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Indian IT giants call for return to office, reversing WFH trend

The once-prevailing work-from-home (WFH) scenario amid the pandemic now faces a shift, especially within the realms of India’s IT services giants. With the fading memory of WFH becoming the norm, major corporations are urging their workforce to return to the office, marking a notable turnaround in workplace strategies.

IT Giants Leading the Charge
Amid the cooling job market after the peak periods of 2021-22, IT giants, the country’s largest white-collar employers, are spearheading this transition. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a behemoth with a workforce exceeding 600,000, has distinctly pivoted from its 25×25 vision announced in 2020.

This vision aimed for only a quarter of its employees to work from TCS premises at any given time, with employees spending a mere 25% of their time in the office by 2025. Now, TCS is steering a five-day office mandate, a notable deviation from its previous stance.

Challenges and Repercussions
Interestingly, TCS’s annual report for FY23 highlighted an atypical trend of more women than men departing from employment, attributing it to the reset in domestic arrangements caused by its return-to-office policy. However, the company’s Chief Human Resources Officer, Milind Lakkad, emphasized the importance of workplace essentials such as collaboration, mentorship, and team-building, motivating the company’s push to recall its employees.

Infosys also joins the call, aiming to have entry- and mid-level employees present in the office for at least ten days a month from November 20. Similarly, Wipro and HCL Technologies have directed their employees to attend the office a minimum of three days a week. Other IT majors like Capgemini and LTIMindtree are echoing similar sentiments, nudging employees towards a more frequent return to office.

The Hybrid Work Model Conundrum
While some employees exhibit openness towards returning to the office, a substantial preference for a hybrid work model persists. Aditya Narayan Mishra, MD & CEO of CIEL HR Services, highlighted findings from their study, indicating that four out of ten employees were amenable to working in a hybrid framework.

However, he stressed that this shift presents challenges, especially for women, with half of them still inclined towards remote work with flexibility.

Mishra also cautioned about potential negative impacts on employee engagement and attrition rates if companies enforce full-time office attendance. Thus, finding a balance between in-office and remote work remains crucial for maintaining a healthy work environment and retaining talent.

As the workplace dynamics evolve, striking this equilibrium becomes pivotal for sustainable productivity and employee satisfaction in the evolving landscape of work culture. Techgig

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