News & Analysis

Indian IT Companies Face Work-from-Home Aftermath

A recent survey says around 75% of those given WFH options during the pandemic are resisting a return to office

A recent survey conducted by CIEL HR indicates that as many as three out of four employees working in the IT sector aren’t keen to work from their offices even once a week. This in spite of IT companies recalling staff back to work after the two-year pandemic forced them to provide work-from-home options. 

What’s more, many of these companies are facing a Hobson’s Choice as added pressure on the staff to return to the workplace is resulting in more resignations. The CIEL survey approached 40 enterprises across India including the top-10 IT companies, which together employ close to a million employees. 

In fact, the industry has been considering innovative options to ensure employee satisfaction. In fact, companies are reportedly getting ready for a hiring overhaul. The CIEL survey indicated that 30% of employees are still in WFH mode while the rest of the employees are back supposed to return to work soon. And a good percentage of this aren’t keen for the change. 


The stats are surprising

While 40% of IT companies continue to operate in the hybrid mode with an option of going to the workplace twice or maximum thrice a week, the transition to this phase has been slow amongst the companies as just about a fourth of its staff is turning up to work in the office. The smaller IT companies are insisting on a full return to work, which accounts for 30% of those surveyed by CIEL. 

Different companies appear to be dealing with these issues in a variety of ways. While Wipro and Tech Mahindra are offering greater flexibility to its employees stating that hybrid is here to stay, TCS appears to be headed where the talent is. A report in the Economic Times says TCS is now opening offices at cities like Goa and Nagpur and Guwahati to help employees stay closer home or even at home for a while. 

Employees across organisations are allowed to choose which days they want to work from office. According to the survey, developers are offered maximum flexibility while those support functions, infrastructure management, architects and senior senior managers are coming to office almost daily.


The road ahead is bumpy

Close to three-fourth of all staffers in IT companies returned to their hometowns or non-metro locations post the pandemic. With the situation easing from late last year, the big IT companies were making noises about returning to the workplace, which is considered to be one of the reasons for the resignations that these companies faced. 

Faced with an employee turnaround of severe magnitude, HR managers were left with no option but to liaise with division heads and find innovative ways to explore talent. A senior HR official with one of India’s top IT companies told us that in a way the employee reticence to move back to the SEC-A cities could be seen as a boon as it reduced the pressure on infrastructure. 

However, for us it developed into a hiring nightmare, especially at the junior levels, where candidates first quizzed us about the hybrid work model or whether there was a possibility to be hired in a location closer to their hometowns, the official said. In fact, this explains why the likes of Wipro, Infosys, Tech Mahindra and HCL Tech opened smaller offices in smaller cities. 



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