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TCS refutes claims of 75% Employees working from home post lock-down

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest IT service firm, said that it will start asking its employees to working from home (WFH) post-lockdown. But, the company has clarified that it will phase in this new scheme in stages, with an ultimate goal of having 75% of employees work from home by 2025 compared to the 20%, prior-lockdown.

Talking about their goal, NG Subramanium, CTO at TCS told the press, “We don’t believe that we need more than 25% of our workforce, at our facilities, in order to be 100% productive.”

He expounded upon the intentions behind this model of working. He explained that under this new model, each and every employee will have to spend only 25% of their work-hours in the office. This further imply that only 75% of a team, working on any given project, would be working from one work-space simultaneously.

TCS’ nascent goals solidified with the announcement of a nationwide lock-down in India on March 25. With that announcement, TCS decided to facilitate remote working for 90% of its 3.55 Lakh employees in India. TCS employees are currently working remotely through an in-house platform named Secure Borderless Work Spaces (SBWS). The platform had been in development for the past few years.

However, the company later issued a clarification, stating, “3.5 lakh is an India figure but doesn’t represent the global figure, and TCS is aiming at bringing this change globally. That number is 4.48 lakh. This is not a model that will be applied to TCS after the pandemic but something that TCS aspires to reach by 2025.

Industry experts are saying that TCS is setting a precedent in the remote work-space that will be have to be followed by other IT firms that operate in India. They say that this trend of “virtualisation” of business practices will spread more rapidly now that this lockdown has presented unforeseen challenges.

TCS will also save on operating costs if they encourage more employees to work from home as the estimated office space requirement will be far less than it currently occupies. “We have come out stronger and our model is more proven than ever before,” TCS’ CEO and MD Rajesh Gopinathan told the press.

Several industry surveys, conducted over the past month, have reported that most company CFOs believe 20% of company staff will continue working from home, post-lockdown.

According to Ashutosh Limaye, Senior Director at Anarock Consulting, 25% less employees, in work spaces, may lead to a minimum of 15% reduction in the need for office space. The reason for the low estimation is that shared spaces, like common areas or facilities, might not reduce as much.

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