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Old 26th April 2020, 15:21   #1
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Default Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Post-coronavirus, 75% of 3.5 lakh TCS employees to permanently work from home; up from 20%

https://m.businesstoday.in/story/pos...utm_medium=WAP

This could be the right thing for TCS and others like it. Probably needed to sustain price competitiveness in a tighter world. But this will have a devastating impact on the vast chain of service providers to the IT Services, BPO industry - transport, catering, rentals, IT Parks, housekeeping. The IT-BPO industry provides indirect employment to a vast sea of semi-skilled humble people. Looks like a significant chunk of that could be in trouble.

Any thoughts?
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Old 26th April 2020, 15:51   #2
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Default Re: Effects of Coronavirus on the global economy

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Post-coronavirus, 75% of 3.5 lakh TCS employees to permanently work from home; up from 20%

https://m.businesstoday.in/story/pos...utm_medium=WAP

This could be the right thing for TCS and others like it. Probably needed to sustain price competitiveness in a tighter world. But this will have a devastating impact on the vast chain of service providers to the IT Services, BPO industry - transport, catering, rentals, IT Parks, housekeeping. The IT-BPO industry provides indirect employment to a vast sea of semi-skilled humble people. Looks like a significant chunk of that could be in trouble.

Any thoughts?
Well a lot of smaller companies were already doing it. It only hits the news if its Infy/TCS.

On the whole, mixed reactions.

Yes, it would be a big blow to the local job market where their campuses are located.

It will also be a blow to the local rental markets which have become exorbitant over the years. Including millions of PGs which spring up around any IT area. Employees who want, can finally move back to their hometowns and not burden themselves with these exorbitant rents.

This move would give employers access to talent they previously never had. Not everyone moves cities for a good opportunity even with higher than market compensation. So the pool they could hire from was always limited. Not so anymore if they are OK for someone to work from Shillong (just an example). Now with this, I suspect they would also try to maximise the profits by lowering the compensation of people working from home citing a non metro living expenses etc.

Finally the Govt.

God knows what they will come up with. WFH cess? Commercial rates for electricity if you WFH? New regulations limiting WFH % ? Only time will tell.
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Old 26th April 2020, 16:34   #3
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Default Re: Effects of Coronavirus on the global economy

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Post-coronavirus, 75% of 3.5 lakh TCS employees to permanently work from home; up from 20%

https://m.businesstoday.in/story/pos...utm_medium=WAP

Any thoughts?
My wife joined a company in the last week of March, right in the middle of the lockdown. She was interviewed in Jan. Though I was telling her that the joining date would be postponed till after lockdown, looks like the co had hiring targets for this project in Q1. Absolutely, not complaining. Laptop was delivered and she has been working from home only. She has met her team only on Microsoft Teams.

What I meant to say was, the one process, hiring, that I thought would always be "physical" can also be done totally digitally. Going to be really tough for the support service industries.
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Old 26th April 2020, 16:58   #4
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Default Re: Effects of Coronavirus on the global economy

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will have a devastating impact on the vast chain of service providers
Absolutely. While there will be a much needed reduction / correction on the real estate rental rates, many many jobs will be lost -

1) Security personnel at the office will be considerably reduced.

2) Maintenance staff (plumbing; electricity; HVAC) will drastically come down.

3) Housekeeping will become almost non-existent compared to what it is now. At our office, every floor has/had 15-20 housekeeping staff. Most of them might be let go if WFH becomes a norm.

4) At out office there is also 2/3 ambulances always parked for emergency; a few medical staff who are trained and also train us in CPR and use of defibrillators etc. Most of them would be gone.

5) Catering used to provide employment to many people. Most of them will be gone.

6) Cab drivers (autos; office cabs; app based ones) - usage will drastically reduce.

7) Telecom related - If I ever needed a sim card from any of the providers or a 4G hotspot device or anything related with telecom, the folks at my office have never failed. Even in the direst of the circumstances, they have found ways to get these things. Many of them may lose their jobs.

These are the ones I could directly related with. Sure enough there would be plenty more.
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Old 26th April 2020, 18:44   #5
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Default Re: Effects of Coronavirus on the global economy

I agree with all the impacts it will have on IT cities, but it will have a few positives as well.
- Less nuclear Families, IT folks can work from their home city and can be with their families, extended families.
- People WFH will have extra 1-2 hours of time ( no commute). I cannot think enough how this extra time can be utilized. More time with kids, families. You can pursue your entrepreneur dream etc.
- Less eating out, which, eventually will lead to healthy body ( Need of the hour, ain't it).
- Wifi service provider will have more business from non IT cities, every wfh guy will need a stable wifi.
- Some of the support system for IT folks will still be needed, so they will shift other cities.
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Old 26th April 2020, 19:02   #6
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Default Re: Effects of Coronavirus on the global economy

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Post-coronavirus, 75% of 3.5 lakh TCS employees to permanently work from home; up from 20% ]

Any thoughts?
My few cents:

1. Kids and ladies will be the happiest lot. Reliance on creches will be reduced. Ladies will be able to pursue their career dreams more easily which was a problem without WFH option. Kids will not have to go to children care centres half heartedly for many hours every day.

2. This is not going to happen in spur of a moment. TCS has given the timeline of 2025 to move 75% of workforce to WFH. So change will be somewhat linear and affected industries will have some time to adapt to the change.

3. I am in PSU and my organisation has already placed order of more than thousand laptops. Many more such orders to come. It will surely help ailing PC and laptop industry and will drive the innovation which was missing for quite some time or a decade or two.

Last edited by ajmat : 26th April 2020 at 21:27. Reason: typo
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Old 26th April 2020, 19:47   #7
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Default Re: Effects of Coronavirus on the global economy

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Post-coronavirus, 75% of 3.5 lakh TCS employees to permanently work from home; up from 20%

https://m.businesstoday.in/story/pos...utm_medium=WAP

This could be the right thing for TCS and others like it. Probably needed to sustain price competitiveness in a tighter world. But this will have a devastating impact on the vast chain of service providers to the IT Services, BPO industry - transport, catering, rentals, IT Parks, housekeeping. The IT-BPO industry provides indirect employment to a vast sea of semi-skilled humble people. Looks like a significant chunk of that could be in trouble.

Any thoughts?
Yes this will only improve the immediate bottom line of the company who does this. Rest all will suffer in immediate to medium term. Real-estate - both Commercial Office Space and surrounding Residential, which to be honest is still way over-priced for what it offers, will see downward revision in prices. Associated industries will suffer in coming years.

But over long term things will even out for those industries or people working in those industries. The employees will change fields or re-skill. Staff (housing, cleaning, support, transport, meals, etc.) all will either change to different fields - these are easily transferable, or move back to their hometown and focus on work there.

But, in reality, it will be the employees who will suffer the most. Expectations will now be unrealistic from them. 24x7 availability, lower wages and health issues is what I can think of immediately. Also, you may just see a spike in divorces too. IT hubs such as Pune, Bangalore and HYD (may be even Gurugram) will see lower growth or de-growth due to their over reliance on real estate (linked to IT).

Also, IT salaries will go down. No more high salaries or high growth in salary in coming years.

I am in the said industry. Trust me, as much as I appreciate the flexibility to WFH, I do not want it forever. I don't like it and I know my reasons for the same.

On the growth front, you will see more growth in Telecom sector, IT peripheral devices will see a spike in sales, food delivery business will boom and so will vacations/travel (Hey, I can work from anywhere right?) once we have the solution for this Virus. Increase in health issues due to lifestyle will lead to a boom in business for healthcare sector too.

Last edited by sunilch : 26th April 2020 at 19:50.
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Old 26th April 2020, 21:34   #8
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But, in reality, it will be the employees who will suffer the most. Expectations will now be unrealistic from them. 24x7 availability, lower wages and health issues is what I can think of immediately.

Also, IT salaries will go down. No more high salaries or high growth in salary in coming years.
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 26th April 2020, 22:03   #9
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how difficult WFH is. There is no clear division of work time and home time
Totally agree. WFH is an unwanted monstrosity. There is no joy in it. Its become 24h job. Added to that all the commotion at home and the unreliable utilities like electricity, its a burden actually. Hardly half the work gets done in same time so have to slog unnecessarily. In office you could walk down to a colleague and unwind or take help if you are stuck. I am really missing my office now.
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Old 27th April 2020, 09:03   #10
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Default re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Post-coronavirus, 75% of 3.5 lakh TCS employees to permanently work from home; up from 20%
Thanks for sharing! Big news coming from a giant like TCS. Moving to a new thread .
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Old 27th April 2020, 09:11   #11
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Default re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

I for one am not totally enthused by this announcement. I understand the many benefits that working from home brings to the table and also its relevance in todays testing times, but for me, working at home has always been counter productive. That may be because I do not have a proper setup (read - table, chair, no distractions etc) at home, but I feel that taking the human element out of work does not work for me.

I will miss the chai and lunch sessions with my office mates and the wonderful office campus (i work at the TCS Hinjewadi,Pune campus)

Another deal breaker for me is the office commute, I’ve been riding to work since the last 1.5 years and absolutely love the ride. There is an alternative route that bypasses the infamous Hinjewadi traffic and gets me to office in 25 minutes flat. Working from home means no more of that :(

Let’s wait and watch how this unfolds post the lockdown.
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Old 27th April 2020, 09:14   #12
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Default re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Most IT companies have already switched to this model. Even if the lockdown gets lifted, very few will go back to the old ways. As per our company's internal estimates, productivity is more than previous. I can see where they come up with those estimates. Both the managers and clients do not care about the hard stops in the evening now. Since there is no train or cab to catch, they feel free to ask people to work for as long as they want. As an employee, I still want this to be voluntary. Not enforced upon. Personally, I feel I am more productive when I am at the office. At the office, most days I have a target to finish up certain things by a certain time in the evening and that is when I am most productive.

On another note, I found more than 50 percent of my monthly expenses were commuting expenses because I drive a van with not so great mileage to office. Even though that part was the most enjoyable part of my days, it makes me think about the money I can save these days. Considering the economy is not going to recover anytime soon, maybe it makes sense to save every penny.

Last edited by padmrajravi : 27th April 2020 at 09:21.
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Old 27th April 2020, 09:21   #13
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Default re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

I am very skeptical of this news and would be very, very surprised if this is achieved. Reasons:

1) Culture: a big part of the culture in organizations such as TCS (Indian company or with a heavy Indian-influence in leadership) is the entitlement that employees get the moment they become "Managers". The "come before manager and leave after manager" expectation, micro-management (on time spent in office, time spent on/away from desk etc.) are a huge part of a Manager's KRA. The old guard in these organizations often refuse to treat employees as adults

2) Discipline: point 1 often leads to or is caused by a general lack of discipline in our society when it comes to professionalism. We all know how the majority treats working-from-home as a paid semi-holiday.

Add the inability to separate work and home life to this.

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

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

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

6) Productivity: 75% of an org is a significant number. Productivity will take a severe beating because very few types of work can be completely driven virtually. Decisions take longer, discussions often remain inconclusive, messages often get distorted and cohesion suffers

7) Infrastructure at home: very, very few people lack the necessary infrastructure at home: high speed internet, quiet working space, to work efficiently. TCS has bulk of their workforce at the entry level: the guys earning 3-5 lakhs, with most youngsters sharing an apartment. Imagine how complicated everything will get.

Most companies require employees to connect to their network remotely (through VPN/VDI); and working that way can be painfully slow and inefficient, given how everything slows down when connected via VPN

Long story short: apart from companies which work on a Individual Contributor model, having majority of the work force working remotely will not work, especially for service companies.

Happy to be proven wrong though; we spend an unfortunate amount of time and energy being stuck in traffic.

Last edited by SDP : 28th April 2020 at 20:38. Reason: Typo
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Old 27th April 2020, 09:34   #14
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Default re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

Commuting is just not sustainable, especially in Indian cities. I personally know a few friends whose families lives in South Bangalore, but they live in a small shared accommodation in Whitefield Monday thru Friday.

With a taste of the benefits during the pandemic, companies are slowly warming up to the idea of permanent WFH. I've realized that I spend more hours working from than in the office. It is easier to downsize expensive office space and allow employees to come in once a week.

What I miss, however is the conversations during lunch or the watercooler.
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Old 27th April 2020, 09:53   #15
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Default re: Work From Home (WFH): Is this the future for many?

While the Covid-19 will definitely make WFH more mainstream, I dont see a drastic change where everyone works form home.
Social interaction is a very core component for teams. It becomes very critical for small teams. Any amount of technology cannot replace 10 people working in a war-room resolving a critical customer issue.

I foresee a situation where teams will be in office 50% of the time and work from home the remaining 50%. This will definitely impact the commercial office space intake.
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