Almost half of IT workforce in the country is likely to return to offices for up to three days a week by January 2022, according to a Nasscom-Indeed survey released on Monday, with junior and senior employees keener to return than the middle management.
The survey of 150 tech organisations and 6,000 employees in India -- conducted jointly by technology industry body Nasscom along with the job portal, Indeed -- pointed out that while the benefits of remote model were noted in terms of higher workforce productivity and greater flexibility for employees, risks related to data and cybersecurity mounted along with an impact on organisational culture.
Even though hybrid and remote work was touted as the future of work at the peak of the pandemic, employers have favoured calling employees back to offices as the heath crisis receded and the vaccination drive gathered pace. Indian IT companies, which employ 4.5 million people, have taken the lead in calling people back to offices. India has vaccinated more than 1 crore people with at least one dose.
With gradual re-opening already underway, 70 per cent of tech organisations are looking at perfecting a hybrid operating model which brings in the best of both worlds, the report said. Almost 60 per cent of organisations will reach readiness to re-open office spaces by January 2022.
Primarily the junior and senior management i.e., workforce under the age of 25 and above 40 years, are eager to return to the workplace as compared to the middle management. The report also states that female employees are also excited about returning to offices and adapting to newer working models.
Further, 28 per cent of employees are interested to return to the workplace within a month's time, while 24 per cent of the workforce would prefer to return to their offices after six months, it said.
Better infrastructure and hardware, alignment with organisational culture, social connect and bonding with peers, and lesser distractions as compared to WFH are the top four reasons for employee preference to return to workplace as responded by 28, 27, 25, and 20 per cent of the respondents, respectively.
But, on the other hand, the survey also found that 66 per cent of the respondents reported higher employee satisfaction during remote work.
Meanwhile, the top three reasons for employers to get employees back to the workplace are maintaining organisational culture, data/ cybersecurity, and managing critical business functions.
Data security, stakeholder preferences, and employee vaccination status are likely to be the key determinants of which employees will return to workplace first. Employee health & safety remains the key workforce consideration for return to workplace, voiced by over 81 per cent of organisations, followed by stable COVID-19 outlook and employee productivity, the report said.
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