It’s back to office for TCS techies post pandemic: Here’s why and how

Even in hybrid model, face-to-face interactions are a must, feels company; plans risk assessment model for return-to-work

Currently, about 97% of TCS employees are working from home.

Indian IT behemoth Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) plans to get its employees back to office once the pandemic ends. N Chandrasekaran, Chairman of promoter firm Tata Sons, said last week a hybrid model is likely to be the norm in the future workplace, yet TCS will ask its employees to return to office, as there’s a need for one-on-one interactions.

Addressing the annual general meeting (AGM) of TCS, which also he heads, Chandrasekaran said: “I do want to make the point that people need to meet people. It is a social necessity. So, there will be a shift towards moving people to work when the pandemic gets over.” Currently, about 97% of TCS employees are working from home, he added.

Hybrid, the new normal

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In the future, too, TCS believes a ‘significant number’ of people will work from home, said a PTI report. “The future of work will be somewhat hybrid where some people will work from home, sometimes people will come to the office. So, the hybrid will likely be the new normal,” said the Chairman.

At the AGM, a shareholder sought to know what the company will do with the huge campuses it has built in several cities. “We still believe that offices will be needed. The occupancy levels may go down. There will be lot more collaboration spaces in offices once people start coming in to work,” Chandrasekaran replied.

About 5% of the 4.88 lakh TCS workforce had suffered COVID infections, he said. About 80% of those have already recovered, he added.

Also read: 74% of Indian workers want flexible work options, says Microsoft survey

Earlier, TCS had said it would adopt a ‘25-by-25’ strategy, wherein, at any point of time, 25% of its staff would be working from offices by 2025.

Risk assessment

Earlier this month, the Economic Times had reported that TCS has put together a risk assessment model, called Intelligent Urban Exchange, which will indicate how a certain percentage of employees can be brought to the workplace. For this, the model will examine employee parameters such as vaccination status, place of residence and the associated risk of infection, and basic health condition of the individual.

This is seen to not only mitigate the company’s human resource risk but also address employee concerns on returning to work.

The ET report had quoted a TCS executive as saying the company cannot allow its staff to work entirely from home since some of its clients are large enterprises running critical utilities. These include government establishments such as the Passport Office as well as public sector banks, stock exchanges and healthcare institutions, among others.

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