commercial real estate is now dealing with a liberated work environment and collaborative workspaces are a subset of this new work environment. With this trend, a conventionally popular trend of building the office first and then hiring has been reversed. Despite these changes, office is a flag that stands for stability, retaining and hiring talent.
“With a mass transition to work from home last year, organizations are now gradually breaking away from the traditional office environment and looking to build a new type of workspace for the future. The ongoing pandemic has disrupted the traditional definition of office and this has led both the employers and employees to reconsider the purpose and need for an office space,” said Sumit Lakhani, CMO, Awfis.
“In a pre-pandemic world, o8ices were designed to be primarily functional however with the changing times and revolving work cultures, companies look forward to building open and collaborative workspaces that facilitates knowledge and idea sharing among their employees,” Lakhani added.
This story appeared in the September 02, 2021 issue of Economic Times and was originally published at : https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/company/corporate-trends/pandemic-has-forced-india-inc-to-build-workspaces-for-the-future-now/articleshow/85868852.cms