New Delhi, Delhi, India | 22nd July 2020: As COVID-19 restrictions ease and the economy starts to open up again, many corporates have begun planning to bring their workforce back to the office. Keeping in mind the new business realities, OYO Hotels & Homes, one of the world’s leading hotel chains, has moved to a ‘hybrid workplace model’ for a foreseeable future which is helping the company operate in full capacity across the country, without compromising the health and safety of its employees. While a significant majority continue to work from home, several teams have chosen to ‘work from anywhere’ while others have opted for flexible co-working centres offered by OYO Workspaces, the company’s co-working arm.
Employee safety, health and well-being top the list of priorities for the company. The hybrid model ensures to give options to the workforce as the states come out of lockdown to maintain social distancing norms and provide flexibility in the working hours which in return has resulted in a noticeable improvement in overall productivity. OYO is continuously empowering its employees with the right tools such as Slack to drive their productivity and performance, to build a high-performing and employee-first work culture, and a strong leadership bench strength.
Leading with humanity and empathy, OYO has rolled out various employee-centric initiatives to boost employee morale during these times. To ensure employee connect, OYO is organising virtual coffee sessions with its leaders, has launched ‘CEO-Club’ – a recognition programme by Rohit Kapoor, CEO, OYO India & South Asia and has also rolled-out skip-level, monthly rewards and recognition meets. The company also recently hosted its first-ever Virtual Family Day aimed at building better interpersonal bonds among OYOPrenuers. To promote upskilling and e-learning among its employees, OYO has launched OYOVersity, it’s Learning Management System for the employees which includes lessons on leadership, how to boost productivity while working remotely among other topics. These fully digital modules also include an additional COVID-19 module to communicate necessary precautions and health advisories to OYOprenuers across geographies. Internal tech support platform OYO Seek has been instrumental in resolving most technology-dependent concerns in a timely manner.
Commenting on the development, Dinesh Ramamurthi, Chief Human Resources Officer, OYO Hotels & Homes said, “With the changes in the working environment, the current situation is a testament that employee efficiency is greater than actual physical presence. At OYO, we are committed to employee safety, wellbeing and have adopted a hybrid workplace model keeping in mind the evolving needs of the current and future workforce. Our workforce is divided into three categories, corporate employees, capability functions and field staff. While the field staff is already stepping out and attending office following all the health and safety protocols, our corporate employees and capability functions are also fully operational, and are opting for a combination of work from home and working from flexible coworking spaces solutions.”
Commenting on the adoption of co-working spaces as part of the hybrid workplace model, Dr. Ritesh Malik, Founder, Innov8, said, “The Co-working industry is seeing more companies opting for availability of flexible office solutions & Co-working models to reduce long term blockage of capital in leases and furniture. Going forward, work from home options will increase however; there’s an opportunity for co-working players like ours where companies are collaborating with us to develop work from home units as well. Once the lockdown eases and as the workforce returns, adoption of the nearest Co-working offices for employees is also going to increase.”
Anuj Puri, Chairman, ANAROCK Property Consultants, said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has kick-started a rapid evolutionary process across the real estate landscape. Extreme innovation is what will win the game in the near future. As evidenced by the success of office-retail complexes, hybrid models clearly have potential. The workplace of tomorrow will depend on tighter collaboration to seamlessly weld together teams working from home as well as offices. Technology will be the primary enabler, not least of all when it comes to data security in the newly re-envisioned world.”
To support employee’s mental well-being during these challenging times, OYO’s Employee Well-being & Assistance Program (EWAP) provides consultation services to its employees where they can confidentially avail professional support to improve their emotional well being. EWAP benefits include unlimited phone counselling, access to an 8-week online Behavioral Therapy program among others. The company aims to enable its employees to lead a fuller, stress-free life given the changing work environment.