With an overwhelming majority of Hyderabad’s IT/ITeS employee base still working from home and concern about third wave of Covid hampering efforts to get employees back to office, 70 per cent of the companies feel that hybrid will be the future work model.

According to a survey conducted by Hyderabad Software Enterprises Association (HYSEA), the apex body of IT/ITeS companies in Hyderabad, the hybrid model based on rotation and hybrid model with partial Work From Home (WFH) and partial Work From Office (WFO) will be the preferred future work models of the organisations.

According to the survey findings, 37 per cent companies prefer hybrid model (WFH+WFO) based on rotation while 33 per cent are for hybrid model with partial week WFH and partial week WFO.

As many as 22 per cent of companies stated they are not yet sure. Six per cent prefer return to pre-Covid normal while only two per cent want to have only essential employees WFO.

Nearly 25 per cent of HYSEA members responded to the survey. They represent nearly 25 per cent of the IT/ITeS population in Hyderabad.

Medium/large/very large (MLVL) companies form a substantial 36 per cent of the total respondents, giving the survey results credibility. Nearly 45 per cent of the respondents are GCCs (global companies with their technology operations in Hyderabad)

According to the survey, small companies seem to have moved first in getting employees back to office. Nearly 20 per cent of the responding companies said they already have more than 20 per cent of staff WFO.

Across sizes, nearly 76 per cent of all companies have less than 9 per cent WFO. Among the MLVL (> 500 employees) companies, this WFO percentage is less than 5.

As many as 91 per cent of the companies have more than 25 per cent of their workforce operating from outside Hyderabad. A significant 53 per cent have more than 40 per cent of their workforce operating from outside Hyderabad. This is more prevalent among the MLVL companies with the average being over 40 per cent.

Assuming an overall workforce of 6 lakh plus, this translates to nearly 2 lakh being outside Hyderabad. This factor is eventually turning out to be a big constraint in getting employees return to office.

A majority of the MLVL companies want to get their employees back to office in 2021. A total of 33 per cent of all companies want to get employees back to office in 2021. Another 41 per cent want to do so in 2022. The survey reveals that 25 per cent are not sure of their plans and prefer to wait and see how things evolve.

A total 73 per cent of companies are looking to get minimum 10 per cent and maximum 50 per cent of employees back in office by December 2021. The remaining 27 per cent of the companies will be operating with less than 10 per cent employees working from office by December 2021.

Among the MLVL companies, nearly 60 per cent are looking at getting more than 20 per cent and in some cases, more than 50 per cent of the employees back to office by end of 2021.

By end of March 2022, 79 per cent of companies (including MLVL) will have anywhere from 30 per cent to 90 per cent employees WFO. It translates to minimum 2 lakh and maximum 5 lakh employees back in offices by March 2022.

An overwhelming majority (more than 84 per cent) companies said they expect employees to have taken at least one vaccination dose before they can return to office. This percentage holds good for MLVL companies too.

Teamwork & collaboration, mentorship, training & development, organisation culture, identity and loyalty and to increase employee morale are the top reasons companies want employees to get back to office. Client imperative also appeared as a key driver among the IT services companies.

A substantial 40 per cent of the companies also said they keep the factor of dependent sectors in mind while making the decision.

The top constraint across the board for getting employees back to office turned out to be many employees are outside Hyderabad. This is followed closely by concern about third wave, PG Hostel and other safe accommodation for returning employees, many employees still not vaccinated, and schools not reopened.

Approximately 36 per cent of companies have at least 50-75 per cent employees vaccinated. As many as 63 per cent companies see no challenges in getting employees fully vaccinated while 25 per cent feel vaccine availability is a challenge. About 12 per cent see vaccine hesitancy among employees as a challenge.

The companies expect HYSEA and the government to continue to position Hyderabad as a place of investment and growth, ensure widespread availability of vaccines across the state, safety and availability of accommodation at PG hostels and other places, highlight the benefits of working from office, and help spread awareness about social distancing and vaccination.

–IANS

ms/vd

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