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Seeking Flexibility

Employees in India are demanding more flexibility post-pandemic, but three considerations should be top of mind.

By Marta Chmielowicz

The COVID-19 pandemic ushered flexibility into the workplace like never before, with employers adapting to meet the needs of their employees as they transitioned to a new remote reality. Now, many companies are finding that flexibility is no longer a nice to have—it is an expectation.

According to EY’s 2021 Work Reimagined Report, 85% of survey respondents in India believe their productivity can be accurately measured regardless of location. In fact, the desire for flexibility in India is higher than the global average, with the majority of employees in India seeking out flexibility in where they work (69%) and where they work (76%), compared to the global average of 54% and 40%, respectively.

However, whilst employees are not eager to return to the office full-time, many would like the option to adopt a hybrid model. The study found that Indian employees want to work between two to three days remotely after the pandemic. Thirty-eight per cent said they want a shorter work week altogether, whilst 65% want flexibility in their work hours.

Employers who choose to adopt a hybrid model should keep in mind three key considerations.

  1. Technology. Managing both office-based and remote workers requires a solid technology suite, both on-site and in employees’ homes. Almost three-quarters (74%) of employees in India say they want better technology in the office, including faster internet and video-conferencing capabilities.
  1. Remote work. Most employees are positive about the realities of remote work, but many believe that their companies should make investments to ensure a productive work environment.
    • 45% want their employers to upgrade their home-based hardware, including providing extra monitors and headsets.
    • 44% would like reimbursement for high-speed internet and phone expenses.
    • 63% feel a company subsidy for home office set-up would make their jobs easier.
  1. Health and safety. Whilst attitudes about vaccinations vary widely between geographies, the majority of employees in India (84%) want their employer to mandate vaccinations for office-based workers. This is significantly higher than the global average of 61%.

Companies that keep these factors top of mind when formulating their post-pandemic workforce plans will ensure high employee engagement and retention.

Tags: Benefits, News

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