Though IT services companies such as Infosys, Wipro and others have shown their inclination towards bringing their employees back to office in a gradual manner, it is believed that a hybrid work model will be here to stay for long in the Indian IT sector.
Though the majority of IT employees continue to work from home, there is a possibility that some of them might return to office campuses over the next few quarters. As per experts with whom THE WEEK spoke, IT companies will prefer a hybrid work model not only due to the pandemic but also due to the cost factor attached to it. It is estimated that such companies would save at least 50 per cent of their infrastructure cost due to the hybrid working environment that is expected to operate in the months ahead.
“The COVID pandemic has brought in supercycles of digitisation across the globe and it has made us think that work will not be the same anymore. While over 50 per cent of the working population are thinking of being in office for not more than 10 days, digital meetings will be the future. Employees are expecting offices to be safer before they return. Organizations have learnt that they cannot omit working remotely as employees are supporting it overwhelmingly. What we are understanding is that companies will choose a hybrid model with a combination of remote plus WFH plus back to office for a while instead of strictly following back to office,” remarked Siva Prasad Nanduri, Vice President and business head of IT Staffing at TeamLease Digital.
Experts agree that they have seen real and tangible benefits for both organization and employees with a hybrid approach. Increased productivity, work-life balance, and the opportunity to engage a diverse, global, and border-less workforce are some of the benefits that IT companies are seeing in their employees.
“Family bonding, health, and well being increased autonomy are significant but unseen benefits and will be crucial as we move towards finding new ecosystems to create value. With a global talent pool and diverse workforce, cross-cultural training will become imperative. They will elevate the ability of teams to understand one another better, exponentially improving team performance. In the coming months, we may also see changes in employment laws around remote work. Overall, organizations have the opportunity to create an autonomous and authentic workforce and build a trust-based ecosystem for talent to build careers,” Manu Gopinath, Chief Operating Officer, UST, told THE WEEK.
UST Global does not have any immediate plans to bring back their staff to offices for work. “We will bring back the employees only when it is absolutely safe for everyone, in a post-COVID or COVID-safe world. Safety and well-being of our employees and their families is our topmost priority. In the process towards a COVID-safe workplace, we have just started free vaccination drives to all our 15,000 plus employees and their immediate families in India. Even in a post-COVID world, we believe it is going to be a hybrid workplace in the future for UST. We will continue to WFH till it is safe to work from offices,” read a statement from the company.
HR experts feel that IT companies are bringing their people back to offices as many of them have been vaccinated and are looking forward to coming back to their second most important place in their lives.
“The nature of the workplace, the work hours and norms could vary in the post-pandemic workplace. We are likely to see small offices being set up in multiple towns and cities by large companies; sometimes, multiple offices in different parts of the same city to reduce the time and efforts required for commute to work, reduce pollution and continue the goodness of technology such as videoconferencing and various other tools for collaboration. Companies would save at least 50 per cent of their infrastructure cost due to the hybrid working environment that will operate in the months ahead,” said Aditya Narayan Mishra, director and CEO of CIEL HR Services.