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For IT, hybrid work model on the anvil

New model gives staff the flexibility to either work from office or work from home

For IT, hybrid work model on the anvil

For IT, hybrid work model on the anvil   

Bengaluru: Not more than 15 per cent of employees are likely to come back to the office until March 2021 as domestic IT services players are planning to schedule the return to offices (RTO) in tranches amid the ongoing pandemic. Though vaccination drive is all set to start from January 16, IT firms are taking a cautious stand on operating offices in full capacity. However, industry experts and officials said that senior management has started to come to offices. Even mid-level employees are operating from offices for a few days a week. "We don't expect more than 15-20 per cent of employees coming back to office till March of this year. This is mainly because the employee productivity continues to be good in the 'work from home' operating model," said Pareekh Jain, an IT outsourcing advisor and Founder of Pareekh Consulting.

Currently, most IT biggies are operating at minimal employee capacity. For instance, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is operating at 96 per cent employees from home, which is 97 per cent for Infosys. Similarly, 98 per cent of Wipro's staffers are working from a remote location and the company has extended this facility till April this year. However, sources in the know also said that top management of most IT firms have started operating from offices, while mid-level people are increasingly coming back from their home towns.

"Most of the officials in the top management are operating from office on selective days. Similarly, mid-level managers are also coming back from their hometowns and attending offices depending on the critical nature of the project. It is the juniors who continue to operate from remote locations and the top management is not keen to get them back to the office as employee productivity continues to be good," said one of the industry sources. Meanwhile, many IT firms have started looking at a hybrid work model to inculcate flexibility in the operating model.

"Today, we have 97 per cent of the people globally working from home. It will be difficult to say where the percentage will settle down in the new normal. Our endeavour is to build a hybrid model where people have the flexibility to either work from the office or work from home. And it is always not the same set of people who are always working from home or office. It will depend on their personal contacts or client contacts," said UB Pravin Rao, Chief Operating Officer of Infosys at the post-results press conference.

Though the offices in metro cities continue to work at minimal employee capacity, many staffers are coming back to offices in Tier-II centres of the IT firms as the risk of getting the Covid virus gets reduced. Recently, a survey by Hyderabad Software Enterprises Association (HYSEA) has said that not more than 20 per cent of the IT workforce will be in the office by the end of March 2021. However, this number is likely to reach 40 per cent by the end of June quarter, it had said.

Debasis Mohapatra
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