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Biz leaders in India are the most confident in Asia Pacific in leading a distributed workforce: Report

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on October 28, 2021


LinkedIn launched the ‘Future of Work’ B2B perception study by research firm GFK that focuses on the insights of 736 business leaders in India

Business leaders in India are the most confident in Asia Pacific in leading a distributed workforce, according to a report by LinkedIn.

LinkedIn on Thursday launched the ‘Future of Work’ B2B perception study by research firm GFK that focuses on the insights of 736 business leaders in India and what they think about the future of work, their flexibility offerings, the challenges they foresee, and their plans to solve them.

According to the report, despite the challenges, 83 per cent of India’s business leaders are confident about leading a distributed workforce, when compared to 66 per cent of leaders in the APAC region. India is also leading in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region when it comes to offering flexibility of work to employees.

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According to the report, even as 80 per cent of business leaders in India feel pressured to offer greater flexibility, Preparing for the new hybrid work culture, 9 in 10 business leaders in India have already offered or are planning to offer job sharing possibilities. Furthermore, 78 per cent have already offered or are planning to allow employees to work from a different country.

In comparison, 68 per cent of APAC leaders offer job shares and 58 per cent allow the staff to work from a different country. As mentioned before, 80 per cent of business leaders in India feel pressured to offer greater flexibility since the pandemic, with employees (58 per cent), managers (41 per cent), and the government (37 per cent), the top three contributors of this pressure.

New workplace policies

With an increasing demand for flexibility, business leaders are actively creating new workplace policies providing employees more agency over how they work and where they work from today. 88 per cent have also hired specialists, consultants, and additional personnel to help design their workplace policies for the future of work.

However, they also face certain challenges in deploying transformative workplace policies. Business leaders in India foresee concerns with offering greater flexibility such as substandard quality work (39 per cent), lesser collaboration between employees (37 per cent), and dented customer experience (36 per cent).

Workforce diversity

Business leaders are also confident of the benefits of such work options with happier employees, and hiring from a more diverse talent pool being among the advantages.

“The ongoing remote reality has made it easier for companies to hire professionals with more distinct backgrounds and diversified skill sets today,” the report said. As per the survey, 9 in 10 business leaders believe flexible work policies can help them hire not just diverse, but also the best talent.

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More than half of business leaders in India also believe virtual interviews can help them connect with aspirants with proximity restrictions (55 per cent), find a more diverse mix of candidates (45 per cent), and professionals with modern skills (49 per cent) today.

Business priorities

The survey also highlighted the priorities of business leaders that include ‘digital transformation’, ‘rethinking marketing strategy’, and ‘establishing new ways of working’ among the top three.

It comes at a time when leaders choose social media (69 per cent) and other online advertising (57 per cent) over ATL and print (42 per cent) in today’s remote work environment. Further, 93 per cent of India’s leaders also believe that having younger employees on the team gives them fresh insights into new marketing trends, especially as they continue to adapt their marketing strategies the report added.

It further showed that 3 in 5 leaders believe having ‘happy and fulfilled employees’ (62 per cent) is just as important as ‘excellent customer service’ (63 per cent) to drive strong business results today.

Therefore, the key workforce priorities for respondents for the next six months included ‘helping employees adapt to new ways of working’ and ‘keeping them happy and engaged.’

Employee engagement

To keep employees engaged and prepared for the future of work, 89 per cent business leaders are investing in training courses that facilitate employee collaboration and productivity in the current working environment. Furthermore, 1 in 2 leaders are also relying on increased L&D investments to help employees upgrade their skills (52 per cent), move easily into internal roles (52 per cent), and learn together in a community-based environment (52 per cent).

“Business leaders also believe that a sharper focus on empathy can boost collaboration among distributed workforces,” the report further said. 50 per cent of leaders in India feel that encouraging small talk at the start of meetings, and empathetic conversations led by managers (46 per cent) can foster inclusion among employees, regardless of their locations.

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Separately, with a growing need for flexibility and greater fulfillment for the workforce, LinkedIn has launched new platform tools to help job seekers signal their preferred flexible working model, learn more about workplace policies, and effectively manage their side hustle projects

“Flexible working has emerged as a top priority in the new world of work, and business leaders see this as an opportunity to hire more diverse talent and improve business performance,” said Ashutosh Gupta, India Country Manager, LinkedIn.

“Nearly 9 in 10 leaders in India have hired specialists to design stronger workplace policies, to re-evaluate everything from L&D opportunities to performance reviews and career progression through a new lens – one that puts people first and not location. To support this shift in the way we work, LinkedIn is launching new platform tools to help job-seekers find opportunities that match their preferences and their need for a more flexible work environment,” added Gupta.

Published on October 28, 2021

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