Team-BHP > Shifting gears

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Old 27th April 2020, 14:09   #31
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Default re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

This would do a lot of good, as internet connectivity is real bad in the office, that most use their own data cards, plus the commute to and from OMR is killing, on a daily basis. In times of natural calamity, the commute is even more difficult.
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Old 27th April 2020, 14:34   #32
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Default re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Should it read as 2021 and not 2025? Nobody knows how the world will be in 2025
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Old 27th April 2020, 15:10   #33
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Default re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

I can see lots of people excited about WFH. I work for one of the Big4. We have clear WFH policy from past two years in India locations (Globally most of the people have home office and they commute to office a few days in a month. They are following this for years). We are allocating seats only for 70% of the employees. Rest of the 30% will be always at non-office location. I can avail at least two days WFH in a week. If you want to WFH continuously for two weeks, then you can. People are only concerned about the work that is assigned to you or you are supposed to deliver. My team lead is in different city and my functional manager is in different country. No one is watching me in person at any time. When COVID 19 pandemic hit India, we switched to complete WFH at least a week prior the restrictions. Advantages for us is people are used to WFH culture.

100% WFH is not good for people who are freshers or in their beginning of their carriers. You need lot of in person mentoring and training. You imitate your role models at work. You will have n number of questions. You will make n number of mistakes. This is how you learn.

Advantages of WFH for an individual:

1. You can save commute time. Peace of mind considering the traffic density. Save fuel.
2. You may eat less junk food. At tea break, I eat lots of oily and junk food. Irresistible for me
3. You may get more time to spend with your family.
4. You spend less on cosmetics and dress.
5. You can manage personal work and official work easily.

Disadvantages of WFH for an individual:

1. You may miss your social life. I like to meet and interact with people in person. You make lot of friends at work. Your networking opportunities will hit badly. Your stress level may elevate and it is injurious to your personal relationships.
2. As someone else mentioned prior, small egos, misunderstandings etc can be rectified over a cup of coffee/tea.
3. You may not have a proper routine at home. You normally reach at office by 9. Take a tea break by 11. Then lunch by 1PM and tea break by 4PM. Plan to leave office by 6PM.
4. Your physical activities are limited. You may start to put on weight
5. You miss your additional monitor. Unless you have additional monitor at home, your eyes will start to ache. Staring at single point is harmful.

For companies, they can save on real estate, transportation, electricity and many other office consumables.

Last edited by SDP : 28th April 2020 at 20:46. Reason: Typo
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Old 27th April 2020, 15:32   #34
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Default re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

My two cents to the thread:
If there is a serious movement for WFH, companies will standardize the environment, equipment and connectivity to be used from home. Currently it is more adhoc and dependent on connectivity provided by telco providers, hastily planned movement of desktops to home, people connecting through mobile hotspot etc.

My second point is regarding onsite opportunities in IT industry. if WFH model works successfully, why IT companies will send people to onsite and pay them more. I see that in next 2-3 years, this trend will be more clear and probably more offshore centric models will emerge where project leads and key people going to onsite only for short duration.


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Old 27th April 2020, 23:12   #35
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Default re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Great step by TCS. Many other service-based MNCs will follow the same in the coming days.

My org was planning to buy an office space in a different city. This situation saved them tons of money as WFH is the new normal.

Work from home will be a reality even after COVID!

Last edited by bluevolt : 27th April 2020 at 23:14.
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Old 27th April 2020, 23:53   #36
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Default re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

An amazing brainwave by TCS CXOs during the lockdown. Best wishes to them. Like any WFH setup, the employer has to find answers for,

1) How company culture, philosophy can be nurtured among new employees.

2) How to account for the work done by the employees.

Last edited by msdivy : 27th April 2020 at 23:56.
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Old 28th April 2020, 19:45   #37
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Default re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Cross posting my comment on this topic on another thread. WFH will evolve through a few iterations before settling down. I expect there to be two or three variants to WFH eventually to suit different industries, employees, geographies and needs for flexibility. We will end up with the -(i) almost always works from home 99% of the time, to (ii) WFH 4 days a week and from office 1 day a week, to (iii) works from home on certain assignments and from office/clients premises on certain others, to (iv) normally works from office but temporarily WFH because of xyz. etc
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
In my current second career my experience of WFH 2 or 3 days a week with the balance 3 or 2 days being in the field has shown me how difficult WFH is. There is no clear division of work time and home time, and this when I am self employed, self motivated. If I'd had a boss I would have gone nuts. In my first career work hours were long and my industry and my brick & mortar business was 24 x 7 x 365. Yet I could delineate work and home and draw the line that after I am home no calls short of an operational emergency. But in WFH I can imagine a young person getting pushed by a remote supervisor and all the time becoming 'work time' given the mentality some supervisors I'm told display. But I guess gradually new rules and unwritten norms of working & co-ordinating will evolve. 25 years and change back when conference calls first came to India there was so much chaos on {much needed} conference call etiquette and working rules. Today most of that is tribal knowledge. Similarly.
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Old 28th April 2020, 19:57   #38
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Default re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Originally Posted by msdivy View Post
An amazing brainwave by TCS CXOs during the lockdown. Best wishes to them. Like any WFH setup, the employer has to find answers for,

1) How company culture, philosophy can be nurtured among new employees.

2) How to account for the work done by the employees.

Rightly said! Organization culture plays a critical role. Also, the team culture. What I hear from my bosses are that the productivity of our employees have gone really high during this WFH. Every organization may sooner or later move to this concept of WFH / Remote office. They can save a lot on operating cost.

Ethics and compliance which is set by the organization also plays a key role. Each organization has its own ways to track the employees login hours. But how effective is still a question.

On the down side, people should have the work life balance. More productivity & less personal time is a strict no and will invite all sort of trouble at a later point of time.

Last edited by SDP : 28th April 2020 at 20:43. Reason: Typo
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Old 29th April 2020, 09:32   #39
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Default re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

I really hope this trend catches on, and a big company like TCS doing this will get others onboard too.

I worked from home occasionally for couple of years, but was never really a fan. However, ever since the Covid shutdown I've been working from home and have started loving it. For me, the biggest factor in this attitude change was setting up a comfortable home office space. A twin monitor setup and a dedicated space set aside for this has made the difference.

I save about 2.5 hours commute-time a day! And once work is over there is no tiring train ride home! I still miss the lunch time walks (my workplace is a couple of mins walk from a harbour, really nice area to take a break in), but its a small price to pay for vastly increased convenience.
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Old 29th April 2020, 10:18   #40
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Default re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

I don't see this being sustainable, few companies like Wipro, Infy, TCS insist on login hours of 9 hours! how will they shift from this mindset to WFH one is beyond me. Lot of learning happens from colleagues and this is driven mainly with human connect and rapport.
This being a car forum, the biggest miss if this was to happen is Car lease program, why would company offers their employees if they are working from home.
Last but not least, imagine all the romance which happens in office, so many couples who meet their "ones", that will be gone!
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Old 29th April 2020, 10:42   #41
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Default re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Originally Posted by m8002? View Post
Social interaction is a very core component for teams. It becomes very critical for small teams.
Totally agree!
Those who WFH for couple of days in a week perceive it as a time to relax. But those who do it regularly know the pain (literally). Long hours of sitting because anyone you want to talk to, you need to get into a Skype call ! It would be much better if you could talk to that person over a coffee. The moment you finish your one hour call and about to go for a bio-break, there is another one calling you at that moment. Lunch breaks reduced to 20min or mostly at desk.

Working at an office gives you natural breaks and those tea-breaks are really the social support for your mental health.

And most importantly, what about those discussions at the pantry about TBhp and latest automobiles?

6th agile principle says: “The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.”

Last edited by Romins : 29th April 2020 at 10:48. Reason: typo
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Old 29th April 2020, 10:51   #42
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Default re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

I whole heartedly welcome this move!

It is beneficial for both employer and employee.
We are wasting hell a lot of time at traffic and inturn have lot of stress associated to it. Also people like me who stays away from old parents in a different state (I work at bangalore and my parents are at Kerala). I miss them a lot and due to travel limitations with kids make the visit to native only a few times an year.
Also I think WFH can be much more productive than working from an office.
I agree, there are many negative sides too, but the positives can slightly edge ahead of the negatives (At least in my case)
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Old 29th April 2020, 11:25   #43
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This decision will exemplify the famous quote from Peter Drucker, "Strategy eats culture for breakfast." TCS and the likes of it will find their culture diluted over time. There is a reason why Google discouraged WFH. They realised that best products come out when a group of people sit together to find a solution. While working remotely, you may have the best of Internet and communication tools, but nothing can beat the human interactions specially the ones near water coolers.

In fact, there will be no new love stories and friendships blossoming out of office anymore. I happen to be one of the lucky ones to find my spouse at the workplace.

But, let us be pragmatic. This decision is aimed to improve the margins and increase value for investors. The board is happy to let go commercial real estate and the multitude of support staff in administration and value chain to usher in more profits. I think on a medium and long term, the cost pressures from clients will only increase and what better way to cut real estate, administrative and utilities cost rather than having a big office, but cutting on toilet paper and dustbins. Let's also not forget that a lot of admin staff would have to be retrained. The regular staff should probably take inspiration and should see working remotely as a boon. They can relocate to Goa or Himalayas , and of course their hometown. As I see it, this may be the perfect opportunity for reverse migration of the middle class from the cities.
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Old 29th April 2020, 11:41   #44
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Originally Posted by msdivy View Post
An amazing brainwave by TCS CXOs during the lockdown. Best wishes to them. Like any WFH setup, the employer has to find answers for,

1) How company culture, philosophy can be nurtured among new employees.

2) How to account for the work done by the employees.
Well put.

It would be great if WFH becomes the new normal, maybe with a face to face meeting once in a while. I'm saving 1.5 hrs of commute daily with the fuel cost and emissions that go with it. The peace of mind by avoiding the otherwise maddening traffic is priceless. Overall my productivity is up and so is that of my team.

But it will all come down to the company culture and implementation. A certain level of trust deficit in it's grassroots level employees is all too common in many firms. Especially those who haven't tried working from home before. Hence the time tracking takes on dimensions beyond the written "cost estimation" necessities. Remeber the firm that wanted it's employees to stay in front of the webcam for 9 hours? A social media campaign finally prevented them from going ahead with it. Such a bias may not be throughout the entire organisation, but there are always many such teams within the organization.

How the organization handles such situations will depend a lot on the culture. I wouldn't be surprised if many companies declare WFH on paper but with so many terms and conditions that ground reality would be much different.
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Old 29th April 2020, 11:55   #45
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Default re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

As usual TCS being extremely aggressive in challenging circumstances. This is their key to success since decades now. What a fast decision really. They'll undoubtedly focus on saving all the expenses -
  1. Real estate
  2. Electricity from grid + diesel electric generation in campus
  3. Furniture
  4. Network infrastructure capacity
  5. Facility & support staff
  6. Security shift capacities
  7. Water treatment plants + tanker water supply in most IT parks (we know there is a mafia racket behind that generally.)
  8. RO water jar supply for drinking water
  9. Supply chain
  10. Canteens and other facility staffing & resources
  11. Housekeeping

Overall these on an average amount to about INR 15K per employee for the company spread evenly in blended rates. They'll be able to pass that or portion of that on straight to customers - and come up with extremely aggressive quotes. 75% may not be achievable depending on client contractual obligations etc. However, even if they manage 50% - it will be a huge differentiator.

Not only have TCS committed to something (or bluffed about something) - they have surely set the ball rolling & all the big ones (CG, Infy, TechM, Accenture, Cogni et all) will have no option but to follow suite. Otherwise in any new biddings, TCS will will the contract in round 1 of the RFP with a big difference in quoted contract values!!

Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
3) Data security: given that companies such as TCS are mostly offshore partners and they handle sensitive data, industries such as banking and healthcare especially have very strict protocols. In fact, most don't even allow camera phones in their secured ODCs (Offshore Delivery Centres)
My personal opinion on most occassions has been - any sort of "security" - physical, data, cyber - is a huge myth & mainly a means to create jobs in the roles that implements / audits these things just for the sake of it in these big organizations. I have seen it 1st hand across the multiple Indian and overseas organizations that I worked - and trust me mostly all these security measures must be going down the drains in many organizations. Many people are working surely from personal devices also. (This last bit I'm speculating a bit, but no way that all IT companies managed to send laptops for all within a matter of a week.)
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
4) Cost: most of these companies have desktops assigned for employees until the Manager grade. These desktops are also often used by multiple people as non-secured ODCs tend to be used in multiple shifts. The cost of giving everyone a laptop is significant
Again - i know first hand that the cost of a laptop vis-a-vis a desktop when buying in bulk for an organization is hardly different. Its less than peanuts. I have approved these acquisitions so I know. The only (and stupid) reason why larger organizations still continue to get desktops is because they don't trust their employees. They feel that a lot of them will simply go absconding when they find a better opportunity & will never return the laptop. Desktop stays within office. Thats all. The solution to this really is better filteration at recruitment, which nobody is able to achieve. Sharing of desktops over time has reduced a fair bit also. Only for 24x7 helpdesk profiles do we see a desktop getting shared in 2 different shifts. But for non BPO profiles in 24x7, employees predominantly already have laptops.
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
5) Leases for offices: companies, especially in SEZs), have long (20-year for eg.) leases on office building, some companies such as Infosys also focus on owing the land where they build offices to offset rental costs. They may promote work from home, but not so much that the offices they're paying for remain empty
I have been maintaining a 2 minute silence every month since 4 years for IT companies that have done this. And I have worked in 3 such majors already. Sad lack of foresight. Investing in wrong things.

Little things like networks at home are very easily fixable. Already most workforce is working absolutely fine with basic home internet coupled with a very good 4G hotspot from a jiofi device or even mobile phone. Even VPN works absolutely fine, video conference - no problem either! If JIO wasn't around right now - yep we would have had a national disaster level problem at our hands. But thankfully we have good 4G coverage. These things are easily fixable.

VPN connectivity is slower because companies skimped on licenses like CiscoEasyConnect/PulseVPN etc. All they have to do is acquire more VPN licenses for more users to be able to connect at a time & it will be solved.

My 2 cents.

Last edited by ampere : 29th April 2020 at 13:46. Reason: typo fixed
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