Apr 30, 2024

Unveiling the 5 Pillars of Human-Centric Modern Offices

Office SpacesPeople and EngagementWorkplace and space management

In order to build a rewarding employee experience, you need to understand what matters most to your people. - Julie Bevacqua

The world of work is undergoing a profound transformation, and the nature of workspaces in India is evolving. From fixed cubicles to dynamic and adaptable offices, businesses are embracing new workplace trends. Most of us spend about 1/3rd of our lives at work, translating to a substantial chunk of time spent in the workplace. In the past few years, global uncertainties and changing trends have compelled businesses to transform and adapt to cater to the evolving needs and preferences of Millennials and Gen Z.  

While the traditional office setup remains significant, the hybrid and hub-and-spoke models have emerged as a preferred choice. Today, many offshore and domestic corporates are shifting from conventional to fully managed and flexible office spaces. With the rise of advanced workspace solutions, the conviction in flexible and managed office space further strengthens India’s CRE (Commercial Real Estate) landscape. Moving further, we will discuss the five pillars of human-centric offices in India.

Embracing the Shift: 5 Human-Centric Facilities in Modern Offices

The office space industry in India has undergone a significant transformation, shifting from overbearing to a fully flexible, dynamic, and engaging work environment. Traditionally, employees have had to fit themselves in an environment to keep their jobs. However, with the ascent of tailored and employee-centric workspace solutions, businesses can successfully implement return-to-office strategies. Below are the five elements that not only elevate the aesthetics and experience of offices but also contribute to better work-life harmony for employees. 

Flexible Workspace: A Substantial Change in Work Norms

Beyond hybrid work, the surge of flexible workspace solutions lies in cost-optimisation, bespoke offerings, immersive Proptech solutions, aspirational amenities, and more. A report from CBRE revealed that India is maintaining its dominance in the global flexible office market with a total stock of about 68 million sq ft. While Technology, BFSI, Engineering & manufacturing dominate flex space leasing, there’s a notable trend across sectors toward embracing flexible and managed workspace solutions over traditional setups. 
Considering the rise of human-centric flexible workspaces, companies are empowering their workforce to work in environments that suit them the best, leading to enhanced job satisfaction and work-life balance. By striking an ideal balance between dedicated and open areas, pure-play managed office space operators cater to the diverse needs of high-growth startups, GCCs, Fortune 500 companies, and other large domestic enterprises.

Creating Workspaces of Tomorrow: A Tech-Forward Approach

Technology has influenced and revolutionised almost every business vertical in the past few decades, and the CRE sector is no exception. As the modern workspace continues to evolve, integrating advanced technological solutions with physical facilities has become essential for staying competitive and enhancing productivity. Smart building systems powered by IoT sensors and data analytics optimise energy efficiency and minimise operational costs.  
As Smartworks continues to cater to the distinct needs of businesses, the integration of cutting-edge tech solutions such as IoT integration, facial recognition, and a user-friendly mobile app will prioritise the wellbeing and peace of mind of the occupiers. Our aim is to provide not just workspaces but environments that are seamlessly efficient, secure, and tailored to the modern workforce’s needs.

Innovative Workspace Designs: Driving Personalisation

Personalisation is one of the main pillars of managed and flexible offices. With tailored and bespoke workspace solutions, businesses today have the liberty to make informed decisions and implement employee-centric designs. Whether it's a high-growth startup or a Fortune 500 giant, companies have recognised the impact of physical work environments on productivity, engagement, and overall employee wellbeing. The rise of customised office solutions has encouraged collaboration and contributed to the holistic workspace experience for employees.

Also Read: Incorporating Neurodiversity in Workplace Strategy and Design

Hybrid and Hub-and-Spoke Model: Adapting to the Future

With the beginning of 2020, began the era of remote work as the global pendulum shifted towards the work-from-home model. As the epidemic dwindled, both offshore and domestic enterprises started contemplating hybrid and hub-and-spoke work arrangements to accommodate remote and in-office work. According to an exclusive study conducted for ET by CIEL HR Services, 6 out of 10 IT companies have adopted a flexible work model. In contrast, only 23 percent of companies have withdrawn from WFH completely. 

Sustainability and Engagement: Employee Wellness at the Core

The era of human-centric facilities in modern workspaces has truly emerged as a game-changer. Concepts like ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) & employee experience, natural lighting, and designated sound-insulated areas have become the core components of the Indian commercial real estate market. Flexible workspace solutions are elevating the standards, embodying aesthetic elegance and environmental sustainability. 
Access to aspirational amenities is another prominent component of flexible and managed workspaces that contribute to employee welfare. Being a leading platform for managed office spaces in India, Smartworks offers a range of top-notch amenities, including IoT-enabled meeting and conference rooms, smart grocery stores, gaming & collab zones, recreational areas, creches, snooze rooms, anger management rooms, medical rooms, and more.  
By integrating ESG practices and offering a range of amenities, businesses demonstrate a commitment to employee wellness, which can lead to higher job satisfaction, enhanced performance, and overall wellness. 

In a world where talent is in high demand and capable of working from anywhere, an employee-centred workplace is a necessity. By priortising flexible workspaces, embracing tech-forward approaches, driving customised office solutions through innovative designs, adapting to the future with hybrid work models, and placing sustainability and employee experience at the core, we are creating an environment where both individuals and businesses can thrive. 

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