86% workforce believe resuming work from office will compromise their current lifestyle reveals Godrej Interio’s study
New Delhi, April 6, 2022: Godrej & Boyce, the flagship company of the Godrej Group, announced that its business Godrej Interio, India’s leading furniture solutions brand, in-home, and institutional segments, has published the findings of an exclusive study ‘Home, Office and Beyond’. To understand the employee expectations in a post-pandemic world, the Workspace & Ergonomics Research Cell at Godrej Interio conducted a nationwide study and uncovers different aspects such as employees’ return to work concerns, changing the traditional use of office spaces, and views on working from home and from office. A total of 350 office-going employees participated in the research in the age group 21–56-years, most of them, working for MNCs and Indian corporates.
According to the research study, wellbeing became the focus area for both employers and employees over the past two years with 31% workforce saying employers should be interested in employee wellbeing. Similarly, employees noticed a difference in, both, their own and their teams’ well-being over the same period with 62% observing an improvement in personal well-being and 50% in their team’s well-being.
As companies are looking at ways to bring their employees back to offices, the research reveals that employees have concerns regarding returning to the office. An overarching worry uncovered in the study was that of health and safety considering the open-plan layout design in many offices. The main concerns of employees about returning to the office as per the study are 90% contracting Covid-19 in the office, 86% will have to compromise on their current lifestyle, 84% dreading a poorer work-life balance, 81% citing long commutes, and 71% unable to provide care to parents and children. However, despite all these concerns, the study also indicates that 68% of employees are comfortable and look forward to returning to the office.
In the partial unlock phase, the study reveals that 26% of employees are still in their hometowns and away from the cities where their offices are located whereas 18 % returned to cities where their offices are located.
Sameer Joshi, Associate Vice President, Marketing (B2B), Godrej Interio said: “As corporations gear up to welcome all employees back to the office, employee perceptions about a good work-life balance have changed significantly. Despite seeing benefits from work-from-home policies, the concept of a formal workplace has not disappeared completely. However, the pandemic has opened discussions about how office spaces can be used more effectively. At Godrej Interio, we are seeing demand for more collaborative furniture in the office space and are looking to grow the segment by 25% in this financial year.
For any form of return to the office to be successful, employers need to be mindful of their employee’s concerns and inculcate matters of personal and professional wellbeing into policies, office infrastructure, and design. Essentially, the workplace of the future needs to provide a three-pronged approach to address public health requirements, the individual needs of employees, and deliver economic value for businesses through adaptive ways of engaging with their ecosystems.”
Experiences from the pandemic years have companies reassessing their policies to ensure no major disruptions to workflows in the future. The Willis Towers Watson India COVID-19 Readiness Pulse Survey, conducted during the early days of the pandemic, found that 83% of companies in India were planning to review their work from home policies. This is a giant leap from traditional perceptions that employees would not be as productive when working away from the office, reports the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). According to the Godrej Interio study, 20 % of the employees are in favour of full-time remote work while 23 % are in favour of full-time office and 6% are location agnostic.