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Old 10th May 2021, 23:20   #151
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Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

WFH is the new normal for IT sector. It has its share of pros and cons. As many have said - either adopt or perish.
Not generalizing, but I always used to tell my friends that IT guys in india are living in a bubble. Insulated from all the hardship in society. Getting fat pay cheques. pampered by their MNC's with parties, outings, gifts, surprise bonus what not. Throughout the day, we are untouched by hardships. Travel by own vehicles, work in AC buildings, Frequently visit posh restaurants for expensive food ( read pizza, burgers and all that junk), spend lavishly on clothes and accessories etc. All this applies to me as well. Covid has given us time to mend our lifestyle and think about having a safety net.

I make it a point to travel by public bus once in a while to be in touch with reality. Watching women tired, standing in those jam packed buses after a day's hard work just to reach back home and again get into household chores makes me sad. At home after we stopped maid and cook due to covid fear, I took up the sweeping and mopping work. Let me tell you, it is NOT EASY. You will do happily for two weeks, after that its very difficult. Respect for our house maid has increased now. I made sure that our cook and maid get their salary for all the months as we asked them to stop coming. It's the least we can do.

Below are few simple lifestyle changes we have made to avoid unnecessary work,
  • Each person in home gets one designated plate. They have to use it to have food, wash it after eating or before eating.
  • Kept bare minimum utensils. If you want to make tea, wash the utensit and make your tea. simple.
  • Set Breakfast. usually simple ones like bread omlet, poha etc.
  • Afternoon - curd rice. every day.
  • No breakfast without doing exercise.
  • TV remote hidden till 3:30 p. You know why .
  • Spend little time watering plants.
  • Play minimum 10 mins badminton with kid in corridor. no worries as we are only 2 families left in our apartment corridor.

And few such small changes to make things easier on my wife and myself. I believe most of you have done the same at home, but thought of sharing it here.
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Old 15th July 2021, 13:53   #152
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Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

https://www.business-standard.com/ar...1400432_1.html

"95% Indian firms to continue with remote work for next two years: Survey"

I'm a big supporter of remote work, especially if the role/job doesn't require one to be physically at a workplace and if it does a lot to reduce senseless traffic/real-estate prices in cities.

But the next 2 years?! This seems like a different sort of 'bs' survey to me from Business Standard. Who did they talk to?! All around me I see people being asked to return to our glass cages, sorry, great-places-to-work-offices and I doubt this will really continue beyond this year.

Clickbait headline, IMHO. Would be great to hear more experiences, my company for sure wants everyone back in the office as soon as possible.

Last edited by am1m : 15th July 2021 at 13:55.
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Old 15th July 2021, 17:59   #153
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Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

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Originally Posted by am1m View Post
All around me I see people being asked to return to our glass cages, sorry, great-places-to-work-offices and I doubt this will really continue beyond this year.
Absolutely. I've maintained this view right from the outset that WFH will not be encouraged/wide-spread in India. Most in managerial positions, esp. in the IT sector, thrive off showcasing their leadership skills by monitoring when employees came in / went home, their tea breaks, how late someone stayed in office, how long someone's Skype status was Away and other such micro-managerial capabilities. How can you take away the one thing that makes this inconsequential layer of leadership useful (only to themselves ).

Employees, across designations, are equally to blame by misusing lack of oversight.

My organization has begun conducting surveys on how employees would like to work. My client (an IB) has done so similarly and given strict regulatory requirements (esp. regarding data sensitivity) has mentioned that some roles will continue to not support WFH. PS: My client's boss was fairly disappointed when my client mentioned they'd like to be in office only one day a week (the boss was expecting that answer to be five).

Last edited by libranof1987 : 15th July 2021 at 18:00.
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Old 15th July 2021, 18:20   #154
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Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Honestly speaking, WFH has been a blessing in disguise for me. Without much ado I have been able to strike that work-life balance especially taking care of my dad.

My view - if one is able to follow the work while you work and play while you play philosophy WFH is definitely a boon. I am stating this from my own experience.

And yes, it is going to be the new norm for a segment of the IT folks.
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Old 16th July 2021, 13:21   #155
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Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

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Originally Posted by am1m View Post
But the next 2 years?! This seems like a different sort of 'bs' survey to me from Business Standard. Who did they talk to?! All around me I see people being asked to return to our glass cages, sorry, great-places-to-work-offices and I doubt this will really continue beyond this year.
Unless there are a couple of more waves, I also don't see WFH getting extended beyond this year. Our offices in other countries have started opening partially and are expected to be near normal by the last quarter.

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Originally Posted by livelyyoungman View Post
Honestly speaking, WFH has been a blessing in disguise for me. Without much ado I have been able to strike that work-life balance especially taking care of my dad.
...
And yes, it is going to be the new norm for a segment of the IT folks.
Escaping the ORR traffic itself is a big boon for me. And I am seeing my converts within my office itself. My boss who never liked WFH says he is enjoying it now. But, on the other hand, some junior folks with small kids or parents at home want to get back to the office. So, I don't see 100% WFH being the norm anytime soon. People would have more flexibility for sure though.
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Old 16th July 2021, 14:22   #156
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Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Absolutely. I've maintained this view right from the outset that WFH will not be encouraged/wide-spread in India. Most in managerial positions, esp. in the IT sector, thrive off showcasing their leadership skills by monitoring when employees came in / went home, their tea breaks, how late someone stayed in office, how long someone's Skype status was Away and other such micro-managerial capabilities. How can you take away the one thing that makes this inconsequential layer of leadership useful (only to themselves ).
Exactly the discussion I had with another friend who is a Manager. He is all in for work from office. They use multiple jargons like team-work and all that BS but underlying reason is what you just mentioned. Its an open secret, no matter what they say

Ofcourse for client facing/marketing roles WFH won’t work but for others who don’t need to face clients regularly can easily work remotely.

BTW even I am in same role but that's a designation forcibly pushed on me which I don't enjoy and continue to do my technical shenanigans, majorly possible due to WFH. Nobody can peep into my system to check what am doing. Management is happy as long as projects are delivered on time

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Escaping the ORR traffic itself is a big boon for me.
You bet. Every single day was a struggle. Heck, I bought a CVT car for that struggle. A different case its lying idle now(1k kms only in last 1 year).

Our office will follow hybrid model. Wish it was 100% WFH , but sadly that won't go with the babu-culture as of now. Hoping in few years our IT industry matures and starts making 100% WFH a reality.

Last edited by SoumenD : 16th July 2021 at 14:46.
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Old 16th July 2021, 15:34   #157
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Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Employees, across designations, are equally to blame by misusing lack of oversight.

My organization has begun conducting surveys on how employees would like to work. My client (an IB) has done so similarly and given strict regulatory requirements (esp. regarding data sensitivity) has mentioned that some roles will continue to not support WFH. PS: My client's boss was fairly disappointed when my client mentioned they'd like to be in office only one day a week (the boss was expecting that answer to be five).
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoumenD View Post
Exactly the discussion I had with another friend who is a Manager. He is all in for work from office. They use multiple jargons like team-work and all that BS but underlying reason is what you just mentioned. Its an open secret, no matter what they say

You guys are forgetting another important decision maker here. The HR Department. How else will you get the opportunity to celebrate 'Mehndi Party', Brown/Green/White/Jam Bag' Sessions, etc?
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Old 19th July 2021, 11:14   #158
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Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

One challenge from the employer's side in a startup is, people work in multiple places or freelance with the time they have committed full-time, stretching the line as much as they can to just keep us motivated to not spend time/energy on hiring and training another person.

(I'm not an employer myself, but work for a startup and am noticing my boss struggling with this, with WFH).

I have also heard of several other instances where tech workers "outsource" work to each other, all working from home. WFH has given rise to an interesting pseudo-freelance economy.

I think we will see in future less and less time being tracked, more and more value/output being tracked. That way nobody really cares how many places you work at, and I think this will lead to a rise in self-employment / contracting type of arrangements. Maybe not at MNCs but at smaller company levels this will become the norm slowly.

Last edited by rajushank84 : 19th July 2021 at 11:15.
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Old 19th July 2021, 14:23   #159
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Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
One challenge from the employer's side in a startup is, people work in multiple places or freelance with the time they have committed full-time, stretching the line as much as they can to just keep us motivated to not spend time/energy on hiring and training another person.

(I'm not an employer myself, but work for a startup and am noticing my boss struggling with this, with WFH).

I have also heard of several other instances where tech workers "outsource" work to each other, all working from home. WFH has given rise to an interesting pseudo-freelance economy.
.
We already had one instance of this at our HQ in NA. There was one guy working as a developer and also freelancing with a customer of ours for implementation. He was doing this at regular office timings.

Too many questions here - both ethical and legal.

Since the contract specifically mentions working for the company, is it right that the person does contract work as a competitor? Please note, this is not the same as bartending or being a yoga instructor during off hours/weekends. But some could argue that since he completed his office tasks, why shouldnt he do other work in office timing itself.
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Old 19th July 2021, 14:30   #160
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Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

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Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
One challenge from the employer's side in a startup is, people work in multiple places or freelance with the time they have committed full-time, stretching the line as much as they can to just keep us motivated to not spend time/energy on hiring and training another person.

(I'm not an employer myself, but work for a startup and am noticing my boss struggling with this, with WFH).

I have also heard of several other instances where tech workers "outsource" work to each other, all working from home. WFH has given rise to an interesting pseudo-freelance economy.

I think we will see in future less and less time being tracked, more and more value/output being tracked. That way nobody really cares how many places you work at, and I think this will lead to a rise in self-employment / contracting type of arrangements. Maybe not at MNCs but at smaller company levels this will become the norm slowly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by m8002? View Post
We already had one instance of this at our HQ in NA. There was one guy working as a developer and also freelancing with a customer of ours for implementation. He was doing this at regular office timings.

Too many questions here - both ethical and legal.

Since the contract specifically mentions working for the company, is it right that the person does contract work as a competitor? Please note, this is not the same as bartending or being a yoga instructor during off hours/weekends. But some could argue that since he completed his office tasks, why shouldnt he do other work in office timing itself.
Two things will happen. Smaller companies will hire more full-time freelancers and few 'resource' managers to manage and track these full-time freelancers. Larger companies will fine-tune their contracts and some systems will get developed for better accountability and traceability.

Both will be right in their own regard.

There has been an increase in both since the Pandemic start - availability of freelancers as well as availability of freelance work. So at present, rates for freelancing have gone up. But that I believe is a short term boom. Not everyone can excel at both - working full-time and doing free-lancing from home and being good at it continuously. It is cut-throat competition world and the pace is quite fast too.

Eventually we will see lower growth in wages in India as more 'economical' resources can be hired globally at any time.

Last edited by sunilch : 19th July 2021 at 14:32.
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Old 19th July 2021, 18:33   #161
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Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

My company too has started making noises about returning back to work, albeit off the records. We managers/DM's are supposed to gather the pulse of the junta.
There is this Hybrid model that's being touted, but no one knows what it will look like.

Many of my team members have returned to their home towns, and are perfectly productive where they are. My guess is, the people staying the same locations are their base office locations will be the first one's to start reporting into work physically.
I would be disappointed if I have to go back to work all 5 days of the week. I'd prefer something like once or twice a day or for some key meetings where physical presence will help.

Regards,
Hiren

Last edited by hiren.mistry : 19th July 2021 at 18:34.
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Old 19th July 2021, 19:05   #162
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Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Speaking for the employer, which is the side I represent - As we all know WFH works only for those in services and within that only those who don't touch/meet a physical product, person, customer, machine, raw material etc. It is still a sizeable chunk but nevertheless a part of the total work force in the manufacturing and services sectors of the economy.

The 3 technology service companies I am closely associated with employ about 20,000 put together. In 2 of the 3 we are quite clear that normal work-from-office has to resume to address the growing and very real risk of - (i) data theft by employees, (ii) IT security risks of WFH despite the best measures taken, (iii) employees spending a fair amount of time job hopping, (iv) employee motivation & sense of team, and on the flip side (v) customers & supervisors over loading employees as the line between work and non-work has blurred to nothingness and (vi) female employees facing a fresh set of challenges being confined to their homes including M-i-L problems and wife beating.

At best in India at least in the larger companies we will see a low grade hybrid where the employee may have the freedom to WFH one day a week or in certain familial circumstances. So some form of WFH has come to stay but it isn't the 50% or 33% that the press writes about.

And what some members, above, have written is true - WFH has opened up employee access by Indian software employers to free lancers or part time consultants in other countries who can do an equally good delivery for a lower price & less supervision than the (now) significant salaries in the Indian IT sector. Many on this forum may object to or disagree with my last sentence but I'm sharing with you the reality of Board room discussions in companies you work for. The best part of these part time project specific foreign IT worker-consultants is that attrition is close to zero because he gets a major chunk of the $ only at the end.
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Old 19th July 2021, 20:48   #163
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Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

The change has already started, though the scale is not known yet.

Case 1: My SIL works in a big tech consulting firm and her whole team has been offered permanent WFH, irrespective of the pandemic situation. The unknown part is if it impacts the salary structure.

Case 2: My bro works in a big Indian IT firm. His employer has given his team a straight 2 years of foresight. His team isn't going to join till 2022 end.

Case 3: I work in US MNC. WFH used to be there before pandemic started as well. A small hybrid model is formally under preparation keeping 20% workforce WFH. While the rest of workforce will return to office as and when pandemic subsides.

So it all depends upon which firm, which market segment you work for in IT services. But one thing is for sure, change is happening.
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Old 19th July 2021, 21:33   #164
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Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

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The 3 technology service companies I am closely associated with employ about 20,000 put together. In 2 of the 3 we are quite clear that normal work-from-office has to resume to address the growing and very real risk of - (i) data theft by employees, (ii) IT security risks of WFH despite the best measures taken
These two issue are major problems for almost all employers. Fortunately, this adds "Scale" to the problem and solutions are on the horizon.

One solution is to have only "dumb" terminals @ home. Actual PC can be on-premise or cloud. With solutions like https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-365 , data will not reach worker's home.

This would turn laptop / desktop in home into dumb terminal and only use of the device it to login to VPN and then actual desktop.

This way, employee cannot dump data/documents in USB and go to competitor (as an example).
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Old 20th July 2021, 01:57   #165
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Default Re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

The Pandemic has shown to the IT companies that software products and services can still be effectively delivered the WFH way with huges savings in electricity, office rental, catering, cooling, transportation, facilities and support staff among many others.

Most IT companies are going to captialize on the WFH trend and its going to continue for sure.

There are also a categorization exercise being done by most companies by bucketizing staff into various groups ranging from most critical need to be in office to least requirement to be in office.

Once the government flags the COVID situation as normal, the return to site in most organizations will start from the most critical group that is needed in office and the last group to return to site will be the one that can effectively deliver from home.

Also most IT orgs are based out of SEZ locations. Once the situation normalizes, most SEZ staffers will require to work atleast work a couple of days from office and manage the remaining days from home as per the existing Govt., norms. This is currently being reviewed by the government (a reference link)

Last edited by for_cars1 : 20th July 2021 at 02:00.
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