Making hybrid work, work in the long run


By Ankur Goel

Poly recently released a report on how organizations are responding to employees’ demand for ideal workspaces. The study, ‘Recruit, Retain and Grow’, analyzed work policies, culture, and wellness through the lens of over 2,500 global business decision-makers, and the findings have given an insight into employee and organisation needs as well as the shift in work culture.

In India, out of the 102 decision-makers surveyed,
• Nearly 74% of employers agree that hybrid working is the future.
• The majority of the companies (86%) surveyed responded that they had seen an increase in the productivity levels since the shift to hybrid work.
• Most Indian companies (84%) are redesigning their office with more open plan areas, collaboration spaces, quiet zones, and socializing areas to accommodate different work styles in the hybrid world of work.

These findings have been in-line with what many industry analysts and customers have echoed ever since the pandemic outbreak – the world has changed since 2020, and so have the ways that companies and employees approach work and workspaces.

A few strategies that business leaders can implement to make sure that their hybrid work, works include:
1. Having a people-centric approach
It is important to fight against the great resignation trend – 43% of Indian employers have reported that their employees are leaving their jobs post-pandemic. Companies must make their employees feel heard, valued, and supported if they want to retain good talent.

It becomes important for organisations to create an environment that is more employee friendly. For example, ensuring that remote employees don’t work long hours will go a long way in safeguarding employees’ work-life balance. Additionally, providing equal opportunities to employees, irrespective of their place of work also improves job satisfaction. Having a people-centric approach is the first step in making hybrid work successful.

2. Embracing flexibility to support different work styles
It is important for organizations to understand their employees and their workstyles by analyzing different workstyle personas found within their business.

Poly has identified six personas that have distinct character traits, which together make up 92% of a typical enterprise. By identifying the attributes, pain points, and communication intensity associated with each persona, businesses are better equipped to match workstyles and employee behaviors to devices and technologies, in turn increasing organisational productivity and meeting equality for workers collaborating from several different locations.

As per the Recruit, Retain, and Grow survey, 33% of Indian companies surveyed are considering offering flexibility to employees by letting them commute outside of rush hour. Policies such as these enable employees to be more productive and happy as the decision and timings of work hours lie in their hands.

Also, creating collaboration spaces within the office and equipping remote workers with suitable devices such as headsets, cameras, and speakerphones so that teams can work together seamlessly will play a crucial role in the future workplace.

3. Redesign and rethink office spaces
Organizations must shape the workspace to suit new ways of working – companies must focus on evolving the office to suit the needs of a hybrid age. According to our research, at present, companies in India are looking at:
i. Creating more open plan areas (36%)
ii. Offering more collaboration spaces (36%)
iii. Reducing the number of desks (30%)

To win the hybrid world of work, organizations must think about people, spaces, and technology to create a great, equal experience for staff. In India, more than half (69%) of the companies feel that the office is no longer the face of the company, and the shift towards new work and workplace cultures has put much more focus on the employee experience.

By creating employee-friendly policies and implementing the right technology, organizations can win and succeed in the hybrid work world.

The author is Managing Director for Poly India & SAARC. 


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