A day after Twitter said that its employees would be allowed to work-from-home “forever” if they so chose, an Indian company has gone ahead and made the same pronouncement.
Online education startup Unacademy has said that it will allow 60% of its entire workforce to permanently work from home even after the coronavirus lockdown was over. “We are bringing some major changes to the way we work. Even post the lockdown, 60% of our entire workforce will be working from home permanently,” the company tweeted.
We are bringing some major changes to the way we work.
Even post the lockdown, 60% of our entire workforce will be working from home permanently.
— Unacademy (@unacademy) May 13, 2020
“We did a bunch of experiments in the past two months,” the company’s CEO Gaurav Munjal told ET. “The company has around 600 employees in sales and operations. Apart from a few core teams like product and content, where we need a lot of interactions and meetings on a daily basis everything can be moved remotely. The sales and operations people can come in when leaders call for meetings,” he added. Unacademy already has more than 1,000 educators who are working from home.
Just yesterday, Twitter had said that it would allow employees whose roles permitted it to work from home “forever” if they so wished. Twitter, however, had said that it would keep its offices running, and employees would be given a choice whether to work from home or from its offices. Google and Facebook have also seemingly embraced the idea of working from home — both companies have said that their employees would largely be working from home until 2021. In India, TCS has said that it expects that 75% of its staff would permanently work from home by 2025.
This is a sea change in how companies view WFH — until recently, work-from-home was seen as a privilege at most tech companies, and working from home too often was something that was frowned upon. But the coronavirus lockdown has caused the entire industry to be an unwilling participants in the largest work-from-home experiment in history, and it seems to have found some converts. Big companies seem to have realized that their productivity hasn’t quite suffered even as employees worked from home, and aren’t particularly keen that employees return back to offices right as the lockdowns are over. The incentives for companies are obvious — office rental costs are a large expense, and if employees choose to work from home, it could positively impact companies’ bottom lines. And with Silicon Valley giants in Google, Facebook and Twitter, large Indian IT companies in TCS, and startups like Unacademy all giving thumbs up to working from home, it appears as though this coronavirus trend could be here to stay.