The IT sector has been opening up along with the rest of India, months after the Covid-19 pandemic appears to be gentler on the masses. As the vaccination drive slowly makes progress, over 50 per cent of the workforce in the country is expected to make a return to offices from January 2022, breaking the months-long trend of working from home. However, companies, especially in the IT sector, are more eager to bring back employees to the for three a week, rather than five days a week, according to a report by Nasscom. As per the report, employees above the age of 25 will be back in their offices by November itself, while the next lot based on age will come in a similar graded manner.
According to the report by the IT industries apex organisation, people up to the age of 40 will return after their previous group, and will be followed by older employees in the upcoming months. “The industry is now prepared to gradually reopen and is looking at perfecting a hybrid operating model which brings in the best of both onsite and remote operating models," says Debjani Ghosh, president of Nasscom.
As per the ‘NASSCOM Return to Workplace Survey’ published on November 1, Monday, about 70 per cent of workplaces in India are exploring the hybrid model of work, whereby employees can work from home on certain days and from office on the others. IT services and global capability centres (GCCs) are expected to be the first ones to adopt this model. Organisations with more than 1,000 employees are more likely to adopt a hybrid operating model, says the report.
“Better Infrastructure and hardware, Social connect and bonding with peers, and lesser distractions as compared to WFH are the top three reasons for employee preference to return to workplace," says the Nasscom repot.
“Employees believe that safety from COVID-19, flexible work timings, and better collaboration and communication with supervisors were the three top reasons why they enjoyed remote working," it adds.
The report also finds that workforce in the tech industry in India is also interested in the new model of work after their return to office.
Information Technology major TCS has already said it will call back its employees to their office desks since about 70 per cent of them have been fully vaccinated and around 95 per cent have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine during the ongoing jab drive across the country.
“With 70 per cent of TCSers (employees of TCS) fully vaccinated, and over 95 per cent having received at least one dose, we plan to gradually get our workforce back in office by the end of this year,” chief HR officer of the company Milind Lakkad said, while announcing the updates regarding the earnings for the quarter ending in September.
N.R. Narayana Murthy-owned IT major Infosys also followed a similar lead while announcing the company’s quarterly earnings, and said they will follow a hybrid model going forward.
“With over 86 per cent of Infoscions (employees of Infosys) in India having received at least one dose of ‘vaccination’, we are now preparing to embrace the hybrid work model. We have equipped employees with the resources they need to be productive, cyber secure, stay connected, and maintain a work-life balance. Our talent strategy also factors in expanded hiring pools that include new communities and work locations,” said Pravin Rao, chief operating officer, Infosys.
According to the Nasscom report, though 81 per cent employers believe that employee health and safety are the key concerns for them in terms of reopening the office, more than 72 per cent of the organisations plan to bring back 50 per cent of workforce for up to three days a week from January 2022.