As IT companies rethink the widely praised work-from-home strategy and have begun calling employees back to office, HR experts feel this move could lead to employees quitting.

Millennial and GenZ talent, especially, have vocally expressed their dismay about the diktat to work from office on social media platforms.

Recently, IT giant TCS asked 85 per cent of its employees to return to office at least thrice a week. Infosys also signalled similar intentions of getting employees back to office, by leasing 5 lakh sq ft office space for around ₹2.3 crore per month, back in May.

Knee-jerk reaction

Human resource analysts feel that the move by the IT majors to call employees back to offices is an impulsive reaction to the rising issue of moonlighting in the sector. “Companies are responding in a knee-jerk manner, hoping that getting employees back to offices will limit moonlighting,” said Aditya Mishra, CEO of CIEL HR Services.

More companies will start calling employees back to offices going forward as they are having trouble getting hires to adopt their ethos, he added.

However, if companies compel a work-from-office policy, they may face the risk of losing employees. “Any company that tries to shift to complete work from office model will lose employees. Sixty per cent of the talent that we interact with aspires for a remote working model,” said Kamal Karanth, co-founder of Xpheno, a specialist staffing firm.

“As employees have experienced the benefit of flexibility, they will look for jobs that provide flexibility,” said Mishra. When the hiring of IT talent by start-ups and Global Inhouse Centres (GIC) intensifies, IT services companies will be pressured to fulfill the talent’s demand for work-from-home, said Karanth.

Desire for flexibility

A recent study by TeamLease Digital showed that 57 per cent of IT employees would not consider returning to the sector if their desire for flexibility, career growth, and value proposition are not met.

Currently, the hybrid model is middle ground. “Companies are experimenting with the hybrid model with the desire to eventually shift to work-from-office, but it is likely to remain hybrid,” said Karanth.

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