Hybrid-Work-Model-What-Top-IT-CEOs-Around-the-Country-Are-Thinking

The impact of Covid-19 is not going away anytime soon. On a global scale, we are nowhere near eradicating the virus. On the contrary, immunologists now believe that Covid-19 will soon reach an endemic state and stay with us like a common cough and cold (Nature).

People have always adapted to changing circumstances throughout history. Similarly, Covid-19 compelled us to confine ourselves indoors, limit our interactions, and adapt to masks and sanitisers. Many people began working from home (WFH) for the first time around the same time.

Whatever our opinions on WFH might be, we cannot disregard its merits. But, at the same time, not all sectors can function in the WFH model.

A hybrid work model is emerging as the best solution to this conundrum. From a rational perspective, it makes perfect sense to take the best of both the WFH and WFO models. As a result, top IT firms around the country are leading the transition to a hybrid work model.

The Software Industry is Embracing the Hybrid Model

The-Software-Industry-is-Embracing-the-Hybrid-Model

From Microsoft to Tata Consultancy Services, almost all top IT firms are embracing, even encouraging, the hybrid work model. But, unfortunately, for many of these organisations, things will never return to pre-pandemic settings.

Reduced cost is another driving factor behind the hybrid work model. For example, companies can save huge amounts of money by not committing to a full-scale real estate infrastructure. Instead, this money can go into making remote work more productive and employee-friendly.

The advantages of a hybrid work model are well-defined and proven to an extent. In a survey conducted by Accenture, 83% of participants said that a hybrid work model suits them best for both professional and personal objectives.

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As the conversation around mental health, burnout, and workplace stress is coming to the mainstream, IT firms are trying to ensure an employee-friendly work model that prioritises flexibility in work. The hybrid model is more conducive to maintaining a work-life balance than any other work setup in existence.

The hybrid Work Model is Not One-Size-Fits-All

‘Every organization will need to adapt differently to access and deliver the needs of their employees’, says the COO of Microsoft India Rajiv Sodhi. Microsoft has been quick to adapt to hybrid work models, giving their employees a flexible work policy to split in-office and remote work evenly.

Rajiv Sodhi’s observation is crucial at this juncture. As the transition is still in its infancy, every company is trying to find the model that works best for them.

A 50-50 split is not always necessary for a hybrid work model. The more freedom employees have, the more productive they will become. However, there also needs to be a system in place to assess progress and give feedback. Hybrid models provide both.

How IT Firms are Making the Switch

Tata Sons chairman N. Chandrasekaran unequivocally wants people to come back to offices. However, he realises that a hybrid model is the future of work. ‘People need to meet people. It is a social necessity, says Chandrasekaran.

A hybrid work model respects this social necessity and makes provisions for it. Tata Consultancy Services is one of the biggest employers in the country. For a considerable workforce like that of TCS, a hybrid model works optimally. Vision 25/25 is TCS’s approach to fuse new and old work models. Under Vision 25/25, TCS aims to have 25% of its workforce in offices by 2025, while the rest will work remotely.

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Another IT giant, Infosys, is also gearing up for the transition to a hybrid work model. Pravin Rao, COO at Infosys, is hopeful of a smooth transition. He said, ‘We have equipped employees with the resources they need to be productive, cyber-secure, stay connected, and maintain a work-life balance.

Hybrid work models also open up geographical possibilities. In the Indian context, the focus is shifting from tier-1 cities to tier-2 cities. Not only can firms cut down on real estate expenditure through this shift, but it also encourages workplace diversity. ‘Our talent strategy also factors in expanded hiring pools that include new communities and work locations’ – Rao added while talking about switching to a hybrid work model.

Why the Hybrid Model Works So Well

The large-scale shift to hybrid work models is a product of necessity. We stumbled upon the benefits almost by accident. To understand why this model works so well, we have to consider the shortcomings of the alternatives.

While it is debatable whether an in-office setup is optimal for productivity, it is undoubtedly not the best work-life balance. It eventually trickles down to dissatisfaction among employees and a loss of zeal.

On the other hand, a complete work-from-home model can be very isolating. In the absence of a team, colleagues, and managers, employees can quickly lose direction.

The hybrid work model addresses all these drawbacks and has the potential to fill in the gaps. Moreover, as companies further optimize the model, it has all the qualities to be the default work setting for many sectors, even outside IT.

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Head over to the CodeQuotient blog for more informative articles on the changing IT landscape.


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