Majority Indian workers believe offices not ready for new way of working: Study

Majority Indian workers believe offices not ready for new way of working: Study

(IANS): While the majority of Indians are willing to return to the office at least a few times a week, a new study revealed that most employees believe offices are not ready for the new way of working.

According to the global networking giant Cisco, about 96 per cent of companies in India have mandated a full or partial return to the office with productivity, team communication and leadership pressure as key drivers.

About 76 per cent of employees responded positively to their organisation’s mandate to return to the office, and 82 per cent expressed a desire to return to the office at least a few times per week.

“Our study reveals that employees across the region have embraced hybrid work and are willing to return to the office more often, but with a caveat, workspaces must adapt to their evolving needs and expectations,” said Sandeep Mehra, Managing Director Collaboration Sales, Cisco APJC.

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The study surveyed 9,200 full-time employees and 1,650 employers in November 2023. Respondents are from seven Asia Pacific markets, including Australia, Hong Kong, India, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and South Korea.

The main reason for workers’ return to the office is not individual work, but rather to collaborate (80 per cent), ideate and brainstorm with colleagues (53 per cent) and foster a sense of belonging (58 per cent), the study mentioned.

Moreover, the study highlighted that when referring to office layouts and seating arrangements across India, 64 per cent of employees feel these are not conducive to collaboration and brainstorming purposes.

While there is a growing emphasis on collaboration, 85 per cent of employers surveyed still allocate at least half of their offices to individual workspaces.

Employees mentioned that individual workstations (40 per cent), large (48 per cent) and small (58 per cent) meeting rooms are ineffective at boosting productivity in the office, or only do so moderately at best.

“Employers’ progress in deploying collaborative technologies for hybrid work is commendable, but simply providing the tools isn’t enough. Most employees don’t feel prepared to use them effectively,” said Mehra.

On a positive note, the study revealed that organisations are making progress in transforming their office spaces. Eight out of 10 employers have already made changes post-pandemic, and 90 per cent plan to do so in the next two years.

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February 2024

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