WALK FROM HOME: A new trend in commercial real estate business

Satellite offices across locations help people to work near home that saves on travel time and ensures safety and productivity of the workforce.

While the world evolves and adapts to the style of work from home, particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, it will surely not be a permanent solution for many professionals. Having an office and the need to be a part of a larger team will be crucial, and companies are taking a relook at different models and concepts to make it safer for their employees.

There is a need for de-densification and having stringent safety protocols for the employees, and corporates have started encouraging the trend of ‘walk from home’ or walk near home and business to invest in satellite offices. Walk from home or work near home will save on travel time, improve productivity, and ensure the safety of the workforce.Factors like business continuity, reduced public transport, social distancing norms, etc. are crucial to drive any business decision-making in the future. Not every profession can adjust to the work from home concept, and banking is one of them. In such cases, to ensure employees’ safety, we found the satellite offices to be beneficial.”

During the lockdown, the HDFC Bank Palava office ran business as usual, as a large part of their workforce could walk to work as part of the township.
She further added, “We have adopted the concept of ‘walk to work’ or ‘work near home’ that reduced travel costs and improved staff productivity during the lockdown. For example, the HDFC Bank Palava back office was able to continue seamless operations as employees walked to work from the nearest township, and HDFC Bank could ensure workforce safety.”

A recent survey conducted by Cushman & Wakefield on 40,000 working professionals suggested employees miss the bond while they work from home during the pandemic. The corporates would encourage 40% of the workforce to work remotely, but the rest of the 60% must report to work. For this 60%, corporates will look for bigger workspaces and move in mixed-use developments where employees can ‘work near home’.

Gautam Saraf, Managing Director, Cushman & Wakefield, said, “To mitigate the COVID-19 risks, offices will adjust to new routines like rotations and lower seat densities. In metro cities like Mumbai, where social distancing is impossible while commuting, employees will be at high risk of exposure. In such a situation, the satellite office model will work as a perfect solution. The integrated townships offer incredible value today by eliminating/reducing the need for the commute, the single biggest challenge in resuming work while managing COVID-19 in the workplace.”

As consumer behavior evolves, developers will soon look at designing smart complexes and townships with offices within walking distance. Buyers will opt for intelligent solutions and choose to be a part of a safer environment with everything available at one’s doorstep.

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