TCS is getting creative in coaxing remote employees back into its offices.
TCS is linking salary hikes and promotions with employees’ compliance with its return to office norms. The company has told unit heads to write to their respective teams that assigning grades — which are a prerequisite for rolling out promotions — will depend on their track record of employees working from the office. Currently only around 65 percent of TCS employees are working from office for 3-5 days in a week.
“We are asked to be compliant with the return-to-office. This will be eventually approved for return-to-office complaint cases,” a source told Times of India.
TCS had been bullish on its work-from-home policy when the pandemic had first struck. The company had gone ahead and said that it expected that 75 percent of its employees to permanently work remotely by 2025. But as the pandemic had ebbed away, TCS began gently recalling employees back into offices. The company had even embarked on a social media campaign to get its employees to attend offices — the campaign had been titled #TogetherWeBelong, and attempted to remind employees of the fun moments they’d had in office. But soon its tone had become sterner — in September 2022, TCS had told employees to work from offices at least 3 days a week, and warned them of “administrative measures” if they didn’t comply. A year later, in October 2023, TCS had formally ended its work-from-home policy, and asked employees to work from offices on all 5 days of the week.
But even four months after this directive, thousands of TCS employees are still working remotely, which seems to have promoted the company to link salary hikes and promotions to employees returning to offices. “We believe working from the office is good for the associates, customers and TCS. You’re talking only about work output in terms of how they deliver to customers, but how do they get mentored on culture? How do they get mentored on how they deal with customers and colleagues,” TCS CEO K Krithivasan had recently said.
And TCS might eventually get its way, thanks largely to macroeconomic factors. India’s IT sector is currently facing a slowdown, and companies are jettisoning staff — fresher hiring has been curtailed, and many IT companies are laying off employees. Amidst all this, employees might not have too many options, and could be forced to acquiesce with their companies’ wishes. And with most IT companies now calling employees back to office in unison, and TCS going as far as to link it to salary hikes and promotions, it appears that the days of remote work in India’s IT sector might be truly numbered.