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A number of small businesses want employees to work from office instead of WFH or hybrid: Survey

Ease of doing business for MSMEs: Among sectors, banking, insurance and technology companies will lead the demand for office spaces in 2023 as the financial services industry’s quick embrace of digital platforms and the availability of tech-savvy individuals in India, the survey said.

A number of small businesses want employees to work from office instead of WFH or hybrid: Survey
70 per cent of large businesses surveyed are in favour of working in a hybrid mode.

Ease of doing business for MSMEs: More than a year after the Covid pandemic peaked in the country, a number of large businesses are still looking comfortable with the hybrid mode of working in comparison to small businesses. According to a survey by co-working companies Awfis and Qdesq, while 70 per cent of large businesses surveyed are in favour of working in a hybrid mode, more than 70 per cent of small business respondents in the survey cited work from office as their preferred mode of work.  

The report Indian Flex Occupier’s Survey 2022, however, didn’t mention the survey methodology including the number and size of businesses surveyed, the duration of the survey and the process of recording respondents’ feedback.

Amit Ramani, Founder & CEO, Awfis said the long-term future of the entire business will be determined by the current occupier patterns, which are also creating new expansion opportunities for flex space operators in the short term.  

“This is an opportune time for flex space operators to reinvent their workspaces, diversify their presence in cities, and carefully analyse tenant expectations to accommodate them effectively as flexibility continues to hold sway over workplace strategies of enterprises of all sizes.” 

Among sectors, banking, insurance and technology companies will lead the demand for office spaces in 2023 as the financial services industry’s quick embrace of digital platforms and the availability of tech-savvy individuals in India, the survey said. Moreover, the majority of the workforce prefers to work three to five days per week from the office now that things are returning to normal and offices are open, it added. 

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A similar survey on workplace strategy conducted by commercial real estate services provider Colliers in September this year noted that 60 per cent of small firms are currently working all days from their offices while only 10 per cent of the large enterprises are preferring five-day work from office, indicating that offices are finding more favour from small businesses. The survey was conducted in May and June this year and received 300 responses from ‘occupiers’ including small, mid and large-sized firms in India. 

The market for co-working space has grown steadily over the last few years with businesses looking to go hybrid particularly post-Covid. There were close to 3.7 lakh flexi seats spread across tier 1 and tier 2 cities across the country and was estimated to grow at the rate of 15 per cent, compounded annually, for the next five years, a report by real estate services company Anarock and CII in December last year noted. According to the report, there was nearly 35 million square feet of total flexible stock available across the country, of which 71 per cent was from large players.

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