Since most of their work happens over the internet and as there are now powerful online collaboration tools, work-from-home has generally had no adverse impact on productivity.

Despite the government lifting relaxing lockdown restrictions, most IT and technology companies are in no hurry to get back to office. Since most of their work happens over the internet and as there are now powerful online collaboration tools, work-from-home has generally had no adverse impact on productivity.

Most are planning staggered returns over several months. Some are looking at rotating teams that come into office. Many are even leaving it to employees to decide whether they feel comfortable enough to return.

Goldman Sachs, which has a 5,500-people strong technology and services centre in Bengaluru, expects to have only about 30% of its staff working from its office over the next few months. And even that will happen in a staggered manner after reviewing the return-to-office strategy by June-end. “Return to office is entirely voluntary and everyone is encouraged to take an approach that works for them, based on their personal constraints and considerations,” said Gunjan Samtani, head of Goldman Sachs Services in India.

Global software consultancy ThoughtWorks is looking at a new normal where only 40-50% of its employees will work from office on a rotational basis. But even that will not happen any time soon. The first phase of return saw only 5% of staff involved in critical work coming in. In the following phase, this will go up to 15-20%.

Deepa Deo, the Covid-19 response team lead for ThoughtWorks in India, said every employee, irrespective of role, would be allowed to avail the work-from-home option for as long as needed, even after the official lockdown is lifted. “People who might need to come into office would be in roles where they handle critical releases and deployments, or face network disruption due to monsoon-linked power failures, or are people finding it difficult to continue working from home due to other reasons,” she said.

Google and Facebook in India indicated they would be following their global guidelines. Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai said towards the end of May that the company would start opening more buildings in more cities beginning July 6.

Source: Economic Times