EXCLUSIVE: HCL Tech is bringing employees back to offices — once a week to begin with

EXCLUSIVE: HCL Tech is bringing employees back to offices — once a week to begin with
HCL Technologies is allowing employees to come back to work once a weekHCL Tech

  • HCL Tech is encouraging its employees to come into the office for work, at least one day a week over the next three months.
  • By the end of December, they hope to achieve 20% workforce occupancy in their offices.
  • In an exclusive interview with Business Insider India, HCL Technologies CHRO Apparao VV explains who can come back to work, precautionary measures, and whether or not the canteen will be open.
COVID-19 may still be looming large but HCL Technologies believes it has the right tools in place to help its employees come back to offices — one day a week at a time.

“We’re telling employees to come at least once in a week to start with, and probably by December, you can do one or two days in a week,” Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) Apparao VV told Business Insider in an exclusive interview.

The company is currently operating with around 5% to 6% of its staff in office. By December, they hope to bring the overall number up to 20%.
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Not everyone is being asked to come back to work
HCL Tech may be looking to get its offices hustling with activity again, but they’re not asking everyone to come back to work.

Employees who have children below the age of five, or parents older than 50 years old can continue to work from home. And employees who are older than 50 to 55 years are also exempt.

Apparao explained that this plan will be implemented in phases. And, on no given day will any of the company's development centres exceed 20% capacity.

Floor marshalls and pre-ordered meals
In preparation for people returning to work, HCL Tech has removed chairs to ensure that at least 3 feet of distance is maintained. Common rooms are getting cleaned up, cabs are being arranged and even ‘floor marshalls’ have been designated to ensure enforcement of discipline.

“We won’t be leaving anything to chance,” said Apparao. Even when it comes to eating food, employees have to log in the previous night, and share their preferences. Because of the pandemic, only vendors will provide the food. The options may be a little limited, but it’s a necessary precaution.

HCL Tech is also looking to hire ‘significantly’ over the next three months with the aim of onboarding another 9,000 freshers by the end of March. In October, the company started to dole out wage hikes as well. “Wage hikes were only deferred by one quarter from the company’s regular increment cycle,” said CEO C Vijayakumar, during the second-quarter earnings call.

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