Both employees and employers are equally interested in returning to the workplace in a hybrid setup, according to a recent report released by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), in association with Indeed.

The report titled ‘Nasscom Return to Workplace Survey’ is based on the return to workplace surveys conducted by Nasscom focused on both tech employees and tech employers on their plans on return to offices. The report aims at understanding the expectations, key considerations, and preparedness on both fronts (employers & employees) for return to the workplace and further analyses different future operating models emerging in a hybrid setup.

According to the report, 50 per cent of the workforce is likely to return to offices for up to three days a week starting next year. Primarily the junior and senior management i.e., workforce under the age of 25 and 40 years are eager to return to the workplace as compared to the middle management. Employees up to the age of 25 are most likely to return to the workplace by November 21, followed by employees aged above 40.

The report also states that female employees are also excited about returning to offices and adapting to newer working models.

Additionally, 28 per cent of employees are interested to return to the workplace in a month, while 24 per cent of the workforce would prefer to return to the workplace after six months

Hybrid work model

As workplaces reopen, organisations are focusing on the health and safety aspects of their employees. As per the survey, more than 81 per cent of organisations expressed that employees health and safety remain the key consideration for them while reopening the offices. However, 72 per cent of organisations are looking at operating at a maximum of 50 per cent employee capacity starting next year itself. 57 per cent of organisations will reach readiness to re-open office spaces within three months.

In the post-pandemic era, companies are looking forward to implementing newer work operating models, the report said. Currently, the hybrid work model is the preferred choice by over 70 per cent of organisations. While IT services and GCCs are likely to be early adopters of a long-term hybrid work model.

As offices reopen, 40 per cent of the employees expect to work from office premises up to three days a week.

“Over the last one and a half years, the way tech organisations have run business operations has undergone a massive transformation. The industry is now prepared to gradually re-open and looking at perfecting a hybrid operating model which brings in the best of both onsite and remote operating models,” said Debjani Ghosh, President, Nasscom, said.

“We encourage tech companies to process the reopening in a phased and safe manner while keeping the employee health and safety as the topmost priority,” Ghosh added.

Sashi Kumar, Head of Sales, India -, said, “Since the pandemic hit businesses across the globe, pushing employees indoors, many believed that the future of work is ‘remote’. However, organisations and employees gradually realized that remote work is an outcome of the pandemic and not an evolved approach to workplace planning.”

“In fact, Indeed’s last hiring tracker indicated that employees are looking for more ‘flexible’ workplaces that will enable work-home balance. ‘Nasscom Return to Workplace Survey’ reflects a similar sentiment as more than half of employers and employees favour returning to office in a hybrid model, making it clear that the future of work is hybrid," said Kumar.

The report further highlighted that while the benefits of the remote model were noted in terms of higher workforce productivity and greater flexibility for employees, risks related to data and cybersecurity also increased along with an impact on organisational culture.

“Keeping this in consideration, data security, stakeholder preferences, and employee vaccination status are likely to be the key determinants of which employees will return to workplace first,” the report said.

Nasscom in this report has further given recommendations for organisations on transitioning to a hybrid ready operating model and returning to offices through a 10-point checklist.