As Covid-19 fears continue, employers are still trying to figure out the right model. While a few are still hesitant on switching completely to a remote working environment, the likes of Salesforce and Twitter, by allowing employees to work remotely, have made their stance clear that employee safety comes first.
Even in India, tech giant TCS said that only a quarter of the workforce will now be required to report to office. Clearly, the pandemic is changing the future of work. Meanwhile, Delhi-NCR based Awfis, one of the largest coworking space providers in India, is looking to improve work from home experience as employers look to permanently switch to remote working models.
For this, the coworking startup has launched [email protected], a programme under which Awfis is aiming to help clients to move the employee desks from coworking spaces and set up at their homes. This will help startups in reducing the desks that they are renting at coworking spaces.
[email protected] is said to understand the needs of employers and employees before rolling out a customised work from home plans. Awfis claims to integrate physical infrastructure, connectivity and collaboration tools to improve work efficiency.
As of now, Awfis is offering over 350K seats across 67 units in 10 cities. But most of the seats are expected to remain vacant as employees switch to work from home models and Awfis is only supporting them in their plans with this [email protected] The company is also in the process of raising fresh funds from existing investors.
Amit Ramani, CEO and cofounder of Awfis told Economic Times that everyone thought the lockdown was short-term in March, but when guidelines came and only 30%-50% of the staff were allowed in offices, clients felt the need for solutions for the remaining staff. “When an employee must mandatorily work from home, it becomes the company’s responsibility,” he added.
As part of this programme, Awfis is offering three tools — [email protected] Assessment Tool, [email protected] Toolkit and [email protected] Tech-enablement. Under the assessment tool, Awfis measures individual and organisational readiness. Based on the information collected, the startup suggests a suitable plan of action for the enterprise along with providing them with customisable solutions.
The [email protected] Toolkit takes care of the organisational needs of physical and virtual or cloud-based tools. In this, Awfis provides physical tools such as smart tables, chairs, accessories, printing/scanning devices and laptop or desktop on rent. Cloud-based tools such as Microsoft 365 or Google Suite, audio and video conferencing tools, VPN tunnel, VSDM, website hosting and domain purchase. Awfis pass and meeting room credits also given to the employees.
One of the most important aspects of this programme is [email protected] Tech-enablement tool. Awfis says that this tool, which offers features like geo-tagged attendance management system, customer first desk, productivity monitoring, health status update and community connect, eliminates isolation from the lives of employees. Moreover, Awfis has also developed an application to integrate the social factor while employees continue to work remotely.
Remote Desk At Home: The Market Opportunities
Bruised and severely impacted by the lockdown, many startups are looking at various ways on how to chop down costs. And remote working has come as an effective solution for many.
For instance, a seat cost at a rented office is anywhere from INR 20K to INR 30K, at coworking spaces, it’s around INR 10K to INR 25K, but at home, the cost significantly drops to INR 1,000 to INR 4,000. This can be understood as some factor why more employers would think twice before coming back to the offices.
For the industry, which is facilitating remote working culture, the opportunities are immense. For instance, tech giants like Google and Facebook are offering around $1,000 per employee to help them set up a home office. In India, there are around 8 Mn white-collar workers. Out of this, if 10% of the employers spend around $1,000 on their employees, then the addressable market size stands at around at least $800 Mn. But the market is even bigger as most of the employers are already using these tools.