TCS To Not Give Bonuses To Employees With Less Than 60% Office Attendance

Over the last few quarters, TCS has been ramping up its efforts to get employees back into offices, but now it’s taken to hitting them where it hurts most — their wallets.

TCS will not give variable pay or bonuses to employees who work from office for less than 60 percent of the time. The company has updated its variable pay policy to include work from office as a cricual factor. The revised policy, which was implemented shortly after the company’s quarterly results, has four attendance slabs that determine the variable pay for employees.

As per the new policy, employees with less than 60 percent attendance in office will receive no bonuses. Those with 60-75 percent attendance will receive 50 percent of the variable pay, while those with 75-85 percent of office attendance will receive 75 percent of the variable pay. Only employees who attend office for more than 85 percent of the time will be eligible to receive full variable pay.

The explicit linking of bonuses to office attendance is the latest step that TCS has taken to coax employees back into offices. In February, TCS had said that salary hikes and promotions will depend on how often employees worked from offices, but had given no specific guidelines on how it would be implemented.

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 TCS, Infosys and Wipro have collectively trimmed their headcounts by over 50,000 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 deny bonuses to employees who don’t work from office for 85 percent of the time, it appears that the days of remote work in India’s IT sector might be truly numbered.