With Covid-19 bringing the world to a grinding halt, businesses of all sizes had to resort to attrition to ensure their survival through the economic nuclear winter. However, in order to hold on to vital talent, many companies came up with work from home guidelines that ensured both the safety of the employees and non-disruption of workflow. Despite initial inhibitions regarding the large-scale implementation of such policies, remote working conditions proved to be quite revolutionary for many employers. Subsequently, a number of big players pledged to either extend work from home timelines either temporarily or permanently or adopt a hybrid model incorporating both remote and office-centric models. Let’s have a look at how some of these companies plan to chart out the mode of work for their workforce in 2021 (and beyond!) :
Companies that plan to adopt a full work from home model:
INFOSYS Ltd. :
This Indian IT heavyweight has upwards of 95% of its employees working from home ever since the closure of offices in 2020, last year. As of now, Infosys plans to evaluate employee roles of its almost 3,00,000 strong workforce to grant permanent remote working options to those deemed eligible for the same. As quoted by Richard Lobo, Infosys’ head of HR for Business Insider, “We believe that talent models will change in the future with a mix of full-time employees who will work from offices as in the past and a combination of employees who will opt for partial or full remote working.”
TATA STEEL Ltd. :
The domestic steel company announced its “Agile Working Models” policy on November 2, 2020, in a bid to provide flexible working conditions to its workforce built upon a “trust and outcome-based working culture.” The model would accord access to 365 work from home days, enabling employees to operate out of any location in India. The model would be reviewed after a year of trials, based on performance and feedback received.
Probably the first company to announce a permanent work from home policy for its staff (within 2 months of initial implementation), Twitters offered its employees the option to work remotely “forever” and supplemented it with the possibility to return to offices if they wished to, once they reopen. Twitter's vice president of people, Jennifer Christie, states that "If our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen."
In a blog post published on October 13, 2020, Dropbox announced its plans to go “virtual first.” This remote working would be the default and primary work mode for its employees, in conjunction with a “non-linear workdays” policy that would allow staff greater flexibility in their work schedule. Additionally, the file-hosting company proposed the launch of collaborative Dropbox Studios in place of existing office spaces. The purpose of such spaces is to establish brick-and-mortar meeting points to support team events, community building, and collective strategizing practices. Dropbox Studios are the company’s approach towards maintaining the element of human connection that is essential to productive teamwork.
Companies that plan to adopt a hybrid work from home model:
In a bid to nurture a more accommodating work environment amidst the pandemic and hereafter, Google launched a hybrid work model that enlists 60% of the staff to work out of facilities for few days a week, 20% to permanent remote work, and the remaining score to new office locations. “We’ll move to a hybrid work week where most Googlers spend approximately three days in the office and two days wherever they work best,” Pichai, CEO of Google stated.
In a blog post published on Mar 22, 2021, Microsoft Corporation announced the development of a “Hybrid Workplace Dial” that corresponds to 6 defined stages relevant to the on-sit status of the pandemic. The dial would be instrumental in determining whether the employees would be accorded the option to work from home (stages 1- 5), or would be encouraged to work out of an office (stage 6).
In February 2021, the cloud-based software company announced its hybrid work model that would extend 3 categories of flexible work to its staff. These comprise of fully remote work, office-based ( for a small number of people working 4-5 days a week in office), and flex (only 1- 3 days a week in office for collaborative purposes).
TATA CONSULTANCY SERVICES :
With 97% of its total workforce working from home through its Secure Borderless Work Spaces (SBWS) model, TCS has come up with some big plans for the near future. The IT services company announces its 25/25 policy in April 2020, which would necessitate only 25% of the total workforce to operate out of facilities by the year 2025. To put everything into perspective, Rajesh Gopinathan, CEO, TCS, stated, “Believe that by 2025, only 25% of our associates will need to work out of our facilities at any point of time; every associate will be able to realize their potential without spending more than 25% of their time in a TCS office.”
The far-reaching shockwaves sent off by the virus are slowly being mitigated by generous vaccine rollouts, and it undoubtedly has changed the way the corporate world functions. The work from home arrangement was readily embraced by employers and employees alike. After a successful run in 2020, it was a matter of time before working remotely was entrenched in our work life as the new normal. Between switching between home and office for getting work done, and the ever-imminent online shift, we have surely moved past the standard 9-to-5 workweek.