Why IT majors prefer to have employees back in office

Image: Onmanorama

Kochi: The central government’s recent decision to extend the ‘work from home’ (WFH) option in IT companies in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) for one more year came as a surprise as it came at a time when it looked like the country had gotten out of the pandemic hangover.

A large section of employees who had become accustomed to the WFH or hybrid work culture, which has become the new normal across the tech industry, must have been happy about the news. However, the IT majors seem to be sceptical. With the threat of the pandemic largely gone, technology companies are eager to move back to the work-from-office model. IT giants TCS and Wipro are among those who prefer to have their employees at the office while companies in Kerala share their view.

Technopark-based Experion Technologies is among the strong advocates of the work-from-office model. Suresh V Panicker, co-founder and chief operating officer of the product engineering company Experion Technologies, said the collective behaviour of everyone in an organisation is a must to deliver projects quickly and to consistently produce the best results in a highly competitive global market.

“To achieve this, companies must build the right culture. Solely working from home can create many negative sentiments, including lower confidence levels, anxiety, losing the big picture of your project and organisational goals, hampered social skills etc. People choosing to work from the office can benefit from a healthy work culture and will become more realistic about what they can achieve individually and collectively. Such a collaborative work environment will allow them to acquire specialised skills, earn mutual trust and respect from everyone on the team, and achieve accelerated career growth,” he said.

IT giant TCS, which has campuses at Infopark in Kochi and Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram, also recently asked its employees across the campuses to work five days a week from the office. During the announcement of its September quarter results, Milind Lakkad, Chief Human Resources Officer, TCS, mentioned his 'strong belief' that employees should come back to the office. A large number of people who have joined the company in the last three years have either worked virtually or in a hybrid manner. “We strongly believe that they need to come to work so that the new workforce gets integrated with the larger workforce of TCS. That is the only way they will learn, understand, and internalise TCS values and the TCS way.” Earlier TCS had asked its employees to work three days from the office, but have now extended it to five days a week.

Operating along similar lines, another IT major, WIPRO, had also recommended its employees to work at least three days every week from the office. In Kerala, WIPRO operates out of a campus at Infopark, in Kochi. Sharing his views on the 'work from home vs work from office' debate at the NASSCOM Leadership Summit 2023, Rishad Premji, chairman of the IT services company, said, “You can't build that connectedness and intimacy no matter how advanced technology gets. We are human beings. I am a big believer that we should be coming back to offices in some shape and form.”

The IT companies in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) can now allow employees to avail of the Work from Home' option until December 31, 2024. The Centre has amended the Special Economic Zones rules of 2006 to extend the option by a year. The period earlier granted to these companies was slated to end on December 31, 2023.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.