As companies transition from remote work to a hybrid model, they face unique challenges while adapting to the evolving needs of their workforce. Many IT/ITeS and BPO firms, including industry leaders, embraced the work-from-home (WFH) model during the pandemic and made substantial investments to ensure its effectiveness. While these organisations had utilised the WFH model in a limited and constrained since several years, they were well positioned to invest further to enable their workforce. This proactive approach demonstrated the industry’s ability to adapt swiftly in the face of adversity.
Regulatory Shift : WFH Flexibility in SEZs
Previously, organisations operating within SEZs had a restriction that limited remote work to a maximum of 50% of the total workforce at any given time. However, according to the latest notification issued by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry in Dec 2022, the law granted permission to SEZ based companies to allow 100% of their employees to WFH. Nevertheless, the decision of whether to make it mandatory for employees to work from the office rests with the organisation’s discretion.
Impact of WFH Discontinuation
Over the last few months, several organisations like Amazon, TCS and Infosys have begun to have employees back in their offices on a hybrid and rotational model by shifting from the WFH to WFO model. While some employees have begun to come back to their offices, some employees have chosen to resign due to the discontinuation of WFH. Organisations must make strategic decisions that align with their business goals, client requirements, competitive environment and the need for in-person collaboration. These decisions are not driven by discrimination but rather by a comprehensive assessment of various factors.
When TCS management recently notified its employees to return to the office, it resulted in more resignations from female employees who wanted to continue to WFH. This resulted in higher attrition at India’s top IT company in continuation of last year’s trend where it reportedly lost more than 20 percent of its workforce. With 1.3 million women comprising 34% of the total IT workforce and over 24% in managerial positions, organisations are committed to fostering a supportive and empowering environment for all employees.
Striking a Balance in the Hybrid Work Model
To make this transition successful from WFH to WFO, it is crucial for employees to recognise the significance of the opportunities they have had during these unprecedented times. Face-to-face interactions undeniably expedite tasks and foster a stronger sense of camaraderie among colleagues. Instead of resorting to resignation, exploring alternatives such as implementing a structured schedule of working few days in the office and few days from home can strike a balance that caters to both the organisation’s and employees’ needs. By embracing flexibility and maintaining open communication, we can navigate the transition to a hybrid work model while acknowledging and appreciating the value of both remote and in-person work experiences.