After 18 months of ‘work from home’, employees’ return is gaining momentum across tech firms in India. Ever since the country went into lockdown, offices remain closed, and the luxury of working from home became the new norm. However, with the situation under control and mass vaccination drives led by organisations – the offices are getting ready to breathe afresh. Firms are opening their offices completely or gradually asking their employees to return while complying with the COVID19 protocol norms. Let’s have a look at tech firms in India planning to open their gates for employees.
Tata Consultancy Services
Tech behemoth TCS has almost 90% of its employees getting vaccinated and are gearing up to welcome back over 5 lakh of its employees. With the fall in the number of covid cases, restrictions have eased up in large parts of the country – the company is keen on getting back to its large campuses sprawling across the country. Moreover, in an interview with the BBC, NG Subramaniam, the chief operating officer, said that in an internal TCS survey, at least 50% of the employees think they can get back to work.
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Bangalore-based tech giant Infosys issued a memo asking employees to return to the office. Infosys stated in its memo that the safety situation in the country had seen an improvement with increased vaccine coverage. The company had been in emergency mode for months, but now the time has come to be back on track. It refrained from calling out every employee at once. Moreover, companies are looking at a hybrid workforce model, so there needs to be a starting point to have a certain percentage of the workforce back in offices.
Wipro, the IT services major, is keen on gradually calling its employees back to offices from September, depending on vaccine coverage and the fear that looms around COVID19 third-wave. At the company’s 75th annual general meeting, Rishad Premji encouraged its employees to get vaccinated and informed them that over 55% of them have already received the shot. The Bangalore-based firm has over 2 lakh employees on board.
IT and digital product engineering firm Nagarro has re-opened its Gurgaon office for its employees. The company has kept it optional for employees to remain at home or join the office. “After 18 months of working from home, we can finally say something that many Nagarrians have long been waiting for! Yes, we are re-opening the Nagarro office in Gurgaon, India. Of course, with all Covid protocols in place,” said the company via a LinkedIn post.
Nasscom adopted the hybrid work model and after 1.5 years of remote work opens its offices for the employees to return. With strict covid protocols and ensuring key steps including, less than 30% occupancy in the office, contactless solutions, enhanced ventilation, maintaining social distancing norms and keeping vaccination in mind — employees can work and interact with their fellow colleagues.
Apparao V.V., Chief Human Resources Officer, said that the company would not dictate the terms, and it will be voluntary for the staff to join. It has asked each line of business to look out for roles that require work from the office and what all can be done remotely. HCL Tech is against a one-size-fits-all policy on the return of its employees. With over 3.5 lakh employees, the firm has enabled on-campus vaccination for them and their families.
Starting September, Apple will roll out its hybrid-workspace model. The company believes that in-person collaboration is the culture it follows, and employees need to work for three days from the office. Apple CEO Tim Cook had already proposed the model back in June 2021. Last year, Apple announced the launch of an online store in India and had reportedly leased a 4 lakh sq ft office in Bangalore.
Although life at the office may seem uncomfortable or avoidable for now — the workspace vibes hold an important place in employees’ lives. The physical workspace encourages serendipity, which can help projects move forward. While thinking about a problem, you can run into a colleague and ask a question that leads to an unexpected answer and a novel solution. Perhaps you and a few coworkers share a cup of coffee and come up with a new product or service. Alternatively, you may spot a coworker struggling with a task and offer them some time-saving advice. It promotes better coordination, performance, constant interaction with colleagues, and a great learning experience from senior peers. On the contrary, people seem unwilling to walk into those hectic traffic jams, painful travel routines and let go of quality family time.