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IT-BPO industry not in a hurry to call staff back to offices

K V Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on June 22, 2021

To wait till more number of employees get vaccinated

N Sarat, a software engineering working for an IT firm in Hyderabad, has just received a survey form the operations team, with questions on how to go about opening up of offices.

With lockdown restrictions getting eased across the country, the IT and BPO companies, which shelved their return-to-work strategies in early March following sharp increase in Covid-19 cases, have begun to rework on the fresh plans to bring back the employees to offices. However, the industry is not in a hurry to open up the offices and make staff to come back to the offices in big numbers. The industry will continue to allow its staff to work from home and wait till more number of employees take the jab before asking them to come to offices.

“We estimate that about 20-25 per cent of the employees have received at least one dose by now. Most of the companies are working with about 8-10 per cent of their employees in the offices,” Sangeeta Gupta, Senior Vice-President and Chief Strategy Officer of Nasscom (National Association of Software and Services Companies), told Business Line.

Also read: As lockdown-like curbs ease, India Inc limps back to work, but with caution

Most of the companies have allowed up to 95 per cent of their employees to work from home, while asking only people working in critical operations to come to offices.

WFH going well

Before the beginning of the second wave in early March, the IT industry recorded a maximum of 20 per cent of employees coming to offices. “For the industry, continuation of work is important. The work has not been impacted much as work-from-home arrangement is working well,” Sangeeta said.

The Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) has left it to the constituent companies to take a call on their WFH policies. “We don’t interfere with how they operate. We have left it to them,” Omkar Rai, Director-General of STPI, said.

Ravi S Rao, Managing Director and Location Head of ValueMomentum Software Services, said that it (return to work) would be determined on the basis of client requirement. “It would be on case-to-case basis,” he said.

 

The Hyderabad Software Enterprises Association (HYSEA), which represents firms in Telangana that exported IT products and services worth over ₹1.40-lakh crore, said that about 50 per cent of the IT professionals in the city have been vaccinated so far. “About 30 per cent of the staff are staying outside of Hyderabad and we don’t know whether they got the first dose or not,” Bharani Kumar Aroll, President of HYSEA, said.

The industry had estimated that at least 30 per cent of their employees would be coming back to offices by July and 60-70 per cent by the end of December. “But the second wave have upset the plans. We have revised the plans and we expect there will be 10-15 per cent of the employees returningto offices by the end of July and 40-50 per cent by the December end,” the HYSEA said.

Published on June 22, 2021

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