Workplaces in India are finally opening up after going remote for around 20 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to massive vaccination drives being conducted pan India and a reduction in reported cases and fatalities from COVID-19, MNCs are calling back their employees to work from office, while some are adopting a hybrid model. All this is being done, of course, while complying with the COVID-19 protocols.
Let us take a look at some firms that have recently announced back-to-office initiatives and reactions from employees of firms who have returned to work after this long gap.
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As per media reports, Milind Lakkad, Chief HR Officer of TCS, said that the company plans to gradually bring their workforce back in office by the end of this year. The reports add that the company management said in a press conference that senior-level employees with full vaccination status are welcome to come to the office already, and they are looking forward to welcoming their employees with a desired level of flexibility. The company has not slowed down on its hiring, despite the pandemic. In July, Lakkad had said that the IT giant would be hiring more than 40,000 freshers from campuses across the country in the financial year 2021-22.
Pune-based analytics firm SG Analytics has also called its employees back to office. Just a few days ago, it put out a LinkedIn post welcoming its employees through a humorous take on how they can get back to face-to-face meetings, bondings, and meet new colleagues, which they have missed in the last 20 months.
Vinit Shahdeo, who works as Software Engineer II at Postman, recently returned back to office, even though Postman has not made it a requirement for employees to return to work. The company is taking all of the WHO-recommended precautions.
Shahdeo adds, “I chose to come to the office so that I could meet my newly hired colleagues in person. Coming back to the office has brought with it the same aura as the start of work from home did. It makes me feel happy to be back at the office and its work environment, which was a huge lack back at home. A proper workspace, friends and team around me, professional attire and lunchtime gossip have been long missed. However, due to the prolonged period of work from home, it’s going to take some time for me to get myself and my team working in an office with the same efficiency.”
IT giant Wipro is also interested in bringing back its employees. At the company’s 75th annual general meeting, Rishad Premji encouraged its employees to get vaccinated and informed them that over 55% of them had already received the shot. Similar to TCS, Wipro had a robust hiring growth this year. In a recent interview with Moneycontrol, Wipro’s Chief Financial Officer Jatin Dalal said that the company will hire 16,000 to 17,000 freshers in the current financial year as against its previous estimates of 12,000.
Social media flooded with “back to office”posts
Social media has been flooded with posts from employees returning back to work and posting pictures, selfies, and group photos with colleagues after reuniting with them post the long gap. Here are some glimpses:
IT- consulting company Evolutyz Corp resumed operation in Vizag and Hyderabad as well. In a Twitter post, the company announced about resuming activities and how the teams celebrated going back to work.
Global martech product company Netcore Cloud has returned back to office from 15 November. Mudit Shukla, AVP Solutions Consultant (Pre-sales) at Netcore Cloud, wrote on LinkedIn, “Two days to go until this place feels home again. Team Netcore Cloud is returning to the office on the 15th of November.”
Vinay Setiya, a test engineer at Infosys, Pune, wrote, “After working from home for almost one year, working from office for the first time, the beautiful Pune DC campus, the food court, coffee from the coffee machine, walking around campus, overall feeling great to be in the Infosys Pune.”
Computer software giant Adobe, too, has reopened its India offices a few weeks back. Abhishek Singh, working as a senior manager-Facilities at Adobe, wrote, “Adobe reopens its offices in India today. It’s a great feeling to be back to the new normal.”
Though working from home comes with its own sets of advantages, like more flexibility, better time management, and enhanced work-life balance, a prolonged period of remote working can create feelings of isolation, disconnection and reduced communication among employees, which can, in turn, hurt productivity and quality of work. This move of opening up offices and getting back to how things were seems to have come at the right point in time.