Building work practices accommodating to the changing needs of workforce

From L to R: Amit Mishra (iMocha), Richard Lobo (Infosys), Geeta Gurnani (ex-Microsoft), Ved Mani Tiwari (NSDC) & Dhanniya Venkatasalapathy (Microsoft)

In the last two years, physical offices have been replaced by virtual setups. Working on platforms like Microsoft Teams and Zoom, businesses have completely gone online. Employees/workforce have aligned themselves to work remotely by the comfort of their homes. This comfortable setting is now changing, as offices have resumed which expects the workforce to be on-ground.

The concept of hybrid working has already made a place for itself as most of the Gen Z still prefer remote working, while the millennials are comfortable returning to offices. The challenge is for Human Resources (HR) personnel to maintain the tandem between these two ideologies and keep the business running.

Speaking at The Economic Times HR Summit 2022, Dhanniya Venkatasalapathy, Executive Director, Cloud solutions at Microsoft draws a parallel line between Gen Z and gen-next as well as the millennial workforce in terms of building social capital for deriving the worthiness of work. She said “Looking at the worthiness of the work, there has been a demographic shift between gen-next and the millennials. In one of the global surveys conducted in 31 countries, we saw that a good percentage of the Gen Z workforce looks at flexibility, wants to work remotely, and wants to work for two jobs at a time.”

So, Gen Z wants to embrace flexibility and remote working, while the gen-next and the millennials are willing to go to the office as they relate to the beauty of social capital, she further added.

In the present business milieu, it is important to maintain a balance while accommodating the changing dynamics of the need in a workforce as well as the client. Speaking on the importance of embracing the changing times and workforce requirements, Richard Lobo, Head Executive VP, Human Resources at Infosys Limited said “We see three distinct groups. The first group is the people who have just started working, they are comfortable working remotely, but have a desire to come to the office and build social capital. The next group is the people who have already spent 3-5 years in the organization and have an established infrastructure. So, they are more inclined to work remotely. Then, the third group is the leadership, who have spent 10+ years, who are coming to the office for the sake of running their teams. So, the point is to be flexible and change is inevitable.”

Companies need to give space to employees to adjust their schedules when needed. One of the biggest learnings is that one keeps listening to employees, and take inputs from data and analytics. This is to build such work practices which would accomodate to the changing need of the workforce while balancing the needs of the client. Thus, it is all about balance, he further added.

Innovating techniques and leveraging technologies to nurture a company culture in the hybrid era will be one of the top primacies of most HR professionals in the imminent years. This is particularly because people are now used to interchangeably working on-site and remotely.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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