Major IT firms planning return to offices, embracing hybrid arrangements
With COVID-19 infection numbers receding and vaccinations steadily picking up pace, leading IT companies in India are drafting plans to reopen offices and end the 18 month-long work from home (WFH) stint. Companies including Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys, Wipro, and HCL Technologies are at various stages of outlining plans to resume business as usual. Here's everything we know about their plans.
Light at the end of the tunnel: Steady vaccination drives
According to recent reports, the decline in new COVID-19 infections per week has been slowing but the trend is still downward. On Monday, the country reported 14,000 new COVID-19 cases. Meanwhile, over 100 crore Indians have been inoculated against the virus and several IT companies have also conducted dedicated vaccination drives for the employees and their families.
TCS hoping to get offices fully operational by year-end
Industry stalwart TCS's chief HR officer, Milind Lakkad, said that since 70% of the company's employees are fully vaccinated and 95% have received at least one dose, the company will gradually get its workforce back in offices "by the end of this year." TCS's plans for returning to pre-pandemic work arrangements were revealed when it announced the earnings for the quarter ending September.
Infosys hopes to continue with hybrid arrangement
ET Now reported TCS plans to let 25% of its employees continue working from home until 2025 while those reporting to offices are being promised safety. Infosys shared similar statistics; 86% of its Indian employees have received at least one vaccination dose. The company added it is leaning towards a hybrid work model to "be productive, cyber-secure, stay connected, and maintain a work-life balance."
Wipro, HCL are also embracing hybrid work model
As for Wipro, fully vaccinated employees returned to work last month, following an 18-month break. The company is also following a hybrid work model where the aforementioned employees report to work for two days every week. Simultaneously, HCL Technologies has called its senior management to come to offices at least twice a week while others can come once a week, depending on requirements.
Top executives agree hybrid work is the way forward
HCL Technologies' chief HR officer Apparao VV said, "We do expect momentum to increase by the end of this calendar year. This is the policy that we have at this point of time (sic)." Infosys CEO Pravin Rao voiced a similar sentiment. He remarked, "Our talent strategy also factors in expanded hiring pools that include new communities and work locations."
After 18 long months, our leaders @Wipro are coming back to the office starting tomorrow (twice a week). All fully vaccinated, all ready to go - safely and socially distanced! We will watch this closely. pic.twitter.com/U8YDs2Rsyo— Rishad Premji (@RishadPremji) September 12, 2021
Employees taking up side gigs prompted accelerated return to offices
While the IT sector saved money on commercial rent, electricity, and operating expenses, thanks to the WFH model, the companies also noted a drop in employee productivity as several employees took up additional projects besides work. Experts reportedly said that this is one of the biggest reasons why IT firms are eager to get employees working from offices again by November-December this year.