Employees will work from offices two days each week, starting today
Although many companies are continuing with Work From Home (WFH), Wipro has announced that it has asked its employees to come to offices, September 12 onwards. The employees will work from the office twice a week and work from home on the rest of the days. If this model is successful, the company will gradually decrease the number of WFH days and move back into office.
Rishad Premji, Chairman, Wipro, took to Twitter on Sunday and wrote that the company’s employees will begin working from office, Monday onwards, after 18 months. He shared a video describing the process the company wants to follow.
According to the video, those travelling via cars will be categorised into two groups: Those with codes to enter the office and those who are yet to register. Those with QR codes will use a separate lane to head to the help desk where to get their QR codes signed and get their body temperature checked. Those without such registration will use another lane, head to a registration point and then, they will get their temperatures checked. Those without cars will follow a separate system to get their QR codes scanned and their temperatures checked.
Many other companies have also begun working with such hybrid models by combining WFH and working from offices. Some companies have begun working from offices for a week and then working from home the next week. An HR professional told Bangalore Mirror, “We have been taking many precautions. We have prepared a database to check vaccination statuses. If there are any employees who are yet to get vaccinated, we are conducting vaccination drives for them or are reimbursing the cost of vaccines to their accounts so that they can get vaccinated at their nearest hospital.”
The HR professional further added that their company is also admitting less than half of the staff on specific days to be able to maintain physical distance between employees. “If this model is a success, without any covid outbreaks, we can welcome all our staff to the office,” the HR professional added.
Another HR Professional said, “Many companies had started working from offices after the covid wave had subsided in December. No one had expected a second wave then. However, at the moment covid cases are under control, so employees are ready to come back to offices.”
Employees have mixed feelings on the matter. “I am happy to work from the office. It is easier to coordinate tasks in person. Moreover, the workload in WFH was too much for us. This way, we can work during work hours and not take work home,” said a techie.
While, another techie said, “Several western countries have experienced a third wave. Many companies in the United States of America have put a stop to returning back to offices after they experienced a surge of covid cases of the Delta variant. It is best to wait at the moment, in case of a third wave.” Even so, the fact is that many companies are planning to move to a hybrid model of working from homes and offices.
Premji, during the Wipro’s 75th Annual General Meeting on July 14, had said that 55 per cent of the company’s employees in India have been vaccinated. Wipro has about two lakh employees currently. In the company’s annual report, Premji had stated that the company had triggered its business continuity plans to quickly enable remote working as the pandemic broke out, and less than three per cent of its global workforce was working from office.
Industry watchers believe that a hybrid model of work, when done right, will help companies gain huge comparative advantage. It will pave the way for a more inclusive workforce, enabling job creation in tier III and IV locations and stimulate a greater participation of women in the workforce as they will have the flexibility to work from home or office, it is said.
Several western countries have experienced a third wave. Many companies in the United States of America have put a stop to returning back to offices after they experienced a surge of covid cases of the Delta variant
– A techie
Majority employees want to WFH once a week
Nearly 80 per cent corporate employees want to work from home at least once a week post covid, found a survey conducted by property consultant, JLL India. In their survey, Workers Preference Barometer for India, JLL India found that employees would prefer to work two days in the office and three days remotely. The survey was taken by 300 employees, working in various corporate houses.
“Seventy nine per cent of the workforce wants to work remotely at least once in a week, and this number goes up to 89 per cent when a third-party place of work is added,” JLL said in a statement.
It further stated that employees want a better balance in their working patterns and they believe that a hybrid model and flexibility could be the key. Almost 60 per cent of the participants of the survey believe that in any workplace a healthy lifestyle and safety should be priorities.
“There is a greater understanding and need for work-life balance amongst employees now. We are also seeing a need for human connection gaining prominence amongst employees as they crave social connections and emotional engagements in the workplace,” Dhir, the JLL spokesperson, had said. Almost 75 per cent of the participants wanted to work from the office at least once a week, which is quite a development, compared to 52 per cent in October 2020, the report said.