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An end to ‘Work from Home’; IT giant plans to open offices

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest IT company, has announced that it will return employees to work. Work-from-home, a side effect of COVID-19, will soon come to an end and many software and IT companies are asking their employees to return to work. In April, TCS, the country’s leading private employer, announced plans to cease work at home by the year’s end. The decision was made after dipping cases of Covid-19, record vaccination rates, and a large number of TCS employees being vaccinated. Our personal and professional lives took a 360-degree turn almost 18 months ago, and life seems to be returning to normality.

By 2020, 96% of TCS’s employees will work remotely, and the company won’t send them back to their offices. The company has stated that by 2025, only 25 percent of the employees will work from the office, and Infosys will follow a hybrid work model. It has already been advised that the risk assessment model for returning employees to the office will analyze a range of factors, such as vaccination status, place of residence, risk in the region, and basic health parameters so that the office remains safe and employees feel confident about returning.

One of India’s largest IT services companies contributes almost 15 percent to the country’s $150 billion software exports and employs nearly a tenth of its 4.6 million technology workers. In light of a general market shift towards using bigger players, TCS CEO Rajesh Gopinathan expects the company to gain a larger share of the global technology outsourcing market. A media publication reported TCS’s global head of human resources, Milind Lakkad, ‘TBCS developed a blueprint called Vision 25/25 which ensured employees only spent 25 percent of their time in offices in order to be 100% productive’. There are more than five lakh employees at TCS throughout the world, as many as 97 percent of whom work remotely. However, now the company wants them back in the office.

To date, over 90 percent of TCS employees in India have received vaccinations against Covid-19. TCS chief operating officer N G Subramaniam told the BBC that it’s time to restock the social capital an office environment fosters. Approximately 50 percent of the people feel they can come to work, Subramaniam said. On Tuesday, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) extended to 31 December the relaxation of the work from home (WFH) norms for other service providers (OSPs), including the IT industry. As a result of the Coronavirus-related restrictions, OSPs, primarily IT and IT-enabled services firms, have received a second extension to facilitate WFH.

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In addition to TCS, many other companies like Wipro are calling their employees back to work. On Sunday, Wipro chairman, Rishad Premji, took to Twitter to explain how one will start working from the office. After 18 months of working from home, employees will return to work, each one will have a QR code to enable contact-free entry into the campuses, followed by temperature checks and all other necessary checks to ensure the safety of all employees. TCS and Wipro rehiring their employees will pave the way for hybrid working, and other software companies will follow their lead to embrace hybrid working models.


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