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WFH an option only, not part of job contract

Work from home facility can only be given to employees depending on specific projects, if the client has given approval for working on remote location

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Commerce Ministry announces rules for Work from Home

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Returning To Office

- IT firms facing resistance from junior, lower mid-level staff

- Already IT sector suffering from high attrition

- IT cos have started transitioning to work from office model in a phased manner

- Initially, IT firms allowing staff to work in office for a day or two per week

Bengaluru: Indian IT services companies are not likely to mention work from home (WFH) option in employee contracts as they must take the approval from clients before committing such facility to their workforce.

Sources in the know said that such WFH facility can only be given to employees depending on specific projects, for which the client has given approval for working on remote locations.

"WFH as an option may not be given to IT sector employees as a norm. This is because IT firms have to take approval from the client for allowing remote working on a project. Also, there are certain components of project, which client may not allow remote working. So, there can't be a general rule as it depends on the approval from the client," said Pareekh Jain, an IT outsourcing advisor and founder, Pareekh Consulting.

"The Covid pandemic was an exception when remote working had been allowed as a norm. Repetition of that model as a rule may not happen," he added.

Sources in the know said that IT firms are facing a lot of resistance from junior and lower mid-level employees to come back to offices. That is one of the primary reasons for driving attrition level northward in the last two quarters. Large IT services companies have already started transitioning to work from office model in a phased manner with senior and mid-level employees attending offices for certain number of days in a week.

During the fourth quarter results, the management of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has said that it would get its employees back to offices in the coming months. Senior management-level executives have already started working from offices regularly, it said.

Similarly, Infosys has said that the company is encouraging employees to return to offices (RTO) in a phased manner. During initial days of resuming operations from offices, employees would have to come for a day or two per week, the Bengaluru-headquartered firm said.

For Cognizant, employees can work voluntarily from office from April 18. The company is giving emphasis on voluntary return to offices in phases with an hybrid model in mind.

Work from home is seen as one of the reasons for high employee churn. In the quarter ended March 2022, Infosys' attrition touched close to 28 per cent, while TCS' attrition touched a record high of 17.4 per cent.

Also, there are certain components of project, which client may not allow remote working. So, there can't be a general rule as it depends on the approval from the client

- Pareekh Jain, an IT outsourcing advisor and founder, Pareekh Consulting

Debasis Mohapatra
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