Varied Approaches to Remote Work Enforcement in Major IT Companies

By Consultants Review Team Tuesday, 23 January 2024

In the current landscape of remote work, a noticeable divergence exists among major IT companies in enforcing the work-from-office rule. While most IT services firms have mandated a minimum of 2-3 days of office presence, strict adherence seems to vary across the industry.

Companies such as Infosys, HCL, and Cognizant exhibit a more lenient stance on enforcing the return to office. Employees within these organizations report that the emphasis from managers lies more on deliverables and skills enhancement rather than compelling teams to work from office premises.

An employee at HCL, based in Chennai, shared her experience of being permitted to work from Bengaluru on childcare grounds. She mentioned that her manager has not insisted on her presence in the Bengaluru office, despite HCL's directive for employees to attend the office three times a week.

At Infosys, the enforcement of office attendance appears to be left to the discretion of individual managers. While the initial directive suggested employees work from the office for 10 days a month, many managers are not strictly enforcing this guideline. In contrast to TCS, which implemented a roster system for employees, Infosys and HCL lack a similar structured approach.

Employees, especially those with teams predominantly working from remote locations, find themselves working remotely without undue pressure to commute. A team lead based in Bengaluru revealed that she works remotely due to her team's dispersed locations, stating that office visits are only made for essential team meetings.

Infosys had initially planned a phased return to the office, advocating for employees to attend twice a week last year. Despite the establishment of a satellite office in Bengaluru's northern region for convenience, the decision of whether employees should return remains with individual managers. Both HCL and Infosys refrained from providing comments on queries related to this matter.

In contrast, TCS stands out as an exception with a stringent approach. The company has been deducting salaries of employees who do not adhere to the return-to-office guidelines. TCS employees are expected to work from their designated base locations. Reports indicate that the company, facing capacity challenges due to substantial hiring in 2021 and 2022, has some staff working in unconventional spaces such as canteens and corridors.

Ray Wang, Principal Analyst & Founder at Constellation Research, highlights the importance of returning to the office, particularly for those in the early stages of their careers. He notes that in-person work experiences offer valuable opportunities for mentorship, learning, and career advancement, emphasizing the significance of flexibility based on one's career stage.

Current Issue