Tata Consultancy Services, the country’s largest IT services company, today reiterated that it is committed to its 25-by-25 model according to which the company has set a goal of reducing office attendance for its employees by 75% by the year 2025.
According to the model, which was unveiled soon after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the company to shift almost all its staff to a work-from-home model, the company wants to enable its employees to do most of their work outside the office.
By doing this, the company expects that only around 25% of its employees will be present in their office at any given time, with the remaining three quarters working remotely.
The move was seen as a progressive and ambitious policy that put employee interests first.
However, as the COVID pandemic dragged on, many companies who were initially gung ho about the so-called hybrid work model grew increasingly disillusioned with it.
JPMorgan, one of the world’s biggest banks that had initially announced grand plans to shift a large chunk of its 2.5 lakh employees to the work-from-home model, seemed to have grown more sober about the prospect by mid 2021.
Around this time, the bank’s CEO Jamie Dimon highlighted some unexpected flaws in the remote work model — especially with regard to training the new recruits.
“Most professionals learn their job through an apprenticeship model, which is almost impossible to replicate in the Zoom world,” he pointed out at the time. “Over time, this drawback could dramatically undermine the character and culture [of the company.]”
He also noted the “spontaneous learning and creativity because you don’t run into people at the coffee machine, talk with clients in unplanned scenarios or travel to meet with customers and employees for feedback on your products and services.”
HOME LOCATION CALLING
Hundreds of thousands of TCS employees too received an email in November last year that they are expected back at their ‘home locations’ by early January 2022. Interestingly, the company did not say that they would have to attend their offices, but merely that they had to be present at their home location. Home locations, in this context, refers to the city in which their office is located.
However, this plan to ‘recall the employees’ was scuttled by the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus. Still, it left many wondering whether TCS too had started having second thoughts like JPMorgan.
In his comments today, TCS’s Chief Operating Officer NG Subramaniam dispelled such fears, and reaffirmed that the company was committed to the 25-by-25 roadmap.
“We are staying committed to 25 by 25,” he said. “Some of our leadership team, the next level of leadership team, have started coming to the office, and we have given them the flexibility to decide when they would like to be in the office, when they choose to work from their home, but the intent is to realize the 25 by 25 operating model, always prioritizing employees’ safety.”
At the same time, he pointed out that the 25-by-25 model was for the company as a whole, and the proportion of employees who were working remotely could vary from project to project, depending on the nature of the work.
“The business continuity plans and the 25 by 25 operating model will be rolled out or defined almost at a point level or project level, which will define how employees will come to the office and all that. So we are staying committed to our 25 by 25 model,” he said.
Meanwhile, rival Wipro said it was shutting down its offices completely for the next four weeks while the Omicron variant rages on.
“Our plans to return to office, even in a hybrid model for fully vaccinated employees, will be calibrated in the context of the evolving situation, keeping both our employees’ safety and client preferences in mind,” CEO Thierry Delaporte said.