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Experts discuss adaptation to new workplace models

The pandemic has redefined work, the workplace and the workforce in ways none of us ever imagined. Forced to rethink the use of human resources, organizations in all sectors have had to realign their priorities and redefine their professional and private lives.

A global survey conducted by EY in 16 countries, including India, into the impact of the pandemic on the workplace has revealed interesting results. About 69 percent of employees surveyed in India said they would choose flexibility when working and 76 percent of employees want flexibility in their workplace.

Employers broadly agree – 61 percent plan to make moderate to large changes to allow for more hybrid work, but only 46 percent have communicated these plans, creating a potential disconnect with employees on critical business issues. flexibility, culture and productivity.

Despite the overwhelming push for flexible working, the survey found that 39% of employers want or have already asked all of their employees to return to the office full-time after the pandemic.

As companies return to work after a long period of stress, multiple risks still exist – 53 percent of employers said one of the biggest risks will be their ability to achieve fairness and equity among employees when some jobs require a fixed schedule or location creating a role-based “have and have not” dynamic. Up to 41% of employers said hybrid work could pose a risk to culture, creativity and collaboration.

The question now is therefore how can companies develop new working methods while offering flexibility to the workforce? Plus, as organizations balance the needs of retention, attraction and productivity, are they doing enough to lessen the impact of the big resignation of 2021?

To discuss these findings, CNBC-TV18 met Elizabeth Fealy, deputy head of the Global People Advisory Service, EY. She also heads the workforce consulting division at EY and with her is Saurabh Govil, President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Wipro and Vikram Tandon, Group Chief Human Resources Officer, Adani Group.

According to Fealy, around 90% of employees want flexibility and this statistic is pretty close in India. What we are really working on with our clients is defining a hybrid model, a flexible hybrid model is a whole new way of working. Before the pandemic we were mostly together and during the pandemic we were mostly virtual and hybrid is a combination of the two.

“To be clear, people need to be in person for certain things. We see that, mentoring or training, meeting clients, innovation. you are together in person for a while and then you can work remotely. We are looking at what type of work is, what work needs to be done together, ”she said.

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“So the bottom line is that the genius is to some extent out of the bottle on flexibility of work and organizations are really trying to figure out how to provide that balance, while keeping their workforce together and sort of key moments. Said Fealy.

Govil said: “There are three things. First, flexibility is the key. It is important that people come together to establish the right collaboration and the right culture at regular intervals in the office. It’s important that we want people to be together at some point. The third is that there will be certain roles and tasks, which can be done completely remotely and how can we handle that. These are therefore three parameters, which will define how the world will move forward. “

“We’re seeing a few people waiting and watching right now how things go because the pandemic is somehow present in one part of the world as well. But we believe leadership will drive the agenda, and we’ll see how it moves forward. We started it, we saw leaders come back. Some people are very keen to come back, others are still reluctant and say this, continue the flexibility and will see how things go, ”Govil said.

Tandon said, “We are a manufacturing and contact-based infrastructure company. So our ports, airports, green energy simply cannot function without people there. Fortunately, we also haven’t seen very significant attrition rates so far have seen a healthy comeback in the office. But what has certainly changed is that employee well-being has certainly taken center stage. need to check how everyone is doing has become very important, ”he said.

For the full discussion, watch the video

First publication: STI


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