In what could indicate the beginning of the end for work-from-home (WFH) at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the country’s largest IT services firm has asked some of its employees to return to office for five days a week. TCS has been following a hybrid model where employees had to come to their workplaces for three days a week.
The latest change is effective October 1.
The company did not offer any official comments as it is in a silent period, with second-quarter results due on October 11.
"As communicated by the CEO and chief human resources officer (CHRO) in various townhalls, it is mandatory for all associates to attend office on all the working days (5 days per week if there are no holidays) starting 1 October 2023,” an official mail from TCS to its employees said.
Reports, however, said this is not uniform across the company for now and will be implemented in a phased manner. TCS had a total workforce of 615,318 as on June 30, 2023.
In September 2022, the technology giant had asked its employees to adhere to a roaster and be in office three days a week. It had then warned of action if the employees failed to adhere to the roaster.
While TCS’s move could be followed by its peers, the reasons for its latest action are not clear.It is not known whether this is a result of the Covid cases now becoming very negligible or whether the company feels that returning to the office will improve employee productivity or engagement.
Milind Lakkad, chief human resources officer, TCS, said in a Q&A in its annual report that while WFH is more convenient for everybody, there were drawbacks. "Tenured employees who are well networked within the organisation can work effectively and even collaborate virtually using the social capital built up over the years. That isn’t the case with more junior employees. Workplace essentials like collaboration, mentorship and team-building suffered a lot in these two years.’’