A mid-sized IT firm wanted to allow 150 of its employees back at the office on April 1 as part of its plan, asking all its workforce to return by July 1.
With the Covid-19 spreading very fast in the second wave, the company has shelved the plan for now and quickly falling back on the complete work-from-home strategy.
“We will wait for our global task force to take a call on it (return to office),” India head of a multi-national IT firm told, BusinessLine on condition of anonymity.
Shrugging off pandemic, STPI units clock exports of ₹5-lakh crore in FY21Bengaluru leads pack; IT exports growth pegged at 5-6% in FY22
It is not the only company that is in the process of reworking its return-to-office strategies. The industry leaders hoped that about 60 per cent of the workforce would be back in offices by the end of 2021.
“Yes, the second wave is delaying workforce coming back to work. However, it is not disrupting work in the IT industry since work-from-home is all set and productivity is not impacted,” B V R Mohan Reddy, Executive Chairman of engineering and digital technology solutions company Cyient, said.
The micro, small and medium enterprises are in a quandary as most of them can’t afford much of their staff working from home. “Most of them have already started working with about 30-50 per cent since they can’t afford their staff working from home,” Bharani Kumar Aroll, President of Hyderabad Software Enterprises Association (HYSEA) that clocked exports worth ₹1.40 lakh crore in 2020-21, said.
According to him, the virulence in the second wave is quite unexpected for the industry. “It is going impact the companies’ plans to resume normal operations in offices. They are working with about 10 per cent of their staff now. We expected the number to grow to 30 per cent by July. But this might not happen due to the second wave,” he said.
The industry thought that the pandemic would completely slow down by mid-April. But the sudden increase in cases forced the top managements to rework their strategies.
The vaccination drive is not helping the IT industry as about 90 per cent of the employees are under 45 years of age. “It has become a concern because the companies can’t ask them to back to work without vaccine protection,” he said.
The Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), which has about 5,100 registered IT companies under its purview, says there won’t be much impact of the second wave as the processes are in place for a fully functional work-from-home system.
“It might impact people’s movement a bit, but there will not be any impact on the business. The industry has the resilience to face the challenge and ensure business continuity,” STPI Director-General Omkar Rai said.