India's largest IT service firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) will ask a vast majority of 75 per cent of its 3.5 lakh employees to work from home by 2025, up from 20 per cent currently, as the company looks to permanently adopt the remote working revolution brought by the coronavirus pandemic.
"We don't believe that we need more than 25% of our workforce at our facilities in order to be 100% productive," TCS's chief operating officer NG Subramaniam told Business Today.
He explained that under the new model, each employee would spend only 25 per cent of their working time in office. This will also imply that of all the team members, only 75 per cent of a project team would have to be in a single location.
The decision came after TCS moved 90 per cent of its 3.55 lakh employees to remote working after the lockdown was announced using an in-house platform called Secure Borderless Work Spaces (SBWS). The platform had been in development for the past few years.
However, the company later issued a clarification, saying: "3.5 lakh is an India figure but doesn't represent the global figure, and TCS is aiming at bringing this change globally. That number is 4.48 lakh. This is not a model that will be applied to TCS after the pandemic but something that TCS aspires to reach by 2025."
Experts said with TCS taking the lead, other Indian IT companies will have no option but to follow suit as the lessons learned from lockdown spark a more rapid and widespread “virtualisation” of business practices.
Several surveys conducted over the last month have also indicated that CFOs believe a fifth of staff will move to working from home in a post-Covid world.
Encouraging more employees to work from home will also help TCS save on costs, as it will require far less office space than what is occupied today. "We have come out stronger and our model is more proven than ever before," TCS's CEO and MD Rajesh Gopinathan told the news portal.
According to Ashutosh Limaye, Senior Director at Anarock Consulting, 25 per cent less employees in office may would lead to a 15 per cent reduction in need for office space. The reason is shared spaces in terms of common areas or facilities might not reduce as much.