Bangalore, 31st May 2023– A lack of access to an office space is the main driver of job moves in India in the past two years, according to a new study by global workplace creation experts, Unispace.
‘Returning for Good’, a Unispace Global Workplace Insights report – which combined the results of an in-depth survey of 9,500 employees and 6,650 business leaders from across 17 countries worldwide – including 500 employees and 500 senior decision makers in companies with 50+ employees in India – revealed that more than a quarter (28%) of Indian workers moved to a new company in the last two years due to a lack of office space from their previous employer.
The Unispace survey also sheds light on the impact of the hybrid work model on India’s workforce. 27% of Indian employees rated liking the office as a top reason to stay with their employer, suggesting that workers place significant value on the physical workspace. At the same time, employees in India are far more likely than any other country globally to be willing to take a pay reduction in order to work from home, with almost a third (31%) indicating that they have already done so, which is almost double the global average of 16%.
India stood out as the only country where a direct correlation between a lack of workspace and employee turnover rates was observed. Abi Roni Mattom, Country Director, India at Unispace, said, “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.”
Additionally, Indian workers exhibited a stronger preference for office-based work, with 92% of employees expecting to be in the office at least four days a week in the near future, higher than the global average.
Furthermore, 81% of Indian employees believe that remote work limits career prospects such as pay rises, bonuses, and promotions. Employers echoed this sentiment, with 96% indicating career limitations for those not in the workplace.
Employers on the other hand 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 around their mental wellbeing (all 22%). However, the top three reasons Indian employees dislike being in the office were enjoying the privacy of working from home (37%), feeling more productive working from home (27%) and feeling more effective in a quiet environment at home (26%).
Globally, three in four companies surveyed (75%) indicated that they have increased their real estate portfolio in the last two years, with companies across Asia Pacific indicating numbers even higher than this. This expansion includes revenue-generating trends such as creating hospitality spaces (44%).
Meanwhile, firms throughout India are being impacted by major talent attraction and retention issues. With nearly a third of employees indicating that they would stay with a business because they liked their office – this presents a major opportunity for employers.
How India compares with other countries
|Employees in office four or more days a week||47%||57%||34%||40%|
|Employees returning to office due to HR mandates||76%||82%||58%||79%|
|Willing to take a pay reduction to work from home||60%||42%||44%||61%|
Abi Roni Mattom said, “Unispace is a global leader in creating people-centric spaces. In India, we have been consulting global clients, including Bottomline and HP, on workplace solutions to bring their employees back to the office, enhance their engagement, attract, and retain talent. The significance of the workplace is underscored by the findings of the Returning for Good survey, which highlights its ability to spark brilliance, deepen connections, foster a sense of belonging and propel success.”
The Unispace survey involved interviews with ten senior executives from multinational corporations. Reen Salleh, Corporate Real Estate & Workplace Services representative at HP, emphasized the company’s commitment to promoting a balanced approach to hybrid work on a global scale.
“Recognizing the unique needs of individuals in both office and home settings, HP aims to facilitate a smooth transition for employees returning to the workplace. The key lies in providing spaces that cater to people’s experiential and well-being requirements. Embracing a hybrid work model transcends the binary choice between working from home or the office; it involves integrating diverse workstyles throughout the day, regardless of physical location.”