Data reveals 91 per cent of Indian companies have expanded their office space over the past two years, surpassing the 75 per cent of global companies that have done the same. This is according to ‘Returning for Good’, a Unispace Global Workplace Insights report, a survey conducted by Unispace.

The report gathered data from a survey encompassing 9,500 employees and 6,650 employers across 17 countries.

The expansion in office space indicates that the workplace is still a critical asset, with a large number of businesses increasing their real estate portfolio in the last two years. This goes against the numbers reported in 2021, when globally, 84 per cent of firms revealed they planned to decrease the amount of office space they maintained.  

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Preference for office-based work

Going forward, globally, a majority (74 per cent) plan to increase their footprint in the next two years, suggesting that the office is far from redundant in the hybrid working model, the report noted.

While there are global nuances in real estate expansion, there is a trend in businesses looking to make money from their real estate, including creating hospitality spaces (44 per cent). 

Additionally, Indian workers exhibited a stronger preference for office-based work, with 92 per cent of employees expecting to be in the office at least four days a week in the near future, higher than the global average. In fact, a lack of access to office space has driven people to switch jobs in India in the past two years, with 28 per cent of Indian employees saying they moved to a new company, suggesting that workers place significant value on the physical workspace.

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“Data from India clearly demonstrates that many employees prefer to work in an office, but too few employers are providing inspiring and purposeful spaces that meet employee needs and values, including the provision of private working areas,” said Abi Roni Mattom, Country Director, India, Unispace.

Furthermore, 81 per cent of Indian employees believe that remote work limits career prospects such as pay rises, bonuses, and promotions. Employers echoed this sentiment, with 96 per cent indicating career limitations for those not in the workplace.

Why do employees dislike being in office?

Employers appear to misunderstand employees’ workplace challenges. According to the survey, the top three reasons businesses believe people dislike going into the office are linked to losing time to carry out household chores, having to carry equipment such as laptops between the office and home, and concerns about their mental well-being (all 22 per cent).

However, the top three reasons Indian employees dislike being in the office were enjoying the privacy of working from home (37 per cent), feeling more productive working from home (27 per cent), and feeling more effective in a quiet environment at home (26 per cent).

Unispace is a strategy, design, and construction company that entered India in 2021 and so far has completed 15 projects. It is currently working on 6-8 projects across cities such as Hyderabad, Pune, Bengaluru, and Delhi.