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With staff vaccinated, IT firms want them back in office

With a majority of employees vaccinated against Covid, IT firms are planning to get them back in office sooner than planned.

While the majority of small firms (with employees under 300) have already made about 70-80 per cent of their employees comeback to offices, the bigger companies have begun holding virtual townhall meetings and regarding resuming work at the offices.

“We had a townhall meeting on Saturday where we discussed the nitty-gritty of the life in office post the pandemic. We were told to work in different schedules to avoid crowding,” a senior employee of a US-based IT firm serving financial services clients said.

A recent Nasscom survey found that majority of the IT employees aged under 40 are eager to come to back offices. It said over 72 per cent of firms are hoping to have at least 50 per cent employees back at work in the next few months.

“Now that the pace of vaccination is much faster than expected, the IT firms would like the employees back in the campuses as early as possible,” Bharani Kumar Aroll, President of the Hyderabad Software Enterprises Association (HYSEA) told BusinessLine.

Employee cost
“Bigger companies, with a sizeable bench (standby staff), can afford to work with a drop in utilisation rates. But the smaller firms can’t afford it as their margins are under heavy pressure with the cost of employees shooting up,” he said.

“Over 90 per cent of our 60 employees in our India operations have started working from the office,” said Aroll, who’s also the Chief Executive Officer of InfoPeers Solutions. Wipro CEO and Managing Director Thierry Delaporte, in a recent investor call, said that over 85 per cent Wipro’s employees globally were vaccinated with the first of the Covid-19 vaccines.

Over 50 per cent have got the recommended two doses. We are starting to return to our offices in a staggered manner globally,” he adding “For example, in India fully vaccinated senior colleagues can now come to office twice a week. The return to work will be a careful and gradual process as you can imagine.”

TCS said over 95 per cent of its employees have received at least one dose of the vaccine and over 70 per cent both doses. “We plan to bring back our workforce to the workplace gradually by the end of the year,” a top executive of TCS said in the second quarter earnings call recently.

Global policies
Several multi-national companies are following the global policies with regard to opening the campuses for their staff. IBM, for one, has extended the remote working advisory for all its employees across all locations in India.

“As communities move to reopen, IBMers will return to the workplace with data-driven, evidence-based practices and policies that safeguard them, IBM said, when asked about its plan to reopening the office campuses.

“Employees will return in phases. Work from home will continue for many IBMers till then. We will adjust our policy as conditions change,” it said. The Outreach

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