Home News Pandemic Effect: Organizations Today Are Looking for a Smaller Workspace

Pandemic Effect: Organizations Today Are Looking for a Smaller Workspace

Pandemic Effect: Organizations Today Are Looking for a Smaller Workspace
Pandemic Effect: Organizations Today Are Looking for a Smaller Workplace

Starting next week, scores of Kerala government officials along with representatives from the information technology (IT) industry will fan out to inspect abandoned buildings and unused lots to see if they can be converted into “micro offices”.

The plan: since ‘work from home’ is not working for everyone, perhaps ‘work near home’ could. The only criterion is that the new spaces must be much smaller than a traditional IT park (with not more than 50 to 60 seats). The micro offices could even be inside a houseboat or a resort. “Since the tourism sector is going to take time to revive, they could function as premium office spaces for a while,” said PM Sasi, CEO of Kerala government-owned IT parks.

Kerala’s push is perhaps the first salvo in a wider attempt to discover the nature of the new office in a post-COVID age. All manner of experiments is afoot. File-transfer service WeTransfer has even kickstarted a virtual office with avatars for each employee to see if it can activate social interactions to an extent.

Sasi says work from home is not a long-term solution. “Productivity was quite high in the first month of WFH, but things have deteriorated. Off late, issues like power and Internet failures have cropped up and then there are the psychological impacts (of remaining indoors). We are trying to see if there can be something in between the (traditional) office environment and the home.”

That quest has only become more urgent as the shutdown of offices used by the white-collar workforce, which has entered the third month, is set to continue. In Kerala, despite the early public health success, less than 5000 of the usual workforce of 125,000 are showing up at the IT parks, Sasi said. “Whether COVID ends today or tomorrow, this rethink (on what an office is) is here to stay,” he added.

In the vicinity of Whitefield – an eastern suburb of Bengaluru where a large number of IT employees live – there is already a demand in some housing complexes for space within the community where people can sit and work, said Om Chaudhary, chief executive officer of FIRE Capital, a real estate fund. “A business-center-like facility is a necessity now in any new development in some parts of the country.”

“Work might still be anchored to a particular office, whether one goes once a week or once a month. But I don’t see how the old office can remain,” Chaudhary said. “The HITEC City (of Hyderabad) used to be the model. If one doesn’t do something mega, things will not pop up. But the model of today is a thing of the past now. Very large buildings with air-conditioning are out of the picture. It will just expose 500 people in one go,” he added.

The ongoing rethink on offices could also have larger ramifications – on urban forms and how cities function. Hyderabad, for instance, used to be a north-to-south city until the IT boom in the city’s west twisted its economic flows and transport corridors to a new east-to-west alignment, said Anant Maringanti, director of Hyderabad Urban Lab, a multidisciplinary urban research center.

If people stop commuting to high-rise offices or commute less, the nature of those corridors could shift again, creating new zones of vibrancy in cities. At least 14 Indian cities are in the process of planning or constructing new metro rail corridors, which pay close attention to the existing nature of work commute in each city. “It’s very hard to read the tea leaves right now. Every city is still trying to figure out what kinds of things could work,” Maringanti said.

News Source: livemint

Eskalera, a Startup Led by Goldman Sachs’ Former HR Head Has Launched a Diversity and Inclusion Index

Eskalera, a technology startup led by Goldman Sachs former human resources head Dane Holmes, has launched an index to measure corporate diversity and inclusiveness,...

HSBC to Remove 35,000 Jobs Amidst Covid-19 Crises

HSBC Holdings Plc has restarted cutting as many as 35,000 jobs, three months after the coronavirus outbreak forced it to pause a long-awaited overhaul...

Genpact Offers Its Internal Skill Training Program Globally for Everyone

Genpact has announced Adapt and Rise, a role-based online learning platform that leverages Genpact's expertise honed from delivering real-world change for hundreds of clients....

San-Francisco Based Learning Platform Degreed Has Raised $32 Million in New Funding

The upskilling platform, Degreed, has announced $32 million in new funding in direct response to overwhelming demand for better skill insights, talent mobility, and...

Research Shows the Implications of Workplace Layouts on Employee Productivity and Overall Performance

As some workplaces prepare for the gradual return of employees and overhaul office layouts and seating plans, research has shown this could also have...

Employee Concierge ‘Back Technologies’ Integrates Automation Into Internal HR and Other Support Tasks

Companies are under increasing pressure to automate workflows and digitally service their employees, particularly in light of trends toward remote work. It takes an...

HR Strategies to Help Your Business Navigate the New ‘Normal’

No business is immune to the massive changes resulting from the health crisis. Organizations have proven themselves to be agile, and employees have demonstrated...

The Importance Of Diversity And Inclusion In HR, Hiring, Talent Management: Thoughts From A Top Expert

Michael C. Hyter is one of today’s best-known experts on inclusion and diversity and the author of The Power of Choice: Embracing Efficacy to Drive Your Career and The...

HR Expert Highlights Actionable Steps to ‘Make Real Change’ Against Racism in Your Workplace

Kyra Leigh Sutton, Ph.D., is a faculty member at the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations, where she teaches human resources courses...

Adidas Employees Want Company to Investigate HR Chief for Response to Racial Issues

A group of Adidas employees from around the globe is asking the company to investigate its chief human resources officer, as part of a...