Work from Home to Continue in India? Survey Finds 73% Office Occupiers Want Hybrid Model


The days of remote working for all days of the work week may be over for employees in India as organisations are looking to shift to the hybrid model, a survey has indicated. As per the survey conducted by real estate firm CBRE South Asia Pvt. Ltd, that 73 per cent of office space occupiers in India are evaluating hybrid working arrangements going forward instead of granting work from home to its employees as the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are slowly reeling back.

The trend of considering the hybrid work model has emerged as companies are primarily opting for flexible working patterns post the pandemic. As per the survey, 78 per cent of the occupiers have underlined employee health and wellbeing as the most important element while facilitating return to office.

“The flexible working approach is a mix of four patterns that includes just-in-case remote work for specific circumstances, three-plus office days a week, an equal mix of office and remote work, and remote work for three-plus days a week,” noted the CBRE findings titled ‘2022 India Office Occupier Survey’. According to it, about 38 per cent of respondents stated that they would consider an equal mix of office-based and remote work, while the remaining 35 per cent of respondents permit more than three office days in a week.

The report further highlighted that the technology and BFSI corporates who plan to implement hybrid working policies would mainly prefer an ‘equal mix of office-based and remote work’ or ‘mostly in office’.

Office demand is expected to continue to grow as 62 per cent of respondents in India intend to increase the size of their real estate portfolios over the next three years, the report further noted. Meanwhile, one-third of the respondents indicated consolidation in fewer locations, along with meeting flexible demand via co-working spaces as part of their flexible portfolio strategy.

Employers are eyeing sustainability and wellness as part of their strategy to expedite return to office as ESG principles gain momentum. The survery found that 52 per cent of the respondents were willing to relocate to occupy ESG-compliant buildings, while another 7 per cent were willing to relocate even with a premium rental. About 44 per cent of companies retained dedicated seating arrangements as of 2022, well below the 81 per cent of firms who did so pre-pandemic, according to the survey.

Commenting on the survey findings, Anshuman Magazine, chairman and CEO – India, South-East Asia, Middle East and Africa, CBRE said, “Return to fffice for several corporates in India is already underway, with varying occupancies currently observed across cities as well as sectors. However, with the widespread adoption of hybrid working since the pandemic, many companies are still considering the degree of flexibility needed to enhance employee productivity and connectivity. Moreover, with the short-term leasing sentiment already picking up – a trend we expect would continue in subsequent quarters – expectations of long-term portfolio growth remain positive.”

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