Mumbai: For many, remote-working is the new norm today as on-ground operations came to a grinding halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Buzzinga Digital, a research-first, integrated communications agency conducted an online research survey in an attempt to understand the behavioral and professional changes the Work From Home (WFH) culture is revealing for India’s workforce.
The pan-India study surveyed close to 500 industry professionals, across the spectrum – IT, SME, Automobile, Agriculture, Telecom, etc. A bulk of the respondents (80%) belong to the 25-44 age bracket with a majority residing in metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Kolkata. This insight into the ‘Millennial-Mindset’, during India’s largest Work From the Home experiment, reveal –
- 50% are optimistic about working from home and 30% don’t feel any change
- 55% find social-isolation a big hurdle
- 63% said their e-relationship with co-workers is either excellent or very good
- 75% say the biggest motivation to continue to WFH is not commuting
- More than 60% feel they work more hours when working from home
It’s evident that better logistical support from companies, processes, and favorable WFH policies has the power to turn the scales in favor of WFH. This could, however, severely impact the commercial real estate market but save crores in office rental costs for enterprises.
As corporate India stays at home, it has become evident that they were starved of family time with as many as 54% choosing extra family time as another motivator to continue working from home. Having said that, 75% of respondents also said they missed face-to-face interactions with colleagues.
The study also tried to get an insight into the post lockdown/post-COVID-19 scenario and when working professionals return to their offices. About 60% said they wouldn’t want to come into the office more than 2-3 times a week, while 10% categorically stated that they don’t like the idea of going back to an office at all.
When asked if a curfew, as a permanent fixture in the calendar, would be acceptable, almost 70% replied positively with 50% showing a willingness to follow it once a week. A large group of those surveyed cite environmental reasons as a primary reason to accept a curfew – 77.02% believe it’s good for the ecosystem and 61.49% opine that it will reduce our collective carbon footprint.
“The coming months may also see a rise in the number of digital businesses that exclusively operate online. Employers may consider digital literacy and proficiency in tech-based operations important prerequisites for hiring,” said Yashraj Vakil, CEO, Buzzinga Digital.
Overall, the survey indicates that WFH can potentially be the next big shift in India’s work culture. Companies that have conducted their business in traditional office spaces have been the hardest hit due to lockdown restrictions. However, to avoid a similar fate in the future, these firms are likely to embrace digitization.
For employees, this may herald a massive change in how they work. As of now, the success of the WFH experiment is a matter of speculation, but time will tell. However, it is our best bet until the COVID-19 pandemic ends and before the lockdown is lifted.