HCL Tech follows TCS and Infosys' lead — says 50% of its employees will work from home even after the lockdown is lifted

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HCL Tech follows TCS and Infosys' lead — says 50% of its employees will work from home even after the lockdown is lifted
HCL CEO C V ijayakumar Twitter

  • IT CEOs are now embracing the ‘new normal’ with an alternative operating model of remote working.
  • CEO C Vijayakumar said that HCL Technologies is considering letting more of its employees work from home — only half of the workforce will be expected to work from offices.
  • He said that merely 10% of the employees would be working from office locations until June.

As the nationwide lockdown spurs digital adoption, IT CEOs are now embracing the ‘new normal’ with an alternative operating model of remote working.

HCL Technologies may be following in the footsteps of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) hinting that the ‘new normal’ might mean offices will now be employee-lite. CEO C Vijayakumar said that HCL Technologies is considering letting more of its employees work from home — only half of the workforce will be expected to work from offices.

“It’s going to take some time to see what the long term operating model will be. But directionally, I see 50% of our employees will work from home and 50% will work from offices in the next 12-18 months,” he said during the fourth-quarter earnings call.
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Even as the Indian government eased the lockdown norms for IT companies allowing them to operate with 33% staff, Vijayakumar believes that merely 10% of the employees would be working from office locations until June. “We do not see more than 10% of our employees coming into offices by the end of this quarter and we keep evaluating on a weekly basis,” he added.

He added that the proposed 50/50 model can be implemented on a rotational basis where everyone gets to come to the office sometime and also gets to work from home sometimes.

HCL Technologies started its Covid-19 business continuity plan in January and since then, most of its employees have been moved to a work from home setup. "Today more than 96% of our employees are working from home and over 2.5% are working from client locations and offices globally.”
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The IT giant has an employee base of 150,000. The company hired 8,600 people in FY20 and had plans to add 15,000 more from campuses this year. Freshers will still be hired, but the number of new hires will come down.

“Our freshers’ absorption has gone up by 35% compared to last year and we hope to see similar numbers this year. Our recruitment and onboarding has gone virtual, globally,” said Apparao VV, Chief Human Relations Officer (CHRO) at HCL Technologies.

Vijayakumar says that the company has not faced any major outages due to work from home delivery model and the productivity has, in fact, increased significantly. However, this is under a lockdown scenario. “In the normal scenario, how the privacy and security aspect will play out is something we have to see. We need to reevaluate how this will work. That’s how the industry will evolve and the working model will evolve,” the CEO said.
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