Better workplace safety measures and environmental amenities were voted as the most desirable aspects motivating people to visit the office more regularly.
According to the findings of the ‘Voices from India: How will people live, work and shop in the future?’, released by CBRE South Asia Pvt. Ltd., more than 80% favoured better workplace safety measures and environmental amenities as motivating factors. This is in accordance with corporates’ desire to occupy ESG-friendly premises.
The other top three reasons for employees to visit the office included more effectiveness in working, preference for in-person interactions, and more connectedness while working in office.
About 39% of respondents prefer hybrid/remote working patterns in India as their physical presence was not required for their roles. This was also due to their personal responsibilities and their reluctance to commute. About 39% of the respondents cited health concerns as a reason for not visiting the office, mainly delaying RTO – resulting in employers introducing health & wellbeing programmes.
Out of the total more than 20,000 people participated in the survey from across the globe, 69% of the respondents preferred to work at least three days from the office. However, a slight variation in trends amongst genders is visible as female employees tend to place a greater emphasis on flexibility when evaluating potential job opportunities, as they may have higher family commitments and strive for a better work-life balance by preferring to work remotely. Preference for working at an office under the hybrid working model is likely to increase from the current 67% to 78% in the future in India – in line with global and APAC trends.
More than 60% of both sets of future employees (office and hybrid) across generations indicated that compensation remained the overriding factor in job selection. As we increasingly move to a “phygital” world with limited physical interactions, trust in the company’s management has emerged as another important factor for future employees.
Further, 50% of both sets of workers (hybrid and physical) place importance on workplace services and amenities. Hybrid workers also place higher importance on when and where they can work while considering a new job.
The survey revealed that Indians display more flexibility towards moving or relocating than their global counterparts. The survey found that respondents display a stronger intention to move to a new home in the next two years (44% vs 31% in the previous two years). This is significantly higher when compared to both global and APAC respondents.
It is also interesting to note that as most cities in India swell to the beam, the definition of a true city centre continues to evolve. Most leading cities, especially Delhi- NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune are witnessing the emergence of suburbs that in many ways redefine the erstwhile “city centre”.
Gen Z led the preference towards moving to a new home in the next two years, compared to only 29% of baby boomers. This indicates that the younger generation will primarily drive upcoming housing demand. Except for Gen X, all other generations displayed a higher preference for locations near the city centres. Gen X displayed a slightly stronger preference for remote locations and a greater desire to move to another country as more experienced professionals seek overseas opportunities. In fact, across age groups, the preference to move to another country was the highest in India as compared to global or APAC counterparts.
The survey also highlighted that of those planning to move, more than 70% wanted to buy a house, instead of renting. While India has always been an economy where home buying is preferred over renting, the uncertainty around the pandemic has further accelerated the need for homeownership and security.
With the pandemic having raised the importance of health and safety, the demand for professional property management services, particularly in apartment buildings, has been on the rise. There is also an increasing need for dedicated office space at home as hybrid working becomes more widespread.
Anshuman Magazine, Chairman & CEO – India, South-East Asia, Middle East & Africa, CBRE, said, “The survey indicates that majority of respondents prefer workplace quality and focus space for them to be regular at the office, while specially after the pandemic, health and wellness has become the most important factor for them to consider for frequent office visits. In addition, technology, space design, location, and services & amenities have become desirable factors for the employees at work”.