IT sector ‘norm’alising hybrid work model in Kerala
Though smaller firms are asking employees to return to office, the bigwigs in the industry relish the new model
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even as the work culture in the state returns to normal following the disruption wrought by the pandemic, most IT companies have altered course -- taking to hybrid working arrangements. While smaller firms have been pushing for all of their employees to return to the office, for mid-size and large companies a three-day-a-week, work-from-office policy is becoming the norm.
For the sector, the hybrid working model (combining work from the office and home) has become the globally accepted work model, which ensures that work gets done and employees enjoy a proper work-life balance. Interestingly, companies are also encouraging employees to adopt the hybrid model so they can come to the office at least three days a week.
Earlier in the year, GTech -- a consortium of technology companies in Kerala -- conducted a survey of the working culture of IT companies in the post-pandemic scenario. It found that about 42% of firms have fully resumed office operations, while 38% have adopted a hybrid model, and only 20% continue to work entirely from home. A total of 165 companies and employees at Technopark, Infopark, Cyberpark, and associated satellite parks participated in the survey.
At present, 40% of employees prefer the hybrid model at Technopark while 30% each prefer to work from the office and work from home. At Infopark, 70% of employees prefer hybrid work while the remaining 30% desire to work from home.
“Hybrid working has become the accepted model. By becoming the norm, it will be the working model for IT companies everywhere. However, some companies are insisting that employees work out of their offices. But that is only a small percentage. The majority of IT companies are following the hybrid model, and this will sustain a healthy relationship between employers and employees,” said V Sreekumar, secretary of GTech Kerala and centre head of Tata Elxsi, Thiruvananthapuram.
Recently, TCS sent a communique to its employees across the country asking them to return to offices. However, employees insist that it was only a roster request from the accounts department. “We received a roster request from accounts. But it did not assert that employees be present in the office.
We are following the hybrid model, and we are told to work three days a week or 12 days a month from the office. If we work 12 consecutive days in a month in the office, we can opt to work from home for the rest of the month. The arrangement is ideal for us, as it is for employers,” said Anirudh S, a TCS employee. Representatives of Prathidhwani, an NGO for the welfare of IT employees in the state, also advocate a hybrid work culture as it ensures work-life balance for employees.
Meanwhile, Dinesh P Thampi, vice president of TCS Kerala, told TNIE that the company did not insist on its employees returning to work. “In Kerala, we are following what is implemented in other states. We are not forcing employees to return to the office, and we are still following hybrid working arrangements,” he added.