Shyam Nagarajan / Reading Time: 5 mins
Ramesh wakes up at 6:00 AM while his dad starts to performs his morning prayers. His mom on the other hand, is busy preparing authentic hot cup of filter coffee☕ while Ramesh gets ready for an interesting day of work-from-home.
With his coffee cup, he takes a stroll around his backyard kitchen garden 🏡 where is he is welcomed by chicken clucking, birds chirping and squirrel🐿️ run. Followed by a walk to the farmland nearby, accompanied by neighborhood pet 🐕 Shine.
Does this resonate with you? Do you share similar mesmerising 🌅 morning routine offlate?
Ramesh, a project manager at one of the largest banking MNC s in India, had reverse migration. He moved back to his hometown since the lockdowns began in March 2020.
But now looks like the remote work and hybrid work dreams many Ramesh and millions of IT and Tech employees are cut short.
Starting September the days would look completely different as many IT and Tech giants are asking employees to return back to office campuses.
Lakhs of IT employees for whom the work from anywhere flexibility is going to end in the months to come😭.
1. Infosys plans to end 'Work from Home' for 2.6 lakh employees
Infosys was one of the first to come out and say that it is bringing its 2.6 Lakhs employees back to office ☂️. The IT major is planning to start work from the office by ensuring the safety ⛑ of a certain number of employees 👩💻.
2. It is 'back to office' for 2 Lakh Wipro employees
Wipro, like other players, started to vaccinate its employees. By September it sees that most of its employees will be vaccinated and hence is planning to get 2 lakh employees back to the office.
3. TCS employees to return to the office post-pandemic
Tata Consultancy Services TCS is expecting to complete the vaccination 💉 drive for its employees and their families by September. Post that it would start having its employees 👩💻 back to work at the office.
Apple🍎 had announced a similar plan of return to office 👩💻 starting September. The plan was to have employees mandatorily at the office for 3 days a week while on the other 2 days the employees can work remotely. This ending of remote work at Apple received severe backlash from its employees. In an internal survey 👍 that was run by the employees many said that they would quit if the policy😞 was enforced.
We have not seen any backlash from employees of Indian IT majors yet and probably might never see it.
Through the pandemic all the 3 IT Companies have announced that they fully support remote work. TCS announced their 25 by 2025 which said that only 25% of its employees will be at any point in time way back in May 2020. The plan looked very promising and forward looking. Did they face a backlash from their clients on this? Is this why they are pressing forward with bringing employees back to office?
Most ⛹️ IT companies have stepped up to provide healthcare and vaccination drives💉 for their employees and extended to their families too.
While goodwill is one reason for these drives and social efforts, at this juncture one can rule out the fact that the drives could be opportunistic advantages to smoothen out vaccine process and get employees back 2 office campus.
While India might be averaging at 9% vaccinations💉 for the adult population, we hear that more than 60% of employees of these companies are fully or partially vaccinated.
While all IT majors have done well on the revenue side as per their recent 📢 announcements, they are seeing that the productivity levels are dropping. The WFH and Productivity 📜Paper published in May 2021 which surveyed 10,000 IT employees👩💻 across Asia said that productivity fell by approximately 20%. Productivity loss combined with higher stress levels while working from home are concerns that IT companies want to address.
Cybersecurity risks while working from home have been looming large while employees took to remote at the onset of the pandemic. While no major event has been reported yet by the Indian 🇮🇳 tech industry, the risk is out there and large. This is a big concern for both the IT companies and the clients that they serve. Many clients have very stringent data security🔒 and privacy clauses and those that to be mended with to accommodate work from home.
Is it just the IT majors that are gunning to be back at the office? Looks like even smaller players⛹️♂️ are looking at getting back to office. "People prefer working from the office for personal and professional reasons", said Chetan Yadav, Chief People Officer at Tally Solutions. "Working from offices🏢 will not only help increase the productivity🔥, coordination and collaboration amongst the employees but also help them socialise and stay connected with their peers", says Satish Kannan, Co-founder & CEO, MediBuddy.
Companies are now preparing 🔨 their offices for safe entry of the employees over the coming months. Many companies are making it completely voluntary for their employees and business units to decide if they want to work from the office or work from home.
What should we expect in the future? Should we expect work from the office to become the norm for all employees? When it comes to large IT companies the risk that they expose themselves and the economy of scale will prevent them from embracing remote in a big way. Majority of the staff who work on client projects in the main cities will be called to work at the office in the long term future. These large IT companies have big real estate🏗️ investments in these cities. They might provide the flexibility to work remotely on a case by case basis and also based on hierarchy. Over the next couple of years, we should expect things will almost return to pre-COVID ways of working. Smaller tech companies though might start to see going remote as a competitive advantage both from hiring and retention standpoint. They might look at more flexible ways of working with distributed remote setups.