Now that lockdown has almost opened up in all the states and with it, an important question that has arisen is whether the employees should continue working from home or should be called back to the office. This question was also thrown on the faces of the firms after the end of the first Covid wave and now that the second Covid wave is nearly ending, we are back to square one.
When Covid hit the world last year, Twitter made a statement saying that it will allow permanent work from home for many employees. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, had similar thoughts. However, not all CEOs share the same set of ideas. For instance, Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan recently said that the employees who want to work from home are the ones who do not want to hustle. The global views are divided on whether the employees should be called back to work or not, and now, India is facing the same question now that the unlocking process has begun.
Most of the employees will be called back to the office
Many of the Indian founders and HR heads want to open the office as safely as possible. The thought that has contributed to this decision is that working in an office will increase the employees’ productivity level and will make it easier for them to coordinate and collaborate among themselves. Also, it is believed that this will improve the mental health of the employees too. Startups like MediBuddy and GuruQ want to reopen the office safely with the country’s unlocking process.
It is interesting to note that not only the employers want to open the office but also the employees are also eagerly waiting to get back to work from the office. Employees of Tally Solutions and LogiNext have conveyed their desires to the leaders to open up the office space as most of the employees are missing the office culture.
Vaccination is the answer
Many Indian companies like Farmley and Indian Oil are conducting vaccine drives to immunize their employees from the deadly virus. Farmley has vaccinated 91% of its employees and similarly, Acer has vaccinated 50% of its employees and is aiming for 100% vaccination by the end of July 2021. For many companies, complete vaccination of their employees is the key to creating a safe environment for them in the office. Additionally, companies are making hand sanitisers available in the office along with temperature screening right at the entrance.
Considering the opinions of the employees
Companies are also rolling out emails to their employees to know how comfortable they are to start working from the office again. The feedback of the employees is considered while deciding the opening up of the office. Many companies are taking slow steps and deciding on a monthly basis about the complete work from the office scenario.
Companies are shifting to hybrid workspace
Following the footsteps of Google, Farmley has considered and effectively implemented a hybrid model workplace wherein around 50% of the employees are working in new office locations, 25% would work from the headquarter and 25% would work from home. Other companies to adopt the hybrid model are Acer and UST. The hybrid model is believed to give the employees the required flexibility, which allows them to take care of themselves and their family and further meet the organizations’ requirements.
The firms have also increased their dependency on technology to provide a safe environment in the office. For instance, better routers like D-Link and NETGEAR are replacing the old-fashioned routers by increasing the internet speed and ultimately saving more office hours. IndiQue, an office space provider based in Bengaluru has worked to make the pantries and cafes present inside the office both cashless and touchless by automating as many tasks as possible.
The Indian service sector has slowly started opening up back with proper precautions and the current trend is showing the importance of vaccination drive for the employees and hybrid space for the employees to gain back the complete confidence to work like pre-Covid time. However, till the Covid scenario prevails, this will be the new normal for many employees and employers of India.