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20 per cent of workforce to remain remote for next two years despite increasing vaccinations, says report

Several IT giants and tech start-ups have already announced plans towards a swifter adoption of the hybrid work model where employees will not be expected to attend offices.

Published: 29th June 2021 03:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th June 2021 09:58 AM   |  A+A-

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Representational Image. (File Photo)

Express News Service

BENGALURU:  Despite increasing vaccination levels, the lifting of lockdowns, and the reopening of the markets, nearly 20 per cent of India’s 500 million workforce is expected to work remotely for the next 12-24 months, a report by property consultants firm Savills India stated.  

The survey titled “Renewed Approach & Impact on Office Market” said that 75 per cent of the respondents (including employers and employees both) opined that more than 20 per cent of the workforce is expected to work from a non-office location in the near- to medium-term.

“Policy changes at organizational level are promoting people to work either completely from their homes or dedicated workspaces closer to their homes. In fact, leading luxury real estate developers have also started offering a seamless work environment for residents in clubhouses and community centres,” according to the Savills’ report.

In India, leading IT services firms including Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro, Infosys, HCL Tech, and tech start-ups have already announced plans towards a swifter adoption of the hybrid work model where employees will not be expected to attend offices through all the working days. 

Impact on co-working sector

Work from anywhere policies adopted by employers may catalyse growth in co-working spaces, whose share in office leasing activity dropped to below 10 per cent in 2020 compared to 14 per cent in 2019, the report said.

It added that new hybrid work policies may further push adoption of flexible workspaces this year driven by three critical factors: flexibility and cost-effectiveness, accelerated technology adoption, and wellness.

“50 per cent of the occupiers gave high priority to scalability, flexibility and employee wellbeing.  These indicate a strong sense of confidence in shared workspaces even in today’s challenging environment,” the survey said.

Co-working giant WeWork, for instance, released a statement last month that it has started seeing an increase in occupancy rate to 53 per cent in May, 2021 compared to 50 per cent in March 2021. 

“As vaccine distribution expands, global restrictions ease, and companies begin to act on their hybrid return-to-work strategies, WeWork continues to see an improvement in leading indicators such as desk sales, churn rates and occupancy across its portfolio,” it said. 

Manas Mehrotra, Founder of 315Work Avenue, a co-working firm, told this publication that during the pandemic, the company signed up more than 4,000 seats.

“We are now looking at adding another 5,00,000 sqft by the end of this year and expanding to other cities such as Pune, Hyderabad & Mumbai,” he said.

“As the office market recovers from the second wave, we expect enterprise demand to grow steadily with companies preferring capex-light business solutions and moving away from traditional office spaces,” he added.

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