- After more than two years of working from home (
WFH), Indian IT companies are encouraging workers to return to offices.
TCSand wiprohave forced their employees to work from the office three days a week, HCL Techsays it hasn’t made it mandatory yet.
- The golden age of WFH, moonlight and big pay rises seems to be over for IT workers.
Indian IT majors Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), HCL Technologies and Wipro are ringing the bell, warning their employees to return to offices. While some use language as “encouraging,” others have said it allows employees to learn from their seniors and colleagues.
Working from home (WFH) rose to prominence during the Covid-19 pandemic, forcing companies and workers around the world to change the way they work. This required a large scale digitization of workflows and at that time Indian IT companies were experiencing strong growth.
What this episode also showed was that companies could function while their employees worked from home – a good internet connection and a workspace were all that was needed.
However, WFH also poses security and collaboration challenges.
In light of this, companies like TCS and HCL Tech said during their Q2 earnings calls that they “encouraged” employees to return to offices.
“We encourage our employees to return to offices a few days a week. A significant number of our employees are already doing this,” TCS said in a statement. During the company’s second-quarter earnings call, TCS’ HR chief, Milind Lakkad, emphasized that 30-35% of the company’s employees have already returned to offices.
The company is reportedly rolling out a roster-based attendance system starting in December. Previously, media reports suggested that TCS wanted 85% of its employees
Wipro and HCL Tech join the chorus
TCS colleague Wipro has now also joined the choir and wants his employees to appear in the office.
Earlier this month, Wipro sent a letter requesting its employees to return to the office at least three days a week in the footsteps of TCS.
It also said its offices would be open four days a week, with employees having an option to attend three of those four days. Curiously, the offices would remain closed on Wednesday, the company said.
In its earnings call, HCL Tech said it “encourages” employees to return to the office three times a week like its peers, but it has not yet mandated the practice.
‘We have 45,000 employees in the office at any time’
“My feeling is that over time we will provide all the necessary support to employees so that more and more employees can get back to work. Of course there are several customer situations that require specific action. Those will be followed according to customer requirements, but where we can provide some flexibility, we will continue to provide flexibility,” said Parekh, adding that this approach had worked well for Infosys so far.
He also said the number of employees returning to offices increased over time.
The future may very well belong to hybrid working, and for now it seems that IT companies are trying to understand how much they can stretch their employees who have figured WFH is feasible – so much so that home loans are now at a faster rate in Tier 3 and Tier. 4 districts.
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