Mumbai: In a recent survey concluded by Knight Frank India amongst the Corporate real estate executive (CRE) about 62% of total respondents said that they will either retain (38%) or increase (24%) their current office space portfolio. Most respondent to the survey said that their company productivity was unharmed due to the forced work from home since the lockdown. However, the survey revealed that ‘Connectivity’ and ‘Distraction’ from family were two critical challenges faced by the companies’ workforce while operating from remote locations.
The CRE survey aimed at understanding the changed workplace dynamics and its impact on the corporate real estate strategies. An overwhelming majority of 72% said that they are likely to continue with the work from home arrangement in the next six months due to the social distancing norms and as Business Continuity Process. Majority respondents also said that ‘maintaining social distancing’ and ‘physical transportation of employees’ are the two main challenges at workplace that all companies will have to find a viable solution to.
Shishir Baijal, Chairman and Managing Director, Knight Frank said, “The survey gives us a perspective that real estate users are unlikely to reduce their current portfolio mostly due to the norms of social distancing. Till a viable treatment for COVID-19 is found, office space users will have to maintain or acquire more space to accommodate the existing team. Work from Home will co-exist, but office space will not lose its importance as a strategic tool for corporate culture development and a source of competitive advantage. Going forward, especially in the post -pandemic phase, more formulae will be devised which will include “Work from near Home” alongside Work from office and work from home. This will, in the long term, ensure there will be Offices developments not only be in the top 8 cities but in smaller towns where employees originate from.”
Key highlights of the survey
· 35% respondents feel that current work from home has yielded the same productivity as pre-lockdown phase
· 62% respondents are likely either retain or increase their portfolio in the next 12 months only 15% of respondents said they are likely to reduce their current office space portfolio
· ‘Connectivity’, ‘Distraction due to family’ and ‘Lack of supervision’ where to top three challenges of hindering productivity in work from home
· 48% respondents said that more than 30% of their workforce is expected to continue working from home in the next 6 months owing to social distancing and challenges of transport
· As per the survey respondents, due to social distancing and Business Continuity Process considerations 72% respondents feel that their companies will continue with work from home policy for next six months
· Biggest challenge to resumption of work from office are identified ‘physical transportation of workforce’ and ‘maintaining social distancing’
· Only 16% respondent identified ‘Convincing employees to come to work’ as a challenge towards restarting their office space operations