With India Inc heading back to the office, mostly on a hybrid basis, about 38 per cent of the organisations are planning to expand their office portfolio in the next 6-18 months, said a survey by Colliers. And the other 35 per cent are planning to retain their existing portfolios while 13 per cent look to consolidate their office spaces. Half of the total organisations planning portfolio expansion in the next 6-18 months belong to the technology sector. The survey of large, mid-sized and small firms further revealed that 63 per cent of the firms are embracing hybrid working, while 28 per cent are working all day from the office. These companies are majorly from the consulting, BFSI, and engineering sectors. Three days a week in office is the most popular hybrid working style with 26 per cent firms preferring the same.
According to the survey, this hybrid pattern allows businesses to pursue business goals without hindrances while offering better work-life balance to employees. About 53 per cent of businesses said that productivity has increased since the start of remote work. “Interestingly, about one-third of the occupiers surveyed revealed that their productivity increased by 5-10 per cent with hybrid working. Offices are now evolving into centers of collaboration and innovation, with the wellbeing of employees at the core,” said Ramesh Nair, Chief Executive Officer, India and Managing Director, Market Development, Asia, Colliers. In terms of challenges, 28 per cent of the firms feel that ‘discrepancy in a workplace environment is the biggest challenge in hybrid working, followed by communication barriers and lack of collaboration’.
Not just a trend for metros
The trend is not only in metros, but non-metros cities too are catching up with about 35 per cent of the firms, preferably exploring flex in non-metros. “The tier-II story is back in the market. Large firms, especially, are leading this trend as almost 70 per cent of the large enterprises are open to exploring flex in non-metro cities, while only 27 per cent of the smaller firms are considering the same,” said Ramesh Nair. Also, with employee convenience and higher occupancy costs in metros cities, it only makes sense for companies to consider non-metros cities. Vimal Nadar, Senior Director and Head of Research, Colliers India, added, “Overall, the interest levels towards building offices in non-metro cities will help reduce the infrastructure load on metro cities, and at the same time help build a cohesive business ecosystem in the smaller cities, leading to more equitable growth.”