It hasn’t been easy but we have all somehow adapted to the fact that our homes have become our workplaces. It doesn’t mean we have forgotten what it was like, and what we miss about going to a physical office space. Nearly 60 per cent of the people missed the interaction and company of their colleagues, and the office parties having free supply of beer in a survey about what they missed the most about their workspace. The monotony of working from home, and juggling housework, visitors and children, were other reasons why people were looking forward to getting back to physical offices.
These were the findings that came up in the year end survey conducted by WeWork. And clearly the topic touched a nerve, as it recorded participation from over 3000 people working across different sectors in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi. The survey was carried out on two social media platforms.
Having said that, people were less tolerant of traffic; about 76 per cent were unwilling to travel more than five kilometers for work. People were also wary of safety, and 65 per cent were willing to return to work if their organization assured following all hygiene and social distancing norms.
As strange as it may sound, people also missed their office chairs to work in, inspite of companies rolling out home office furniture allowances, and sending out office chairs to employees’ homes. They also direly longed for one-on-one meetings to come back, instead of talking through a screen. And about half the respondents would stay back after their work hours or change plans, if their boss wanted help. About 33 per cent missed lunch in canteen or having the street food near office with colleagues, while they exchanged office gossip, while 40 per cent craved for their usual tapir wali chai.
Interestingly, about a quarter of office-goers missed catching a glimpse of their office crush, pointing to how this disruption has impacted budding office romances.
Remote work has also made people realize a few things. For instance, close to 40 per cent of the participants wanted to change their managers. Having retired their formal clothes in past 10 months, many also wanted their organizations to relax the policy and look casual dressing favourably.
Vineet Singh, head of brand and marketing, WeWork India, said, “The survey revealed some really fascinating and quirky insights. Respondents opened their hearts and their responses have also helped us identify their exact needs from workplaces in 2021. We observed enthusiasm to go back to work in a safe and healthy environment.”