New research conducted by LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, reveals a shift in workers’ attitudes towards going to the office. While they used to feel obliged to physically be in the office, 78% of Indian professionals say they now do it by choice. Workers are generally more receptive to working in the office, with 86% of Indians saying they feel positive about it compared to a year ago.
Another trend being embraced in the office is that of desk-bombing*. The LinkedIn research reveals that most workers like it when a co-worker shows up unannounced at their desk to have a chat. 62% of respondents in India see desk-bombing as a great way to have impromptu conversations. Majority of GenZ workers in India (60%) have experienced desk-bombing and find it useful.
Office time and its impact on career
Hybrid work has raised some questions on whether lack of time in office and reduced visibility will have an impact on one’s career. LinkedIn research revealed that 63% of Indians feel working remotely has no harmful impact on their careers, however a similar proportion also believes their chances of career growth could be reduced if they didn’t go to office as much. This could be a potential reason why 71% of Indians agree that they feel they have to overcompensate when working from home to show that they are serious about work.
Loud Leaving is helping build better work-life balance
Workers are more conscious about how they balance their time between work and life priorities, and managers are pioneering new ways to do this. A majority of workers in India (60%) say that they have experienced Loud Leaving – when managers visibly leave the workplace, making it known that it’s okay to shut down and stop working at a reasonable time.
Workers are also structuring their work week differently and it has altered their last day in the office. An overwhelming 79% of Indians say Thursday is the new Friday which may stem from the fact that Friday is the least popular day for workers to go into the office . Of those Indians who say that Thursday feels like the new Friday, 50% would spend more time with family and friends on Fridays, while 46% would try to focus on finishing the week’s work quickly on Fridays and hop into an early weekend.
Social interactions matter at work
Workers are choosing to head into the office to socialize, bond and be part of a team. When asked why they would show up at the office, the number one reason for Indian respondents was social interactions (43%), followed by having more efficient face-to-face meetings with co-workers (42%) and building work relationships (41%) at a close second and third.
In India, 72% of workers surveyed said they miss chai break bonding in the workplace – where they could exchange banter with their colleagues about both their work and personal lives and have a laugh.
Nirajita Banerjee, Managing Editor – India at LinkedIn, says, “We’re starting to see a shift in attitude when it comes to working in the office. While professionals in India favor the flexible-work option, they are also finding immense value in heading back to office as it contributes towards boosting employee morale, improving collaboration and teamwork and identifying new opportunities. Informal conversations or chai breaks can also help boost long term career growth, when done with intention.”
LinkedIn’s tips on how to balance socializing and doing focused work in the office:
- Spark informal conversations: Impromptu exchanges can unlock new career opportunities and increase your recall value among leadership. 15% of Indian employees say they are improving their visibility to management while in the workplace by having informal conversations with team leaders.
- Activate Monk Mode: Workers are going into Monk Mode – the practice of solely working on one task – to increase their focus when working in the office. Almost 1 in 2 workers in India (47%) said they have tried going on Monk Mode and were successful in practicing this.
- Block time for career gazing: Set up a time for informal catch-ups with other colleagues in office for career gazing – crystal balling options to grow your career, sharing ideas and hearing the perspectives of others. Explore areas where they can help and introduce you to others who might unlock opportunities.
- Create your own productivity hacks: To avoid distractions, workers are creating their own productivity hacks in the office like switching off notifications on phone and messaging apps (18%) and shutting oneself in a meeting room to focus and get work done (15%).
- Announce your focused work day: Structuring your work week and announcing your focused work day to your colleagues can help you be more productive. 39% of Indians picked Monday as their most focused day.
To know how professionals are staying productive when going to the office, read here.
*Desk-bombing, a term coming up in conversations on LinkedIn, describes the act of dropping by your colleagues desk unannounced.
Research conducted by Censuswide and based on 1001 workers in India aged 18+ between 28-02-2023 and 06-03-2023. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.