Mumbai, June 7

Over 70 per cent of employees surveyed in a recent study have revealed a preferrence for the hybrid work model.

The report launched by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group (BCG) on Tuesday, highlights the challenges of the new work paradigm as well as the key areas that leadership must address to promote flexible work options in the post-pandemic era.

IT companies and hybrid work 

Titled ‘Shaping the Future of Work in India’s Tech Industry’, the report shows that a majority of employees now prefer hybrid work, a sentiment that is shared by both IT companies as well as tech service buyers.

“Indian tech companies have already started adopting new work models, which vary from completely remote (work model) to a combination of remote and on-site, to a completely on-site model. While traditional companies are focused on accurate execution, technology organisations are fluid and modular,” the report said. 

More than 80 per cent of the IT companies and GCCs are most likely to adopt a hybrid work model as compared to the rest of the industry segments. Also, the scale and nature of the business have evolved as key drivers, defining the structure of a future hybrid organisation.

“The pandemic has widespread ramifications for businesses across the globe, impacting the way they interact and operate. Organisations have faced some of the major shifts, with remote/ hybrid being the most distinct one,” said Debjani Ghosh, President of Nasscom.

“As we return to normalcy, organisations should analyse the behaviour and choices of their employees and offer them the best of both offline and online working experiences. They should take a holistic approach while designing the future of the work structure,” added Ghosh.

Managing Director and Partner, BCG India, Nitin Chandalia said, “The tech industry is at the cusp of innovation, and industry is experimenting with unique and innovative solutions to create a Workplace of the Future. The last couple of years have exposed organisations to newer working models that not only open the doors to newer talent pools, but also improve talent retention and increase operational resilience.”

“The future model of work is not binary, and many variations are possible. Organisations must create their own version of this future model as a critical component of a differentiated employee value proposition,” added Chandalia.

The way forward 

Organisations are also shifting focus to Tier-II and Tier-III towns, changing their geographical footprint in a bid to attract and retain skilled talent, which is spread across geographies, apart from looking at remote work models.

“Companies are adopting newer models of work, which includes a higher adoption of pay on-demand models (gig workers/ freelancers), to increasing traction on tapping and retaining diverse talent pools,” the report said.

“With the transition to a new work model, the organisational structure is expected to undergo some changes, to make the work more collaborative and engaging for employees. Depending on the nature of the organisation for both Fluid and Modular platform organisations, this will include a creativity-driven focus to unlock employee potential, and efficiency,” it further added.

Another key factor in determining the most suitable hybrid models for organisations is job requirements. 

“This will range from pattern-based professionals, which include accounts and HR processing, to flexible professionals (digital marketing, web application development) and stewards (Database administration, network security etc.),” according to the report. 

The role of managers is also expected to change with organisations expected to utilise digital ways of social intimacy for coaching and feedback sessions, as well as setting up random peer catch-ups. 

“A hybrid work model demands putting trust and giving employees autonomy over the workthey do, and managers need to increasingly encourage an ecosystem of transparency and freedom,” it said.

Value proposition 

Companies must build their value proposition around three fundamental pillars as they call employees back to work; “developing newer talent pools with domain specific skills to execute ER&D projects (niche skill sets, lower attrition, rapid upskilling); supporting variability in contractual agreements and capacity delivered (forecasting, quick ramp-ups, gig economy) resilient operations; and a strong brand (geographical spread, BCP, robustness of remote infra).”

Organisations will also be required to strengthen the chain of culture by incorporating a more trust-based and embedded culture, to retain and attract newer talent.