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WFH vs WFO vs Hybrid mode: Nearly 50% companies want full return to office; only 16% allow work from home

Times Now logo Times Now 21-11-2022 ET Now Digital
wfh vs wfo vs hybrid mode: nearly 50% companies want full return to office; only 16% allow work from home © Provided by Times Now wfh vs wfo vs hybrid mode: nearly 50% companies want full return to office; only 16% allow work from home

New Delhi: Not only IT majors like Infosys, TCS have started recalling their employees back to the office, but several other organisations are in the favour of returning back to the pre-Covid normal. As Covid cases continue to subside, more companies are pushing employees to attend office.

Around 46 per cent firms are batting for full office return as against only 16 per cent companies that are offering work from home options. Another 32 per cent are falling in the mid at 32 per cent offering hybrid options.

Work from office vs work from home vs hybrid mode

When seen sector-wise, manufacturing companies are the ones that are fully in favour of mandating a return to office, followed by BFSI (banking, financial services & insurance) firms at 68 per cent and retail at 57 per cent.

While 53 per cent IT and 45 per cent BPO companies are operating in the hybrid way, 24 per cent of BPOs and 18 per cent of IT firms are offering a WFH mandate, according to a study conducted exclusively for ToI by recruitment firm Randstad India. It ended in the second week of September.

Only a mere 6 per cent companies are offering employees the choice to pick a working style option.

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Further, the study also pointed out at disparities between what employers and employees want. Remote work preferences are high among the BPO/IT/tech employees, especially women BPO workers. Among IT and BPO employees, 41 per cent prefer fully remote work and only 51 per cent said they are open to hybrid and just 3 per cent said they don’t want to work from home.

Among BPO employees, 86 per cent female workers want work from home while 71 per cent male workers nodded for remote work. Only 32 per cent BPO women employees said they “will continue working, even if WFH is not an option anymore”.

Firms that do not flexibility in workplaces, are likely to fall behind. “The nature of the new-gen workforce has compelled organisations across sectors to be employee-centric at their core,” said Randstad India MD & CEO Viswanath P S, adding that has gradually become a key aspect of building and sustaining a successful business.

“Organisations are focusing on offering a flexible workplace culture to employees, not only in terms of hybrid-, remote-working and flexible work hours, but also in terms of enabling career growth through learning opportunities, re-skilling, up-skilling, experimentation with new job roles, etc. They have come to realise the importance of employees as their strongest asset,” Viswanath added.

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Young workforce prefers WFH

The survey highlighted that the one most inclined towards remote or flexible work are the young, many of whom are the ones that may have not stepped into an office or are experienced co-workers. 56 per cent employees up to the age of 23 years may or may not continue working if WFH is not an option and another 8 per cent were sure of changing their jobs.

About 82 per cent of employees up to the age 23 years and 50 per cent in the 24-30 age group, on the other hand, said they prefer flexible timing.

Work from home is an integral part of our new ways of working. Depending on the nature of the role, we’ve given colleagues flexibility to continue working from home and also work from the office whenever required by the function. Every organisation is taking a position on this that suits them, said Natwest Group head (HR - international hubs) Maneesh Menda.

“We are aware that a few organisations are expecting people to work in office every day as was the practice pre-pandemic and even mandated five days working from office in certain jobs. But we would want to keep providing the flexibility and leverage through a hybrid model. This flexibility has been well received by our colleagues and we believe will help us in retaining our talent and also support them and their wellness,” Menda added.

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What employers think

Even as they continue to push for return to office, employers are not very keen on implementing the hybrid work. One in every three employers spoke about this reluctance and the primary reasons include employees now being used to the remote work model. The inclination for remote work is strongest in Mumbai (85 per cent) and Bengaluru (76 per cent) and least in Kolkata (65 per cent), said Randstad.

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Wednesday is the new Monday

Currently, office occupancy is the highest on Wednesday while Monday and Fridays are said to be the least occupied, many times falling into single-digit percentages. “We see the highest footfalls on Wednesdays. Imagine out of 2,200 seats, 200 get filled on a Wednesday. And that’s the peak. Mondays and Fridays are like hardly 50 people in the office,” said the CHRO of an internet services company.

Even though there exist differences on the preferred working modes between employees and employers, employees with the right skill sets, today, have the power to negotiate, opined Viswanath. "They will happily reject offers that do not meet their demands and join organisations where they feel comfortable working in,” he added.

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