Around 83 per cent of Indian workforce, nervous to go back to office without Covid-19 vaccine: Atlassian survey

ATLASSIAN Corporation Plc, 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 organisations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the report titled – Reworking Work: Understanding The Rise of Work Anywhere, 83 per cent 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.  

As per the research findings, Indian employees were more likely to want to work completely from home (66 per cent) 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 per cent of people reported their job satisfaction is better than before COVID-19 restrictions. In fact, 61 per cent 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 per cent) 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 per cent of employees in India thought the members of their team feel closer to each other now and 75 per cent 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 per cent) reported a feeling of unity and cohesion in their team. Another insightful revelation was that 1 in 2 (50 per cent) 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. 

Dinesh Ajmera, Site Lead and Head of Engineering, Bengaluru, Atlassian said, “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.” 

“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 organisational 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. 

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 per cent of Indian employees believed their company was already well prepared for returning to the office, while 78 per cent 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 per cent of people in India say it’s more difficult to maintain boundaries between work and personal lives, compared to 79 per cent in Australia and 58 per cent in the US. 

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