Since the onset of the pandemic, office culture has transformed significantly. Offices across India have adapted to the new working atmosphere. Work from the office has played a critical role in operating the business. The COVID-19 induced lockdown pushed companies and start-ups across the globe to undergo the necessary changes and go with the ‘new normal.
After working for almost a year from home, companies recently announced to go back to the office routine, especially in the places where the cases have seen a decline for consecutive months. But, now again the alarming rise of coronavirus cases in major states, like Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Bengaluru, and other top cities where employment opportunities are big has led companies to formulate new working styles to prevent the spread of the virus, and also run the business effectively.
There have been instances where companies have found themselves in a complex situation, even many burnt the revenue loss also. The widespread Coronavirus cases showcase that it’s going to stay here until half of us are vaccinated or the cycle breaks. Hence, companies are looking for better alternatives like having a ‘flexible work week’ wherein employees will attend office on an alternative basis a week and work from home the remaining days.
Though companies have seen WFH culture formally evolving for the first time in 2020, while this brought in great opportunities to reduce office costs, at the same time it brought in great challenges around effective communication/productivity etc. Employee Motivation was another problem that crippled many organisations while working from home in 2020.
Other than this, WFH brought in its own set of challenges in Work-life balance and since it was a sudden move, many employees didn't know how to manage this effectively.
Now, companies gradually reopening offices have their own added advantages such as- Productivity is anytime better in work from office scenario as all employees are in the right frame of working, other than this HR can effectively track and monitor performance and reward employees for better productivity and keeping them motivated. Even, Onboarding new employees is not a nightmare and imbibing the organisation culture is done a lot more effectively.
This will help companies to focus on the agendas also, have meetings in the board-rooms and other than this, employees will also be in touch frequently which will ease their work. By having a process of a hybrid model, there will be fewer employees in the office which will also be in a safe mode comparatively. Hence, it’s pertinent to create an employee experience built by and for employees.
Even if organisations want a hybrid model to persist, workspaces have to be designed by observing the ‘new normal’ norms in mind. When companies want their employees to work hard and raise profit, then it’s the management's responsibility to have empathy for their persons. All the heads must take into account hygiene be it sanitation, social distancing and contactless automation.
The new normal has also given rise to the rapid adoption of emerging and new technologies, across markets and industries. Artificial intelligence (AI) will benefit the new workplace by improving the productivity of employees.
One of the most important takeaways from the pandemic is that it has catalyzed cultural transformation. For example, organisations have witnessed an increase in trust, a flattening of hierarchies, and more rapid and agile decision-making. The companies that will be most successful in the modification from the pandemic to the post-pandemic workplace will be those that find ways to sustain these cultural benefits and avoid a “cultural retreat.”
It is expected a lot of companies will offer the hybrid option for users—choose between home and office to work, or even choose both options for certain durations.