Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Posted at: Jun 24, 2017, 12:15 AM; last updated: Jun 24, 2017, 12:16 AM (IST)

It feels like home

Work spaces are being redefined. The dull and boring offices are giving way to casual décor that helps create agile and lively working conditions
It feels like home

Arupjyoti Gogoi

The concept of office or workplace has been changing visibly over the past few years. As we are entering a more digitally connected world, there has been a paradigm shift in the meaning of a workplace. Be it keeping employees happy and productive, or retaining them, organisations are investing hugely in creating unique and lively offices. This ultimately leads to creating agile working environment. Life-work balance is the utmost priority for today’s generation. Organisations are trying to create employee-friendly HR policies. Today’s workforce is diverse and this leads HR departments to think innovatively to engage and retain them.

Welcome flat organisation

With millennials making the most of today’s workforce, organisations are trying to bring workplace agility by redefining the concept of a workplace. According to N. Shiva Kumar, business head RPO, TeamLease Services, “In today’s competitive world of work,  office environment is becoming an essential element that influences employees’ productivity, inspires people to do their best work, unleashes their complete potential and helps organisations reach newer milestones. Multi-generational considerations, pressure to innovate and need to attract and retain talent are forcing companies to better understand the importance of collaboration and the necessity of well-being in their office designs.”

Today’s digitally connected world has truly become a global village where working transnationally is no more a fancy tag. Rather, it is the need of the hour.

“The workforce of today is diverse, spanning multiple generations, geographies and time zones. This brings with it numerous opportunities and challenges as well.  Rigid systems and processes, hierarchical structures, inflexible policies and linear modes of thinking are slowly being phased out to welcome flat organisations, space for innovation, and a focus on collaboration through creative thinking,” says Richard Lobo, EVP & Head-HR, Infosys Ltd.

At Infosys, this flexibility is provided through creatively designed workspaces, world-class sports facilities such as bowling alleys, swimming pools, gyms, cricket grounds, and the like. The company arranges for yoga, dance and aerobic sessions that add an element of fun to fitness. Workstations, which were typically L-shaped, have now become more linear and agile. Some of the plain-looking wall surfaces now have a story to tell through the use of printed graphics.

Millennials hold the key

Millennials make for a majority of workforce today, the organisations are focusing on attracting and retaining them by providing unique facilities at workplace. According to Richard Lobo, “Millennials and many others in the current workforce expect work and life to completely blend together. This expectation makes the organisation ponder about its ability and capacity to provide workplace flexibility.”

As organisations hire more millennials, it is up to the leadership to utilise the best qualities of this generation for growth. In the process, they will help the organisation succeed too.

According to N. Shiva Kumar, “Millennials are more evolved in terms of their thought process, speed to operate, broader perspective, global knowledge and access to information. They prefer global standards of workplace for them to operate rather than a functional office, which suffices the needs. They draw inspiration from workplace to perform to the best of their abilities. They believe employees to have fun at work as well as excel in their performance bringing a good work-life balance and higher standards of performance.”

Investing in human resource

With the competition for attracting talent becoming fierce, companies are investing heavily on employee-friendly facilities. Companies are focusing on positive and agile work-culture, employee-friendly benefits, healthy work environment, latest infrastructure and facilities.

According to Derek Nazareth, XL Catlin’s head of global operations and country manager for India, “The employee is on our mind when we talk about individual work desks as well as collaborative areas with choice of seats; the work areas are segregated into three broad zones. The layout ensures that the work hall gets maximum sunlight and external views. There are collaborative zones that are open and adjacent to the individual work zones. The design ensures privacy for users while working or collaborating. Closed meeting rooms of various configurations are equipped with video conferencing facilities and a new meeting management system. Amenities such as front reception equipped with a bank of small meeting rooms, cafeteria and a recreation zone, reprographic areas accessible in employees’ bays, washrooms, beverage counters and tuck shops, and telephone booths for short as well as long calls, among others are further ensured for employees.” 

When people are prized 

“As the organisations are becoming competitive, it is important to provide employee-friendly facilities and proper work environment. The growing tendency of becoming multinational has led organisations to think in a new way to attract and retain people, who come from diverse backgrounds and cultures,” says Rudra Shankar Shatapathy, group MD & CEO, In2IT Technologies.

“For most, work is stressful. We want to give our employees a congenial atmosphere, which will aid the aspiration to improve their productivity. Organisations are building signature designed buildings that themselves become a landmark. In India, there are many such offices that are unique by design and structure that employees are proud to bring their parents, friends and others to show the place they are working at,” N. Shiva Kumar adds.

Positive and agile work environment is essential to attract talented staff and to retain it. Creating employee-friendly workplaces are no more a fancy tag. Along with the understanding of the need to employ, develop and retain talented people, organisations are well aware of the fact that they must manage talent as a critical resource to achieve best possible results. People are the real asset for any company and are vital for the exponential growth of an organisation. It, thus, becomes imperative for organisations to reach the right set of dynamic manpower and provide them employee-friendly working environment. 

Work-life balance

Workplace agility is redefining the concept of modern office for millennial employees. Here’s why

  • The workforce of today is diverse, spanning multiple generations, geographies and time zones 
  • Millennials and many others in the current workforce expect work and life to completely blend together
  • As organisations hire more millenials, it is up to an organisation and its leadership to truly utilise the best qualities of this generation for growth
  • In today’s world of real-time communication and “always on” mode of living, work-life integration is the new way of staying connected with work without compromising on personal time and priorities


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