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Work From Home Era May Be Soon Behind, indicates The Office Pass (TOP) Sentiment Survey 2023

July 11, 2023: “The Work From Home era may soon be behind us”. This and more are the findings of a survey carried out by The Office Pass (TOP), the Co-working and managed office operator for Indian Small & Medium Businesses (SMBs) in Delhi NCR. TOP’s ‘Workplace Sentiment 2023’ survey was conducted in the month of June, and saw participation from 700+ employees and 72 SMB founders in India. 76% of the respondents were males, and 24% were females. 

As per the survey findings, 67% of employees want to work from the office (34% want to work from office but only 2-3 times a week; whereas 33% want to work from office regularly). 18% want to work from an office close to their place of residence (i.e. neighbourhood Co-working). The remaining 15% prefer working from home. 

Within the employees, the propensity to work from office is the highest among senior management (77%) followed by middle management (66%) and finally junior-level employees (65%). 

Co-working is the most preferred working place for employees in human resources (88%), sales & marketing (70%), admin (69%), and procurement & logistics (67%) functions.   

Founder/Employer views on work preferences from that of employees. 54% of founders want their employees to come to the office regularly. Another 26% are open to their employees working out of a Co-working space if that helps in bringing them back to work. 20% of founders are open to letting their employees work from the office in a hybrid manner (2-3 days a week). Surprisingly, none of the founders want to give permanent work from home to their employees. This suggests that the era of working from home may be soon behind us. This is especially true in the context of a funding winter for Indian start-ups, with lesser opportunities in both STEM and non-STEM roles. 

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Founders/Employers who are planning to hire more than 50 employees in the coming year are keener to bring their employees back to formal work. Founders hiring 25-50 employees prefer a Co-working office (67%) over a formal office, whereas employers hiring less than 25 people were split down the middle between Co-working (44%) and traditional offices (44%), as long as their employees were comfortable. Some employers (12%) with small teams are even open to permanent work from home. This demonstrates that as organisations grow, they start to place more focus on productivity and business momentum. 

“Networking opportunities” with their colleagues was highlighted as the main driver for going to a formal office, whereas “a strong community to overcome loneliness and isolation” was highlighted as the main reason for opting for a Co-working space. Put together, both these insights may point towards some employee burn-out on the back of 24 harsh months of lockdowns and permanent WFH, with employees now eager to network and be a part of a larger community.  

The ‘Workplace Sentiment Survey’ is an annual initiative commenced by The Office Pass (TOP) in 2021. Last year’s findings revealed key insights into work trends triggered by the pandemic. Recognizing the positive impact on the economy, on society, and on general health, many businesses had implemented a hybrid work model or allowed partial work from home after the COVID-19 era. However, the current survey’s findings reflect a shift in preferences to the pre-pandemic working patterns. 

Nikhil Madan, Co-founder of The Office Pass (TOP) said, “The challenges faced by the workforce and individuals during the pandemic era, now seems to be largely behind us. The 2023 survey demonstrates that employees prefer the fast-paced environment of an office over the cosy atmosphere of working from home. In this situation, both Co-working centres and traditional offices are feasible options for transitioning out of the pandemic-induced lifestyle we have all experienced.”

The Office Pass (TOP) survey was started to gauge and analyse workplace trends so people at large could improvise on their workplace strategy. In the initial phase, the survey highlighted the numerous disruptions and possibilities employees encountered amidst the COVID pandemic. In the post-pandemic era, the survey has shed light on the different perspectives of occupiers, and the transition of workplace trends.  Moreover, the survey centres on employees’ preferences and assists in assessing the needs of contemporary offices. 

In 2020, the way people worked changed dramatically, as remote work became the new normal. However, companies have now resorted to reopening their offices nationwide.

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