A New Paradigm: How can organisations offer the best of both the worlds in the hybrid work model
The disruption caused by the pandemic has graduated from the sudden shift to fully remote work to a hybrid work model now, and this is now gaining popularity - across the board in the IT world at least.
As per a recent report, more than 70% of employees today prefer hybrid work while correspondingly, a similar sentiment has been expressed by both IT companies as well as tech service buyers.
Over 80% of the IT companies and global capability centres (GCCs) are most likely to adopt a hybrid work model as compared to the rest of the industry segments, says a report by National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
Also, the scale and nature of the business have evolved as key drivers, defining the structure of a future hybrid organisation.
The new work paradigm, however, is likely to bring in certain challenges.
The report titled 'Shaping the Future of Work in India's Tech Industry’ highlights those challenges as well as the key areas that leadership must address to promote flexible working options in the post-pandemic era.
Indian tech companies have already started adopting new work models which vary from completely remote to a combination of remote and on-site to completely on-site. While traditional companies are focused on accurate execution, technology organisations are fluid and modular.
“The pandemic has widespread ramifications on businesses across the globe, impacting the way they interact and operate. organisations have faced some of the major shifts, with remote/hybrid being the most distinct one," NASSCOM President Debjani Ghosh said.
"As we are on our way to normalcy, organisations should analyse the behaviour and choices of their employees and offer them the best of both offline and online working experiences. They should take a holistic approach and take into consideration the new working models and trends while designing the future of work structure."
Getting Future Ready
In a bid to attract and retain highly skilled talent which is spread across geographies, organisations are not just looking at remote work models but also are planning to change their geographical footprint and shift the focus to Tier 2/3 towns.
Companies are adopting newer models of work which includes a higher adoption of pay on-demand models (gig workers/free-lancers), to increasing traction on tapping and retaining diverse talent pools, says the study.
With the transition to a new work model, organisational structure is expected to undergo some changes to make the work more collaborative and engaging for employees.
Depending on the nature of the organisation for both fluid and modular platform organisations, this will include a creativity-driven focus to unlock employee potential, and efficiency-driven focus to improve organisational efficiency and adaptability.
The study notes that job requirements across workforce personas are also key to determine best-fit hybrid models for organisations. This will range from pattern-based professionals which include accounts processing and HR processing, to flexible professionals (digital marketing, web application development) and stewards (database administration, network security etc.).
The role of managers is expected to change in the new work setup. Organisations will further be expected to utilise digital ways of social intimacy for coaching and feedback sessions as well as setting up random peer catchups.
A hybrid working model demands putting trust and giving employees autonomy over the work that they do, and managers need to increasingly encourage an overall ecosystem of transparency and freedom.
“The tech industry is at the cusp of innovation, and industry is experimenting with unique and innovative solutions to create a workplace of the future. The last couple of years have exposed organisations to newer working models that not only open the doors to newer talent pools but also improve talent retention and increase operational resilience. The future model of work is not binary, and many variations are possible across a continuum. Organisations must create their own version of this future model as a critical component of a differentiated employee value proposition,” BCG India Managing Director and Partner, Nitin Chandalia, said.
As companies begin to call employees back to work, the study says, they must now build their value proposition around three fundamental pillars; developing newer talent pool with domain specific skills to execute ER&D projects (niche skill sets, lower attrition, rapid upskilling), supporting variability in contractual agreements and capacity delivered (forecasting, quick ramp-ups, gig economy) resilient operations, and a strong brand (geographical spread, BCP, robustness of remote infra).
Organisations will also need to strengthen the chain of culture by incorporating more trust-based and embedded culture to retain and attract new talent, it adds.