Remote Working is Here to Stay: Here's how one can make it sustainable

23 February 2021

Remote Working is Here to Stay: Here's how one can make it sustainable

  • Economic Times

Many companies have accepted the remote working trend as an integral part of their work culture. From a luxury, it has become a necessity and requires extra effort to thrive. While shifting to this novel change, it is important to ensure that the workforce remains just as accountable and productive as they used to be at a physical workspace.

Since remote working is here to stay, here’s how one can make it sustainable.

Equip Your Employees with the Right Work from Home Setup

As per Abraham Lincoln, out of 6 hours given to a woodcutter, he should spend 4 hours sharpening his axe. This is a not-so-subtle indication that workers need the right tools and infrastructure to do their respective jobs properly. It is essential for companies offering work from home to ensure that their workers are not facing basic issues like poor internet connectivity or dysfunctional laptop. Companies need to put in that extra effort to understand employees’ need for specific devices and software that might be imperative to make them more efficient and productive during these challenging situations.

By providing the right work from home set up for employees, organisations can be assured of quality work and enhanced productivity.

Provide the Option for Work Near Home

Work from anywhere is the new mantra today. While some employees would continue to prefer the option and convenience of working from home, there is also a sizable percentage of workforce who would opt for a brick and mortar, modern workspace purely for the purpose to operate in a collaborative environment. In such a situation, companies should look for options to help their employees to work near their homes. The concept of work near home helps a person to cut down on the cost and time involved in commuting while operating in a productive environment.

This story appeared in the  5 October , 2020 issue of Economic Times and is authored by Amit Ramani, Founder and CE0, Awfis. This article was originally published at: Remote Working is Here to Stay: Here’s how one can make it sustainable, HR News, ETHRWorld (indiatimes.com)

Average Indian saving almost two hours of commute time while working from home: Survey

22 February 2021

Average Indian saving almost two hours of commute time while working from home: Survey

  • Posted by Arathy Nair

New Delhi: An average working professional in India is saving Rs 5,520 per month and 1.47 hours of travel time everyday while working from home, according to a survey by leading co-working space provider Awfis.

About 74% of the respondents are willing to work remotely, which could be home or a cafe near home as it leads to significant cost and time saving.

Around 20% are saving Rs 5,000-10,000 per month while working from home while 19% are saving over Rs 10,000.

And 40% of the respondents spend less than an hour commuting.

“The time saved translates to time worth 44 additional working working days in a year,” said Amit Ramani, founder and CEO, Awfis.

Nearly 44 additional working days in a year means that for a company with 100 employees, 18 FTE days (full time equivalent) are added without any additional cost.

Full time equivalent refers to the number of hours an employee works in a day and translates into roughly 8 hours of work in a day.

The survey was conducted over a period of two months (June and July 2020) across 7 metros in India, and inputs from 1000 employees were analysed across varied industries.

According to the survey, more than 75% of the workforce can manage their time efficiently.

This has instilled more accountability to the employees as well has led to employees earning higher trust from their managers.

However, there are many challenges that employees face while working from home.

About 27% and 23% respondents see isolation and work-life balance as the biggest challenges respectively while working from home.

While a smaller percentage of companies are still facing technology challenges, the adoption is rising steeply as the advent of remote working becomes inevitable.

“People have realised that ability to work from home is possible without compromising on productivity. It was expected that in five years more people will either work from home or near home. COVID19 has fast tracked this,” said Ramani.

In the survey, 43% of employees report inability to maintain their work-life balance while working remotely.

“Now that the lines between home and work are blurring, companies need to create policies that describe clear demarcations between the two to make remote work sustainable in the long run,” the survey said.

Building better workspaces with technology

20 February 2021

Building better workspaces with technology

  • Posted by Arathy Nair

There are approximately 7.6 billion people in this world and nearly half of them are connected to the Internet. The possibility of connecting with everyone, everything and everywhere is changing the way we do things. With most business and corporates offering solutions in IoT and AI, there are tremendous opportunities for further growth. Technology coupled with constantly evolving management practices, has changed the functioning of traditional Indian offices too. Nowadays workspaces are not limited to being just a place to work. With every new innovation, they have been transformed to a space where employees can freely collaborate, communicate and connect with each other, thereby, boosting employee morale and in turn increasing the workplace productivity.

Another reason why technological advancements are increasingly becoming more important is that today’s workplace environment has become more competitive and complex than it was before. According to a Deloitte report, a manager is able to save 43 minutes a month if they have access to new and improved workplace tools.

In today’s day and age, where employees value their work-life balance more than ever, they want a workspace that is technologically advanced and interactive while being cool and edgy. Today’s always connected, instant access environment helps in dissolving the distinction between personal and professional life. A study conducted by CBRE has shown that about 70% of millennials would make various trade-offs that will help them in securing a workplace that allows them to maintain work-life balance. This can be easily achieved through collaborative and tech enabled workspaces.

Technological advancements at coworking spaces are enabling the workforce to achieve their full potential, which has now led to a number of large corporates opting for these smart workspaces. To accurately reflect in changing work experience, organizations have begun to implement an entirely new working environment – the digital workplace.

Integrating IoT and Artificial Intelligence at Workspaces
Cloud computing, web conferences, instant messaging and e-diaries have enabled better communication around the world and within the organization. By further leveraging IoT and integrating it with AI, workplaces will now be transformed to smarter, dynamic and interactive offices. It is not far when gadgets such as laptops and smartphones will become redundant and will give way to voice activated assistant, wearable technology, including wearable glasses, embedded chips, and wrist devices, connected with Internet of Things (IoT), ensuring seamless connection between work surfaces and individuals, thereby creating a self-sustaining working environment.

Automating Preferences
Utilizing the ability of these wearable devices to adopt to individual’s preferences will provide insightful data that will further help create workplace solutions that are customized to individual work styles. With time, space infrastructure including lighting, air conditioning and air quality will adjust automatically to the task at hand including the number of users and work setting.

Virtual Reality
With continuous evolution of technology, the future of tech-enabled workspaces is tinged with virtual reality. The definition of workspace has been evolving, from being defined, as ‘physical’ and ‘virtual’, digitization is further transforming the future of work across varied dimensions. Virtual workplace is no more a thing of future as VR technology is already playing a significant role in setting up virtual meetings. Soon enough an individual will be able to put on a VR headset and have access to a virtual mouse, keyboard and unlimited monitors. The use of avatars, 3D visualizations, and resilient telepresence, will be the new online meeting norm, essentially creating a truly collaborative and interactive environment that web and video conferences have been unable to achieve.

Blockchain
An ingenious invention, blockchain has always had industry disrupting capabilities. Right from market giants such as Amazon to publishing houses, blockchain has played a crucial role. In the year 2020, the same is being said for the coworking sector. Blockchain can perform tasks such as agreement management, payments, and procurements with better efficiency and traceability.

Technology is slowly and steadily becoming a compulsion and not an option. For an organization to sustain in this time and age of Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning they need to adapt themselves to the technological advancements and cater to their clienteles needs / workforce requirements. As machines become more advanced and gain new cutting-edge performance capabilities that match or exceed human capabilities, the adoption of automation in this sector will steadily pick up.

This story appeared in the 10 February , 2020 issue of Economic Times and is authored by Amit Ramani, Founder and CE0, Awfis. This article was originally published at : Building better workspaces with technology, IT News, ET CIO (indiatimes.com)

ChrysCapital leads $30 million round in Awfis

06 August 2019

ChrysCapital leads $30 million round in Awfis

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Proceeds from the deal will be primarily utilised to expand capacity, according to Amit Ramani, chief executive of Awfis.

ChrysCapital, India’s largest homegrown private equity firm, has led a $30 million (about ?213 crore) equity funding round in coworking space provider Awfis Space Solutions, both the firms said on Tuesday.

Proceeds from the deal, which was first reported by ET in its May 30 edition, will be primarily utilised to expand capacity, according to Amit Ramani, chief executive of Awfis.

“We’ve been pretty prudent with the capital raise that we have been undertaking, and the capital has been deployed very judiciously. This round allows us to expand our capacity to over 100,000 seats by 2020, and 200,000 seats by 2022,” Ramani told ET.

Sequoia Capital and Three Sisters, the family office of Yes Bank promoter Rana Kapoor, the two existing investors in Awfis, also participated in the funding round.

ChrysCapital has invested from its seventh fund, the 2016 vintage, $610 million ChrysCapital VII. Ramani also said the company plans to cap the round at $30 million.

Maple Capital Advisors acted as the sole financial advisor to Awfis for its latest round of fund raising. The Delhi-headquartered company, which competes with the likes of SoftBank-backed WeWork and Oyo-owned Innov8, among others, has raised a shade over $80 million in a mix of debt and equity financing till date.

The four-year-old company, which manages about 2 million square feet across India, also counts Temasek-backed venture debt firm InnoVen Capital as an institutional backer.

The development comes as India’s still-nascent co-working sector continues to expand, with investor interest keeping pace with what is seen as a real estate play underpinned by a technology foundation.

“The whole (Awfis) team and systems are originated around providing customers with flexibility… Ultimately, this is a services-led product, and not just a real estate play, which makes them a great fit for us,” Kshitij Sheth, vice-president at ChrysCapital, told ET.

Earlier this year, SoftBank-backed OYO Hotels & Homes acquired a majority stake in Gurugram-headquartered co-working space provider Innov8 for an estimated Rs 200-Rs 220 crore.

On Tuesday, ET was the first to report that BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, had led a $53 million (about Rs 375 crore) debt financing round in Gurugram-based co-working startup GoWork, marking its return to the Indian startup ecosystem after more than five years.

ChrysCapital’s investment in Awfis is its first in the broader co-working segment, and also a rare one by the storied investment firm, which manages assets of over $4 billion, in India’s new economy sector, given that it has primarily preferred to back companies operating in core sectors ranging from financial services, information technology and consumer.

“Co-working has changed the way commercial real estate business is conducted globally and has picked up a lot of steam in India, with Awfis leading the disruption. Awfis’ sustainable approach to business, superior performance and strong customer focus has encouraged ChrysCapital to associate with them,” Sheth said.

Awfis, which currently has 30,000 seats across 63 centres spread across nine cities – Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune and Chandigarh – plans to enter Tier-2 cities, including Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Bhuvaneshwar, Kochi and Indore.

For the financial year 2018-19, the company said revenue grew to Rs 165 crore from Rs 56 crore. It has reportedly projected a topline of Rs 300 crore in the current financial year.

Please visit the below links to read the published article:

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/newsbuzz/awfis-raises-30-million-from-chryscapital-sequoia/articleshow/70552533.cms?from=mdr

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