Firms like Infosys, HCL and Cognizant are still not strict about it. Employees say managers are focusing more on the deliverables and on upskilling than on asking their team to work from the office premises.
A woman employee at HCL whose base location is Chennai says she has been allowed to work from Bengaluru on childcare grounds.She says her manager is also not telling her to work from the Bengaluru office. HCL had asked its employees to come to the office thrice a week.
At Infosys, managers are taking the call. Though employees were asked to work from the office 10 days a month, many managers are not enforcing it though they have brought the recent communication to the notice of their teams. Unlike TCS, which has asked managers to create a roster for each employee, there’s no such roster system at Infosys and HCL. A Pune-based employee of Infosys says he comes to the office only on days his manager asks him to.
A team lead based in Bengaluru told TOI, on condition of anonymity, that since her entire team works from locations outside Bengaluru, she too works remotely. “I have been to the office for team meetings a few times when team members flew to Bengaluru. Otherwise, there is no use of going to the office,” she says. Another Infosys employee says that his manager has approved remote work since a major part of the work happens during onsite hours (late in the evening).
Infosys had planned a phased return to the office. Last year, it asked its employees to come to the office twice a week. In Bengaluru, apart from its main campus, the company opened a satellite office in the northern part of the city to make it easier for those living there to come to the office. But the company has left it to managers to decide. HCL and Infosys did not comment on queries on the matter.
TCS, however, is an exception. It is cracking the whip on employees reluctant to come to the office. The company has been deducting the salary of those not following the return to office guidelines. TCS employees are expected to work from their base location. TOI recently reported that given the big hiring in 2021 and 2022, TCS— like many others— do not have enough capacity to seat all employees. So some staff are working from canteens and corridors.
Ray Wang, principal analyst & founder at Constellation Research, says that returning to the office is important for those in the early stages of their career. “Depending on where you are in your career, the notion of having more flexibility is definitely a plus. However, for those starting out, in-person work experiences provide the most opportunity for mentorship, learning, and career advancement,” he says.