The Future of Work and the Workplace in India
By: Gurjot Bhatia
We are in the age where the workplace is not merely the physical space. The metamorphosis of the physical office has become truly digital and going beyond the traditional working experiences. From the way we communicate and collaborate to the perks and benefits we provide to employees; workplace is rapidly changing and evolving. As the lines between work, life and play continue to blur, offices aren’t just where people go to get their work done. Today, it’s all about how to create a workplace that connects your people and anchors the brand.
The ideas, trends, and behaviors that will shape work and workplace in 2030 are already perceptible today. Some are clearly evident whilst others are emerging quietly around us. As per a CBRE study, 220 experts, business leaders and young people from Asia, Europe, and North America shared their views on how these trends will impact business, evolve work practices and continue to revolutionize how, when, and where work happens.
In 2030, the many places where we work and live will be diverse and entwined: humanity, creativity, culture, and community will be integral. The research demonstrates that significant changes are happening – across the world. Not only is business changing, but people are reflecting on the very meaning of work in their lives and how to be a part of vibrant virtual and physical communities that bring joy and high quality of experience to their lives.
Some of the factors that will impact the work of tomorrow are as follows:
Wellness and Design
The concept of workplace wellness and design is not new. We’ve long recognised that employee health and efficiency have a clear connection. Healthy employees take fewer sick days and are more productive at work. By improving the health and wellbeing of its workforce, an organization can create a distinct competitive advantage through reduced healthcare costs, less absenteeism, increased productivity, as well as improved staff retention. Wellness programs are a win-win and, quite simply, make good business sense. As with most corporate programs, building a business case for wellness and demonstrating RoI will probably determine the extent to which it’s adopted and therefore succeeds. Establishing a good baseline of measures and tracking progress will help with this.
Digital technologies continue to make their way into offices, impacting the workplace and revolutionizing the traditional ways of working. New technology solutions are taking collaboration to the next level and facilitating a cultural shift to a digitally driven workplace. Immersive technologies such as Virtual Reality are adding value in roles such as employee job training due to its ability to simulate real-life situations. Analytics is being increasingly used to improve the workplace and drive competitive advantage by simplifying data management, visualization and report generation. Agile and authentic corporations will adapt quickly, leverage technology to the next level and will have the values, purpose and opportunities that will attract the best talent. Technology is enabling flexibility to employees and this has been instrumental in defining the future of workspaces across the world.
Happy places make happy people
CBRE’s survey highlights that 85% of Indian millennials place importance on office design/layout while looking at a new job. Companies today are focusing on leveraging design to cultivate talent, and help employees grow and stay focused. They are looking at creating flexible layouts, that offers them variety of spaces such as collaborative spaces, semi-private and quiet areas which support a range of working styles.
Changing attitudes towards wellness, design and the rise of technology will have a major impact on the workplace, on the facilities and services it provides, and on how people will interact with their built environment. For brands, it becomes essential that they shift from merely being a space provider to creating experience and community, and offer an inviting atmosphere that fosters collaboration, creativity & productivity. Organisations must recognize the need to create rich, diverse and dynamic workplace and places to work that inspire the next generation to enjoy life and perform their best.
(The author is Managing Director, Project Management, CBRE India, a hi-tech real estate provider and the views expressed in this article are his own)