How JLL Navigates Hybrid Work Model Rightly
A hybrid workplace model is an arrangement where employees make an optimal mix of work from home and office. For example, in 2020, due to the pandemic, most corporates were working from home and as a result, organisations had to experiment with a whole new work-from-home model, including ours, where 90% of our corporate staff operated from home until early 2021.
During the pandemic, there was a significant shift in the organisational culture. Employees wanted to focus more on their work-life balance and what worked in everyone’s favour was a strategic hybrid model and flexible work hours. In the current times, too, there is a greater need for work-life balance, and hence, we have been providing employees with more support and flexibility to work remotely so that they feel cared for, connected as well as healthy. When we tick all the right boxes, business gets automatically taken care off.
Employees want more balance in their working patterns, with a hybrid work model and flexibility being key. Even as the office retains its place in a working set-up being reshaped in a post-COVID world, aspirations are increasing from the modern workplace while homeworking is still preferred, according to JLL’s latest Workers Preference Barometer for India report.
“75% of the employees today want to be in office at least once a week as compared to 52% in October 2020″- JLL
India prefers homeworking, but balance in working patterns has emerged as a key theme. 79% of the workforce wants to work remotely from home at least once in a week, and this number goes up to 89% when a third-party place of work is added. An ideal working week, post Covid, seems to be one where employees spend three days working remotely and two days in office, with office remaining a key element to the aspirational working regime.
According to the survey, 21% of the workforce does not want to work from home in the future, as opposed to 16% in October last year. However, flexibility is becoming more attractive. 91% of the workforce want to choose their schedules and working hours as per the latest results, up from 69% as per the October 2020 survey results.
While we know that a hybrid workplace offers a seamless experience that’s conducive to flex work styles, some of our initiatives give our employees an option to choose their workspace as well as independence that better their work habits and practices. They feel empowered to make decisions about how or when they work, thus, increasing the motivation level and performance.
- Gradual Return to Work (GRTW) Policy aims to support employee with transitioning back to work at a comfortable and gradual pace after a planned or unplanned absence from the office
- Flex for Your Day offers employees to occasionally work from a location other than the office or temporary change in usual working hours or permanent change in working hours and conditions depending on their job profile
To ensure business continuity and uninterrupted employee life cycle, JLL quickly adopted digital approach, across businesses and functions, including HR, within a couple of weeks of the pandemic and lockdown. HR team at JLL India has been using tools like WebEx, MS Teams, Workday and HRIS systems to manage employee lifecycle right from talent acquisition, on-boarding engagement, learning and development to exit management.
Working in isolation from home for long hours is tougher than we expect. The social interactions that an office space provides are being sorely missed, to the extent that 41% of the workforce is craving ‘real’ human interactions with colleagues while 31% of them miss a change of scenery.
Amongst the most missed aspects of the weekly routine, coffee and socializing in social activities, personal time for relaxing and spending time with family stand out. However, our special initiative of connecting with our employees on regular basis via virtual one on one or group connects, ensured that our employees feel connected and cared by the organisation during these times.
In a hybrid workplace model, leaders focus becomes improving productivity and supporting teammates with the resources they need to perform their job efficiently. JLL has been providing continuous learning and development opportunities to all employees through its Virtual Learning program.
Over 15000 online courses are available to all employees on the My Development portal and these programs are based on themes like LEARN, ASSESS, DEVELOP, GROW and MOVE. In addition, we have partnered with LinkedIn to provide training, resources, and experiences that grow skills during a time of crisis. At present, we have 3000+ activated LinkedIn Learning accounts.
I personally feel that the organisations need to start thinking about the longer term, including an alternative way to blend workplace – remote and in the office including safe returns to the office.
At JLL, we planned office re (entry) in a phased manner. Following safety guidelines, numerous changes have been incorporated into our space regarding social distancing, sanitization procedures and organizing common areas.
This includes changes within the office and working with the building management teams for disinfecting lifts, lift lobbies, stair railings, parking, etc.
To navigate these changes smoothly and responsibly, our teams conducted the webinars where the Work Dynamics and Administration teams take employees through the steps taken to provide a safe work environment and the safety guidelines to be followed once in office.