March 14: A month ago, Meesho, an Indian e-commerce firm backed by SoftBank and Facebook announced a permanent work from anywhere policy for all employees.
Now, Jackstien Practices, the management consulting firm established by former banker Nishant Shah, has announced that it will be shifting to a permanently remote model of work. Operating in Hybrid Model since inception, the firm claims that the productivity observed over such a long period of working with many full-time remote employees has been conclusive evidence for them internally.
Recently, Marico also introduced a Hybrid Work framework for all employees, joining the august rank of companies like Apple, Citibank, Intel and UBS.
In an age where “work from anywhere” is the clarion call against the babu-culture, further announcements of this nature are expected. This follows a global trend that is expected to continue well into the next 8-10 years.
GitLab is an all-remote software company valued at 11 Billion that went public last year in the United States.
Co-incidentally, Jackstien Practices are award winning specialists in remote and hybrid work transitions.
The new normal, the new equation, the new world or the new ways of working; whatever way in which one refers to it, it is clear that long-held beliefs about virtual work are being shed for good.
Challenges remain, no doubt. However, with an increasing number of such announcements, the future seems clear.
Employers are still struggling to come to grips with this change. Process oriented businesses, especially in the BFSI sector and the outsourced services space need to contend with a myriad of assessments, risks and operational challenges.
While a Hybrid model seems like an obvious choice for these businesses, it is proving rather difficult to assess, manage and think through.
HR heads, department heads, Chief Operating Officers and even CEOs are having to contend with questions that have a significant long-term impact without established metrics on hand to guide these decisions. There is also a risk that in addition to facilitating its employees and managing costs, CXOs need to hard-code protection for the interests of all its customers, clients, shareholders and vendors.
Remote and hybrid working environments are also lifestyles. Consider – (i) the Great Resignation is quite strongly associated with return to the office plans (ii) the costs of employee replacement and hire are spiralling and (iii) businesses are realising benefits to a boosted bottom line from what now appears to be unnecessary expenditure on real estate that provides little in return.
At the same time, businesses need to ensure a solid footing in this rarified field of study. Transition requires a cross-specialised understanding of processes, technology, risk interaction, flow structure, policy map and forward vision, all of which inform each other in a complex inter-play. In hindsight, the need for new consultants for the new normal seems obvious.
Be that as it may, the relentless and inexorable march towards remote working lifestyles will only continue, reshaping much of what we know around us today.