“Organizations are people too,” says Nishant Shah of Jackstien Practices of hybrid working
When Raina (name changed) asked to combine her personal leave with an offsite work arrangement at work, little did she know that the entire Hybrid Workspace program was soon to reach a tipping point.
Here is what happened; several similar requests had arrived. Supervisors agreed to grant only a portion of these requests and staggered work between branches or over multiple days to accommodate end-of-term pressures. However, when things took a turn for the worse late in the quarter. Some of their offices creaked under the pressure of the influx of people demanding resources while other offices sat unused and empty, gathering dust and expense. Missed deadlines, angry clientele, blame games and accusations erupted and escalated into resignation and firing. The company had no choice but to suspend the Hybrid Work program until it could find a way to prevent such recurrences.
While the world has settled in to agree that hybrid working is the happy medium, the devil, as the saying goes, is still in the details. The debates raging on all channels bear ample witness to this.
Organizations rightly worry about risk and sustainability, but at the same time they don’t want to lose the benefits that hybrid working offers. The idea of hybrid working has universal appeal. Although there are many superficial products on the market, they are largely limited to seat reservation or coordination intended to meet the flexibility needs of employees. Real tools to help organizations protect their interests at the same time are non-existent.
As questions and debates rage on, we spoke with Nishant Shah, Managing Partner of Jackstien Practices and Consulting International, about what it takes to create and sustain a hybrid workspace.
The problem, says Nishant Shah, is that when talking about blended working, we tend to only consider people’s needs and ignore the needs of the organization. Organizations have their own priorities, fears and risks, just like people; they must protect the interests and meet the fears of its managers, owners, shareholders, regulators, creditors and other employees. “In that sense, organizations are also people,” smiles Nishant.
At the bar
Nishant Shah, a former banker, makes a strong case for hybrid working as the future of work. He should know. Jackstien Practices is a leading transition management firm, but not just any transition firm; they focus on transitioning organizations into the future of work with remote and hybrid working as focal points of their transformation expertise for distributed teams and distributed infrastructure.
“Imagine that in your mind; the goal is to achieve a state where an organization operates in a productive, sustainable and profitable hybrid work infrastructure,” says Nishant Shah. He continues “Now imagine that the bike that takes you there runs on the two main wheels of ‘technology’ and ‘people’ with an intricately designed engine of many complicated parts… parts made up of frameworks like expense management and assets, productivity management, statutory, legal and regulatory management, policy, tax management, operational risk management and sustainability initiatives.We transform your organization into this vehicle so that you can achieve the hybrid work goal.
After five years at Citibank, Nishant moved to Standard Chartered in 2006, then to JPMorgan Chase Bank. Thirteen years later, in 2020, he left his position as Executive Director and Head of Operational Risk for India at JPMorgan Chase India and founded Jackstien Practices & Consulting International. The impact of the company’s unique specialization won them the coveted Indian Achievers Award less than two years later. A futurist, Nishant says his inspiration for founding the company came from “the joy of lining up hundreds of moving parts; (because) I loved solving problems on behalf of two groups who wanted what they wanted, regardless of the other side’s point of view.
Anchor the hybrid workspace
Unfortunately, a system to design, manage, or set the parameters to successfully anchor a hybrid workspace did not exist. The light touch systems that exist have not been appreciated, probably because they are rather unbalanced and only focus on user convenience instead of ensuring the best interests of employers’ organizations as well. “The complexities underlying such a system add up at the ground level because these systems must be reactive to change and do so in a controlled manner,” Nishant believes.
Muzammil Patel is the Managing Partner of Acies Consulting LLP, an award-winning firm that focuses on advanced technology. Muzammil himself spent thirteen years at Deloitte and Ernst and Young, two of the big four firms where he worked as a management consultant. As a senior management consultant at Deloitte, Muzammil had first-hand experience managing the risks of the many moving parts that make up large organizations.
Nishant and Muzammil have combined the expertise of their respective organizations to incorporate Jonosfero International LLP, a joint venture between these two new era companies. With several key products in development, the first mountain that Jonosfero International plans to scale is a significant one; develop a system for creating and sustainably managing hybrid workspaces from an organization’s perspective.
Detach and navigate?
Leaving the restrictive shores of on-site work requires the right tools before going offline. Nishant believes Jonosfero International has what it takes to create such a technology tool, called work.IS. Only time will tell if work.IS, which Nishant says stands for “Work In-Situ”, delivers on its promises. The pedigree is certainly promising.