While it has been evident for some time now that employees are reluctant to get back to office, a new survey of information technology employees shows less than 1% of the respondents are in favour of a five–day week. In fact, 42% of the respondents said they would consider changing their jobs or even quitting if they were not allowed to work from home.
One of the surprising findings is that many employees use working from home as an opportunity to make some money on the side by doing another job. Indeed, the survey reveals that a staggering 65% of the respondents knew of people pursuing part-time opportunities or moonlighting while working from home.
The survey, conducted by Kotak Institutional Equities (KIE) across the IT and ITES space, showed 90% of employees are expected to be back in the office within six months. Only half of the 400 people surveyed are open to working from office more than thrice a week.
IT majors like Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) have already redesigned the workplace to put in place a hybrid model. The company recognised the need to respond to the new environment after the pandemic. TCS’s offices will be less empty in the coming months but it’s possible only a fourth of the workforce will work out of them at any given time in what’s being proposed a 25/25 model.
Infosys has also worked on a hybrid model and mapped out a three-phase plan. In the first phase, employees who are located in places where there are development centres (DCs) or are in the upcountry towns close to the DCs, would be encouraged to come to the office twice a week.
It’s not just the IT sector alone, companies across sectors are being compelled to put in place a hybrid model as more employees opt to work from home. One survey said nearly three-fourths of the companies in India are considering hybrid work plans. Given the demands of employees, they have little choice.
As a Willis Towers Watson ‘Reimagining Work and Rewards Survey’ has revealed in the last two years, the number of organisations in the country that are finding it hard to attract and retain talent has increased sharply; for a high 78%, attracting talent is a tough task while 64% of the companies retaining employees is a proving to be a challenge. The survey concluded that talent challenges are expected to persist across all employee categories in 2022.
Indeed, the KIE survey shows that not all employers have asked their employees to come back, as around 50% of the respondents claimed their employer has offered them the option to work from home permanently, or it is under consideration.