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Zoom out, it’s office time

In September, the government had lifted its advisory that people in Hyderabad should work from home wherever possible.

Published: 19th October 2021 08:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th October 2021 08:36 AM   |  A+A-

Office meeting

For representational purposes (Express Illustrations)

Express News Service

HYDERABAD:  In September, the government had lifted its advisory that people in Hyderabad should work from home wherever possible. Now, office blocks in the IT corridor are reopening in phases, with some offering welcome goodies to attract employees to work from the office. Around six lakh IT and ITeS employees in HiTec City alone have started going back to office amid strict Covid-19 safety protocol.

While they all make sure to keep their vaccination certificates handy and maintain social distance, many have mixed feelings about going back to work. “Goodies to relax while working from home, such as detox eye bags, free food, lavish new infrastructure that improves performance and the much-awaited gossip sessions near the water cooler make going back to office exciting. It was a relief to see all the Covid norms in place, with bi-weekly shifts. But I am still worried as the pandemic is not over yet,” says Dilip Mishra, a senior analyst at JP Morgan in Knowledge City, which is the firm’s largest office block in the Asia Pacific.

Firms giving out goodies

Ritesh Singh, who works with the communication team at Synchrony Financial, says, “I was excited to work from office as that used to be my second home before the pandemic. The company has offered us extra Sodexo coupons and some fancy goodies. Besides, since the work is on voluntary basis with less employees, I don’t have to wait for a cab for too long. The company makes sure that I get one within 10 minutes after my shift. Mostly, there’s one cab for every employee, which means I get to reach home earlier.”

For many, working from home was not easy as it ate into their family time. After a point, it got tiring and people just needed an excuse to get out of home. They are glad that they can go back to work, but are still worried about getting infected. “We have children and some of us have our parents and grandparents living with us. Although work from home was an exhausting experience, it made sense. I think it should continue till everyone gets fully vaccinated,” M Praveen, the founder of Forum of IT Professionals (For- IT ) , says.

Employees are also worried about working at their desks because there is no proper ventilation or regular testing at offices. “There is still no assurance that one can work without fear in the office blocks. Even though companies have made good money during the lockdown, some have decided to renovate their spaces in a way that could reduce the risk of contracting an infection,” says Praveen.

Mental fatigue a concern

Y Sandeep, an IT engineer at Dell, is worried about the mental fatigue. “I will have to be extra careful while at office because the space is a risk zone,” she says. Vishal Kumar, an instruction writer at Cognizant, is worried for his family. “I live with my grandfather and two toddlers, who are not vaccinated. I have also learned that airconditioners circulate the air in the room, which is risky. But, going back to the office on a rotational shift is more or less safe,” he says.

Meanwhile, some of the multinational companies with office blocks in Hyderabad are ye t to announc e the i r reopening. I There is still no assurance that one can work without fear in offices. We have children and some of us have our parents and grandparents living with us. That’s a worry

Around six lakh IT employees in HiTec City alone have started going back to office amid strict protocol

M Praveen, founder of Forum of IT Professionals

With the WFH advisory lifted and offices in the IT corridor reopening in phases, managements are welcoming their staff with goodies. However, IT and ITeS employees have mixed feelings about going back to work 



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