Hybrid Work Place (HWP) is the current buzzword but seldom do the management and leaders realise its intensity and how it operates in the Indian context. Future is highly uncertain and unpredictable –no one can speculate what is in the store tomorrow. But this pandemic has made the employees accept the fact that they can work remotely. Mandatory staying in the office and tolerating the phenomena of micro-management is not a liability anymore.
Primarily, companies are approving of implementing the 3-2-2 hybrid workplace model where an employee can go to the office for 2 or 3 days a week based on his/her Flexibility. Do you think this is going to be the ultimate solution for the employee's needs and aspirations?
IT hubs in India are concentrated mainly in Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad. The majority of people who are working there are migrants from other states.Due to this pandemic, most people went back to their hometown and their families. A survey result shows 60% of employees are unwilling to return to their workplace. They want a policy in an organisation to opt for permanent work-from-home because they feel more flexible and productive. 20% of employees believe that permanent work from home is not feasible because this will create a disconnected workforce, and 20% of the employees are still unsure of what they want. An underlying reason could be the pandemic,where people have lost their families and friends. This experience has changed the employee's perception of work culture.It is imperative to realize that mental well-being, staying and taking care of the family is equally important as their job and money. It is high time to ponder over how to accommodate these two aspirations.
Moreover, employees are reasoning to maintain the balance by working two days from the office a week.But it will not justify the payment of a hefty amount of money to renters and bearing all other financial expenses.Remote working acted as a boon for companies in ways to increase organisational productivity and target. It has helped in reducing the estate cost. Some companies want to go ahead with remote working, but they feel that face-to-face interaction is missing, and a sense of belongingness is lost. On the other side, remote employees have started feeling the rise in trust issues between the manager and themselves.By overcoming all these obstacles,Google and many more international companies are now giving their employees options to opt for permanent work from home if they are comfortable with it.
But the order of the day has forced us to question some of the essential fundamental elements on which leading organisations lay their foundation. We have to wonder why the Indian companies are still unsure about this model. To begin with, do the leaders have short-term goals and lack vision?Do they still not have faith/trust in their employees and want to monitor their employees closely in this digital age? Do they doubt their leadership style and lack empathy and gratitude? Or is there a lack of transparency in corporate communication?
In our global economy, every employee should have the right to choose their work location. The old model of "one size fits all"is no longer apt for the current work culture. The past year has shown that there are far better ways to work, for which leaders have to change their mindset- that's all is need of the hour
Here are a few points to reevaluate and recalibrate the organisational aspiration with employee's aspiration.
- There was a presumption that if an employee is not coming to the office, then he/she is available at any time. This line of thought needs modification because employees work from home while managing personal and professional fronts. This mindset needs to be changed.
- Before introducing any policy or taking any action, involve your employees ‘s feedback and suggestions. based on the response, build a crucial decision. Employees have to be provided with ample information and data to address and take better decision in the hybrid model
- Extended work hours, balancing work with domestic responsibilities, and mental distress triggered by Covid-19 are the prime facets of syndromes like anxiety, fatigue, stress, depression, etc. Most organisations have come up with initiatives to offer help through counselling sessions and meditation sessions to address these concerns. One of the prime responsibilities of a leader is to check on the employees before conducting any engagement activity.
- According to a survey, employees perceive sitting in front of laptops for purposes other than work as taxing.And they feel these sessions are creeping into their family’s time. As an organisation, leaders need to think of some practical solutions where employees will go out of their room and involve in some recreational activity.
- This vicious pandemic made the people realise that environmental awareness is crucial. The organisations can take the initiative of influencing employees to start making their personalised garden/ farm. This initiative significantly impacts several segments, such as mental well-being, physical exercise, and knocking around with family. The organisation will provide the feedstocks and may showcase this on social media by tagging the company to socialize the society.
- Another aspect is travelling- The contribution of travelling to people's life is very crucial. This experience helps in burning out the tensity. But because of this pandemic, it has come to a halt. For those employees who work from home, organisations can provide a travel allowance to spend some relaxing time with their family when things become normal.
- People who want to work from home miss out on social interaction, which comes with coherence and cultural belongingness. One way would be to bring these remote workers into the office more frequently by organising conferences and informal outings.
- Organisations have introduced the concept of multiple hubs or multiple micro hubs. Employees who are not living near the HQ can often leverage these places to have an energising, fun, and innovative experience,facilitating collaboration and connection with colleagues, which further benefits organisational culture.
Creating a successful hybrid work model requires implementing the right technology to provide employees with access to everything they need to do their jobs, whether working from the office or kitchen table.