Post-pandemic Work: Atlassian Survey Finds 83% Indian Workforce Nervous to Return to Office Without Vaccine
As the wait for a vaccine continues, the Indian workforce would prefer to work from home rather than go back to office amid doubt, a survey has found.
Atlassian Corporation, a leading provider of team collaboration and productivity software and the maker of Jira, Confluence, and Trello products, has launched an India-based study highlighting the changing work practices of individuals, teams and organizations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the report titled – Reworking Work: Understanding the Rise of Work Anywhere, 83% of employees in India are still nervous about going back to the office while there’s no vaccine and restrictions are still in place.
The study commissioned by Atlassian and conducted by Australian research agency PaperGiant, is an extension of the previous global survey conducted in early 2020 with knowledge workers in Australia, USA, Japan, Germany and France using observational, qualitative, and ethnographic research methodologies. In India, 1,425 participants from tier 1, 2 and 3 cities were surveyed for over four weeks in October 2020.
“The research findings point to how the ‘new normal’ will shape work, relationships and collaboration in the future. These are the voices of real people facing real complexities. Now is our opportunity to use the insights we have been presented with to adapt for the better, guided by the experiences of employees around the world,” Dinesh Ajmera, Site Lead and Head of Engineering, Bengaluru, Atlassian said.
“We at Atlassian are embracing this change wholeheartedly and investing early in developing a workforce that can navigate this new environment, and thrive in it. We believe that our unique organizational culture and focus on employee wellbeing, will go a long way in making this transition smooth. It’s heartening to know that even during these difficult times, our India office has been steadfast with an uptick in hiring,” he further added.
Job Satisfaction is Better than Before COVID-19 Restrictions
As per the research findings, Indian employees were more likely to want to work completely from home (66%) than any other country surveyed. While people are still managing new challenges that come with remote work, many reported a sense of ‘relief’ being free from the usual presenteeism of the office environment.
70% of people reported their job satisfaction is better than before COVID-19 restrictions. In fact, 61% of employees find it manageable to effectively work at home during the COVID-19 restrictions. With all the positives surrounding remote work, the study also revealed that a majority of Indian workers (78%) were actually worried about what their home life looks like to their colleagues and what it says to them.
A core finding mentions that 86% of employees in India thought the members of their team feel closer to each other now and 75% thought their team worked better together compared to pre-Covid. People are sharing more personal experiences with their team. The majority of Indian employees (89%) reported a feeling of unity and cohesion in their team.
Another insightful revelation was that 1 in 2 (50%) of managers said their job security was much better now than before COVID-19. The pandemic has triggered a shift in managerial roles and managers are feeling more integral to workflows and productivity than ever.
Indian Employees are Going Digital
Consistent with the industry sentiment on digital adoption seeing a quantum leap during the pandemic, the study reveals that Indian employees are rapidly adopting digital toolkits and skills for worry of being left behind. The introduction of social distancing and remote working has accelerated the move to a digital-first environment, forcing people to adapt.
From an organisational perspective, 88% of Indian employees believed their company was already well prepared for returning to the office, while 78% of the workforce in India were annoyed that it took a pandemic to allow them to work from home. While from a work-life balance standpoint, 81% of people in India say it’s more difficult to maintain boundaries between work and personal lives, compared to 79% in Australia and 58% in the US.
About the Research
The research was conducted over four weeks in October 2020 – almost eight months since the pandemic began. The methodology used a mixed-method approach, combining 19 in-depth remote interviews via Zoom with various workers in India, a two-week global diary study of six participants as well as a 15-minute quantitative survey of almost 1,400 knowledge workers across tier 1, tier 2 and tier 3 cities in India. Respondents for all three methodologies were between the ages of 25-64, at a company of 250 employees or more.
Atlassian has created collaboration software that helps teams organize, discuss, and complete shared work. Teams at more than 182,000 customers, across large and small organizations – including General Motors, Walmart Labs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Lyft, Verizon, Spotify, and NASA – use Atlassian’s project tracking, content creation and sharing, and service management products to work better together and deliver quality results on time.
PaperGiant is a strategic research and design consultancy that helps organizations understand and solve complex problems. It specializes in combining qualitative and quantitative research to understand customers and communities and translates that understanding into designs for product, service, and policy. It has offices in Melbourne and Canberra and works throughout Australasia.