work from home: As India Inc prepares to return to office, employees cling to WFH – The Economic Times

Clipped from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/jobs/as-india-inc-prepares-to-return-to-office-employees-cling-to-wfh/articleshow/90301683.cms

SynopsisAt least six out of every 10 employees responded to a survey by recruitment and staffing firm CIEL HR Services said they were prepared to quit their jobs instead of returning to office or the place of work. Almost a similar number of employees would forgo an offer for a higher-paid job which requires them to compulsorily come to the office, according to the findings.

Employees seem to prefer work from home over higher salaries and are even willing to quit their job if that option is taken out.

At least six out of every 10 employees responded to a survey by recruitment and staffing firm CIEL HR Services said they were prepared to quit their jobs instead of returning to office or the place of work.

Almost a similar number of employees would forgo an offer for a higher-paid job which requires them to compulsorily come to the office, according to the survey findings, shared exclusively with ET. This view is prevalent across domains like IT, outsourcing, tech startups, consulting, BFSI and business-enabling functions across all sectors, the data showed.

For many, working from home or remote locations has allowed for a better work-life balance without it really affecting their work efficiencies, and they want it to continue. While companies are slowly reopening offices, they have to offer WFH and flexible working at least as options to retain and attract talent, at a time when industry is witnessing its highest attrition rate, say job market experts.

“WFH should be considered as part of Return to Office strategy,” said Aditya Misra, chief executive of CIEL HR, which had close to 2,000 employees from 620 companies responding to the survey.

“The experience and rewards of a two-year WFH ecosystem, added to the hiring buoyancy in play, have made this choice popular and is a deal-clincher for many employers”

— Kamal Karanth of Xpheno

Xpheno, a specialist staffing company, said six out of 10 recruitment conversations in the IT industry were around WFH options. “The experience and rewards of a two-year WFH ecosystem, added to the hiring buoyancy in play, have made this choice popular and is a deal-clincher for many employers,” said Kamal Karanth of Xpheno.

Remote Working Options
Many of the companies that started remote working during the pandemic are planning to retain it at least as an option. Of the 620 companies covered in the CIEL survey, 40% are fully working from home, while 26% are in a hybrid mode. Employees in the remaining companies work from the office.

Tata Steel, which had introduced an ‘Agile Working Models’ policy during the pandemic to provide more flexibility to employees, intends to continue with it. Under this policy, there are two models: ‘absolute WFH’ wherein an employee can work from any location in India, and ‘Flexi WFH’ where even the officers based out of a particular location can work from home for unlimited days in a year.

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Currently, about 30% of the white-collar employees at Tata Steel are working from home and about 5% have the flexibility to be location agnostic. This has helped release office spaces at some locations, said a Tata Steel spokesperson.

IT company Tata Consultancy Services is transitioning into a hybrid mode of working.

Under the 25X25 model it is adopting, no more than 25% of its associates need to work from an office at any given point in time, and they need not spend more than 25% of their time in the office, a TCS spokesperson said.

Mercedes-Benz India is following a hybrid model with a roster system with 50% of non-production staff on campus, chief executive Martin Schwenk said.

KPMG, which has also opened its offices, will be rolling out a hybrid working model this year. It will allow some employees to be able to work from anywhere, yet be available for travel or in person meetings, said Sunit Sinha, partner and head of people, performance and culture at KPMG in India.

Rival Deloitte has already moved into the hybrid work mode.

Hybrid working model is likely to be around for some time at least in the medium term, considering it provides “a best-of-both-worlds scenario”, said partner and chief talent officer SV Nathan. “It is difficult to predict deep into the future, simply because the pace of change is so rapid,” he added.

(Originally published on Mar 18, 2022, 06:08 AM IST)

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