Why Telangana wants IT staff back in offices

KV Kurmanath Updated on August 03, 2021

With 95% working from home, spending is down, service providers’ revenue hit

With over 95 per cent of an estimated 6.30 lakh IT employees in Hyderabad working from home (WFH), the Telangana government has asked the IT industry to encourage their staff to come back to offices.

Though lockdown norms were relaxed over a month ago, IT employees prefer to work from home in the city or in their native places, owing to the persistent concerns over the Covid-19 infection.

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The State Government is not quite happy with it for multiple reasons. While it is impacting livelihoods of lakhs of people in the IT ecosystem, it is casting a shadow on retail, real-estate and other sectors as high-earning employees in the IT sector are not spending the way they were spending in the pre-pandemic times.

‘Cabs off the roads’

“About 36,000 cabs used to ply in the IT hub area before the pandemic hit us. Almost all of the cabs are off the roads for the last one year. Though the lockdown norms have been relaxed, the situation remains the same,” Shaikh Saluddin of the Indian Federation of App-based Transport Workers (IFAT), told BusinessLine.

Telangana IT and Industries Secretary Jayesh Ranjan has said the situation is absolutely safe and the IT companies can resume normal work at their offices.

“Almost all other sectors have opened up. Malls, factories and several other offices are open now. Weddings are happening. When everything else has resumed, there is no point why they (IT industry) can’t,” he said.

‘Industry worried’

The IT Ministry recently convened a meeting with over 280 representatives from the industry to convince them to reopen offices.

The IT industry, however, is divided. While some of them agreed to resume offices, some are vary. “Some of us are governed by global human resource protocols. We have to follow them as we call the staff back to offices,” a top executive of an IT company said, requesting anonymity.

Jayesh Ranjan, however, refuted this argument. “There are a couple of global firms that have immediately agreed to resume work at offices after the meeting. The norms can always be fine-tuned according to the local needs,” he argued.

He, however, said that the Government had left it to their choice on this. “The economy has opened a month ego and there is no increase in the number of cases. It’s safe,” he said.

Published on August 02, 2021
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