More than 70 percent of companies are likely to continue the work-from-home policy for a percentage of their total staff for the next six months to maintain social distancing and for business continuity, according to a survey by Knight Frank.
The property consultant surveyed over 230 executives who handle the corporate real estate portfolio in large companies across various sectors.
Most respondents to the survey said that their company productivity was not affected due to the forced work-from-home arrangement since the lockdown.
The nationwide lockdown was imposed from March 25 to control the spread of COVID-19. However, relaxations have been given from the beginning of this month, barring some hot spots.
Knight Frank survey, however, found out that connectivity and distraction from family were two critical challenges faced by the companies’ workforce while operating from remote locations.
“An overwhelming majority of 72 percent 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,” Knight Frank India said.
Nearly 50 percent respondents said more than 30 percent of their workforce will work from home in the next six months. Only seven percent of those who participated in the survey said no employees will work from home.
About 62 percent of the total respondents said that they will either retain (38 percent) or increase (24 percent) their current office space portfolio.
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, he said.
“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,” he said.
Post COVID-19, Baijal said corporates would devise more formulae which will include work-from-near-home alongside work-from-office and work-from-home.
On the productivity level of employees, 35 percent respondents feel that current work-from-home policy has yielded the same productivity as the pre-lockdown phase, while 28 percent said output has increased.
Around 26 percent said the productivity went down, while 11 percent said it was difficult to assess.
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