Govt Wants 100% Work From Home For Employees; Will IT Companies Follow Suit?
With the lesson of the disastrous second wave at the back, it is prudent for any responsible authority to get cognizance of the rising number of covid-19 infections.
With this in mind, the Central government of India has asked citizens to be on alert, maintain social distancing norms, wear masks, and get vaccinated as soon as possible. The government recently issued instructions pertaining to office attendance, in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus.
50% central government employees to work from home till 31st Jan
“In view of the initial signs of a surge in cases of COVID-19, the matter regulating attendance of Central Government employees has been reviewed and it has been decided as under, with immediate effect till 31st January, 2022,” the ministry said.
In this order the government has issued some recommendations which are as follows:
a) Physical attendance of Government servants below the level of Under Secretary shall be restricted to 50 percent of the actual strength and the remaining 50 percent shall work from home. A roster may be prepared accordingly by all the Departments concerned
b) All officers of the level of Under Secretary & above are to attend office on regular basis
c) Persons with Disabilities and Pregnant women employees shall be exempted from attending office but are required to work from home.
d) The officers I staff shall follow staggered timings, to avoid over-crowding in offices, as indicated – (a) 9.00 A.M. to 5.30 PM (b) 10.00 AM. to 6.30 P.M.
e) All officers/staff residing in the containment zone shall be exempted from coming to offices till the containment zone is denotified.
f) Those officers/ staff who are not attending office and working from home shall be available on the telephone and other electronic means of communication at all times
g) Meeting, as far as possible, shall be conducted on video-conferencing and personal meetings with visitors, unless absolutely necessary in the public interest, are to be avoided
h) All Officers/Staff have to ensure strict compliance with Covid-appropriate behavior viz. frequent washing of hands/ sanitization, wearing a mask/ face cover, observing social distancing at all times
i) Proper cleaning and frequent sanitization at the workplace, particularly of the frequently touched surfaces may be ensured. HoDs may also ensure non- crowding in corridors, canteens etc
Private IT companies also to follow WFH model
Along with government offices, IT companies are also going to keep working from home routine. This includes IT giants like TCS, Wipro, and Infosys.
Many IT firms including TCS, Infosys, and HCL Technologies had started to call employees back to their offices as the second wave was in the process of subsiding. But that seems to have bleak chances now. The health ministry has also advised offices to not call back employees and implement the work from the home regime as much as possible.
IT major, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), has said that less than 10 percent of the company’s employees are working from their offices currently. Any plans for a full-fledged return to office will be a calibrated move, the company said.