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Employees Furious as TCS Drops Hybrid Work Policy: Employees Forced Back to Office Full-Time from October 1

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest IT company, is discontinuing its hybrid working policy. In an internal communication issued earlier this month, the company has mandated that its employees must return to the office five days a week, starting from October 1, 2023. Currently, employees are required to be in the office for just three days a week.

The official memo states, “As communicated by the CEO and Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) in various townhall meetings, it is now mandatory for all associates to be present in the office on all working days (five days per week, excluding holidays) beginning October 1, 2023.”

However, when approached by CNBC-TV18 for comment, the company responded, “As we are currently in a silent period, we are unable to provide a response to your query.”

In its FY23 annual report, TCS emphasized the importance of returning to the office. The report noted that over half of the company’s workforce was hired after March 2020, and these new employees benefit significantly from in-person interactions with senior colleagues and leaders to assimilate and learn from their behaviors and thought processes. The report stated, “Without these interactions, employee engagement and assimilation were negatively impacted. All of these factors have led us to gradually reintroduce employees to our office spaces during the year.”

Notably, TCS allocates more than half of its revenue to cover its wage bill. In FY23, the company allocated as much as 56.6 percent of its revenue to employee benefit expenses. TCS is the largest private employer in India, with a workforce exceeding 600,000 people as of March 2023. Therefore, this policy change could potentially affect a significant number of employees who will now need to commute to the office.

It’s worth mentioning that in May 2020, during the first wave of the pandemic, TCS’s then CEO, Rajesh Gopinathan, introduced the “25×25 model,” which aimed to bring back 25 percent of the workforce to the office by the year 2025.

In the post-pandemic world, the corporate world is treading a cautious path between allowing Work From Home or calling employees back to the office. As the WFH jobs grew in the market, the employees are even making decisions to quit one company in lieu of a WFH job at some other company.

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