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COVID-19 impact: 85% want to return to office, but there's a catch

About 33 per cent felt less productive at home because of lack of right equipment, distractions or noise, and improper ergonomics at home office. Additionally 30 per cent felt less collaborative because of lack of communication and coordination

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | June 10, 2021 | Updated 15:19 IST
COVID-19 impact: 85% want to return to office, but there’s a catch
Given a choice 50 per cent would go back to offices for team meetings, collaborations and brain-storming

While the pandemic changed how people worked and pushed forth the work-from-home regime, most people would now like to go back to offices -- albeit for a couple of days a week. According to a new survey, as many as 85 per cent people would now like to go back to offices.

The 'Way We Work' survey was conducted by workplace design consultancy Space Matrix that found out that 85 per cent people now want to go back to their workplaces more than 2-3 days a week. This indicates that a majority of people prefer a hybrid work regime. It found out that 64 per cent of respondents had never worked from home before the pandemic.

South East Asia had more experience with work from home (43 per cent), while India and China had less experience with work from home (29 per cent).

Work from home might have proved to be a blessing for many, but it was not without its challenges. About 33 per cent felt less productive at home because of lack of right equipment, distractions or noise, and improper ergonomics at home office. Additionally 30 per cent felt less collaborative because of lack of communication and coordination with colleagues and a feeling of isolation, while 30 per cent felt overworked due to longer working hours and inability to keep to a regular schedule.

In short, there were things people missed about the office. For instance, 43 per cent missed face-to-face interactions, 37 per cent missed ability to focus, variety of places to work, access to technology, and being more productive, and 12 per cent missed the work-life balance.

So, given a choice 50 per cent would go back to offices for team meetings, collaborations and brain-storming, while 20 per cent would go for client meetings and 20 per cent for town halls and social interactions.

Working together in offices impacted one's culture (41 per cent) and productivity (59 per cent). The respondents believe that culture is learned through day-to-day interactions, and being together with colleagues builds a sense of belonging and connected to the company's purpose.

They believe that face-to-face interactions and collaborations are fundamental for innovation and problem solving, while working with leaders and peers is key to learning and mentorship, and being in close proximity with the team is vital for team engagement.    

Space Matrix MD Titir Dey said, "Business leaders are increasingly focusing on ensuring safe, stimulating and comfortable work processes in their organisations. From the workspace perspective, we are witnessing a strong need for hybrid workspaces which can seamlessly accommodate changing needs for dedicated individual workspaces, collaborative environment, employee wellness as well as technology driven operations," further adding that hybrid workspaces are the need of the hour.

Also read: Future of remote work: Some employees may change job than go back to office

Also read: Women hiring in middle, senior management rises to 43% in 2020

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