The pandemic has transformed the aspects of work by pushing the use of digital technology by at least a decade which in turn has ushered in a hybrid paradigm where work extends beyond offices and engages more women.
Tata Sons Pvt Chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran - head of India's biggest private-sector employer - made the remarks during the Qatar Economic Forum on Tuesday, reports Bloomberg.
The office will continue to be a vital hub, and staff will gradually return, but the world will not return to its pre-Covid state, said Chandrasekaran.
With the use of technology, the Indian CEO, who was accompanied by fellow companies such as Iwg Plc Chief Executive Officer Mark Dixon, believes that businesses will gain from offering employees more flexibility.
The 150-year-old steel-to-airlines company rushed to adjust to lockdown limitations when the pandemic struck India in early 2020.
Within weeks, nearly half a million employees at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., - the company's largest by employee numbers and profitability - began working from home.
They continued to deliver software projects and support to Wall Street banks, merchants, and airlines.
Tata Consultancy declared early on it expects only a fourth of its workforce to be in the office on any given day by 2025. Yet many of its employees asked for a return to the office. Companies will have to adopt a model somewhere in-between, Chandrasekaran said during a session about the future of work.
"If the hybrid model has to work, let's not think of it as only office and home," he said. "There's going to be a concept of a third place. I call it a 'third place,' you may want to call it a satellite office."
In India's case, it could also see improved workplace diversity, another positive outcome of a hybrid model, Chandrasekaran said.
"Only 23% of women who could be potentially working are in the workforce because issues like commuting, the lack of social infrastructure like child care," he said. "We should not miss this opportunity, it is not just good for GDP and growth, but also it is the right thing to do."