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HIGHLIGHTS & REPORT INDEX
Future of Work. Will it Be Back to Office, WFH or a Hybrid Approach?
Massive exodus from traditional offices to a work-at-home environment is today a reality in almost every country worldwide. The IT landscape today remains irreversibility changed with companies migrating to new operating models; reassessing IT security architectures; resetting security systems to plug-in digital holes; and adopting innovative remote working technologies. Highlighting the acceleration in digital transformation is the fact companies have digitally transformed within weeks to ensure business continuity as lockdowns and restrictions confined billions of people to their homes for most part of 2020 and 2021. Over 60% of companies in North America, Europe and Asia expect to witness a higher velocity of change in digital transformation during the years 2020 through 2023. Digital transformation is now visible in all industrial sectors.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the main hurdle for companies to adopt work-from-home (WFH) was usually indecision and reticence. WFH or remote working was an option that was approved at the discretion of the manager and was sparely used most often as an employee benefit. Despite the advent of high-speed internet and teleconferencing technologies, the inherent resistance to change meant that the WFH option was sparingly used by companies across the world. Work from home was considered to be an extended leave and remote workers were deemed to be less productive compared to in-office workers, creating a stigma around WFH. In the United States, in the pre-pandemic period only 5% to 7% of the country`s workforce was working from home (WFH) although over 58% held jobs compatible with remote work. However, over 35% to 40% will work from home multiple-days-a-week by the end of 2021. The pandemic is responsible the accelerating this change. Currently, many large organizations are providing employees the flexibility of working remotely indefinitely. The flexibility and agility demonstrated by WFH policies adopted by a large number of companies have helped with ensuring business continuity. The shift towards home working during the pandemic has led many employees to be more productive and happier, owing to greater family time, lesser office distractions, freedom from stressful and hectic commuting, and lesser chances of getting exposed to the virus.
However, as the communities across several countries start to re-open, organizations have begun reassessing their work policies. Although working from home may be considered as the "future of work", working from office also has its benefits. One thing certain is that the e pre-pandemic office culture is slowly becoming a thing of the past, while at the same time the evolution of work for the future may not be as simple as remote work policies. A hybrid work arrangement is gradually taking shape and is anticipated to emerge as the future of work in the coming years. While remote work is evolving rapidly and gaining immense attention from businesses, hybrid is set to be the most prominent paradigm defining the future of work. Representing a blend of remote and office work, the hybrid model allows companies to adjust to the new normal without compromising over employee and business productivity. The model may provide employees with the opportunity to choose when they come to the office and work from home. There is no clear definition of the model and every organization can develop a specific hybrid model on the basis of its requirements. While some businesses may provide employees with the freedom to work remotely and on-site part of a week, others may opt for either full-time on-site or remote work as a permanent option for employees. In addition, businesses may designate specific leadership roles and positions as on-site or fully-remote across departments for enhanced gains.
» Future of Work
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