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Is Your Workplace Ready For Millennials In India?

India's workforce is growing rapidly and in the next 25 - 30 years, the number of people added to it could equal the entire population of the United States

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India is rapidly transforming from a low cost labor destination to a huge knowledge hub, hence the work associated is becoming more advanced and sophisticated. Thus, for organizations who strive for functional excellence, the primary assets for them are highly skilled knowledge workers. Unfortunately, India is witnessing a major shortage of knowledge workers. For Indian employers, retaining the employee and their talent has become an emerging concern. The key challenge is to keep employees not just happy but also highly motivated and inspired, which is a challenging task due to traditional work setup in India. Hence, companies are scrabbling to recruit these high skilled workers or working hard to equip their current workforce with the skill sets necessary to work in the knowledge economy.

Volatile market conditions and the changing nature of work are pushing companies to adopt agility in their strategy and pay attention to the increasing retention.

Additionally, India's workforce is growing rapidly and in the next 25 - 30 years, the number of people added to it could equal the entire population of the United States. This growing population will be majorly dominated by the Gen Y employees who are powered by technology, competition, flexible working style, prefer privacy, collaboration and mix traditional values with a western outlook. Their exceptional communication and professional competency is luring multinational corporations to explore them as an opportunities for research, engineering, and innovation. Hence, retaining this younger talent is vital for organization's success.

Here some of the design considerations to create a progressive workplace which will help to boost productivity, enhance wellbeing and foster innovation at workplace.

Design to support individuals
All workers want control over how they lay out and work through their tasks, along with the ability to switch work modes easily. Superior connections and support for technology, array and storage capabilities, and an easy-to-adjust, high-comfort chair can transform even a small footprint into an appealing, effective space for individual work.

Workers also value being able to display their individuality at work, with space for photographs, awards, and other personal differentiators, including expressions of religious and cultural values.

Design for wellbeing
Company-sponsored family social events at the workplace are a common occurrence in India, so spaces for relaxation, recharging and socialization are important as a way for India's new-generation employers to acknowledge the importance of family and social obligations in employees' lives

Design for collaboration/co-creation
It's about transparency of thinking, providing for networking opportunities and helping people express their ideas. Shared workstations and group work settings encourage peer-to-peer interactions and team work. Providing enough work surface to spread out work plus ample whiteboards and tackable vertical surfaces help make concepts visible and support laddered thinking. Onsite cafes, ping-pong tables, and other areas for networking and socialization are increasingly important workplace amenities, especially if workers are allowed to do a portion of their work at home

Design for global competitiveness
Gen Yers in India are highly competitive, eager to prove they're equal to their global counterparts, and organizations can leverage this attitude to advantage. Technology enhances company and employee identity and supports global communication, so the more tech-rich the sp ace, the better. As India continues to invest in infrastructure, providing access to information and enhancing workplace opportunities to connect with people anywhere in the world is critical.

Design for growth
Collaboration and mentoring happen best when space supports interaction. Providing "pull up a chair" space in individual workstations or nearby enclaves supports the convening of expertise. Learning from peers while on the job is a norm with Gen Y.

Integrating these elements in designing a workplace will help organizations to create an ecosystem of spaces that will foster innovation and boost productivity at work. It will also create a positive work environment and help employees to feel motivated to come to work.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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workplaces employers innovation corporate

Praveen Rawal

The author is Managing Director, Steelcase India

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