Are companies going to move out a few of the departments (or all of them) and allow them to WFH to reduce office costs?
During the Covid-19 lockdown scenario companies are figuring out that many of the departments can function remotely from home which is saving a considerable amount of time and expenses incurred in setting up an office and running it.
Recent studies have supported the idea that working from home—for the right people—can increase productivity and decrease stress. Research also suggests companies that encourage and support a work-from-home protocol actually save money in the long run—an added bonus on the employer side.
The tech industry is well known for its flexible schedules and telecommuting opportunities, which makes sense, considering most tech companies are web-based and technology is the greatest resource when working from home. With video chats, conference calls, VPN networks, and wireless Internet, we can constantly stay connected as though we were sitting in our office, rather than at home.
Tech is also experiencing a shortage of talent for a number of jobs, and hiring remote workers opens the talent pool for companies seeking STEM workers. In the tech sphere, the majority of the work happens on the computer and online. As a result, the location of the person is no longer as important, as long as they have a reliable Internet connection.”
Are companies going to move out a few of the departments (or all of them) and allow them to WFH to reduce office costs? In this scenario, some IT veteran’s share the perspective on remote working post lockdown to NCN.
Mr. Shibu Paul, Vice President – International Sales at Array Networks
“WFH is likely to be the new normal. Corporates will become more open to remote working and will adapt technology-enabled solutions for seamless working in the post-pandemic era. Employees are bound to leverage telepresence and video conferencing to stay in touch. Remote working will no doubt bring down attrition rates and increase digital productivity. VPN servers will become paramount to a company’s backbone, and their security as the workforce shifts to working from home. Organizations will work on firm monitoring and governance mechanisms for remote working and ensure that systems and processes are more fine-tuned, thereby creating the right working culture.”
Mr. Sriram, Chief Strategy Officer at iValue InfoSolutions
(WFM) scenario but none like the current one caused due to COVID-19 which has made it the compulsory and regulatory need for WFM across countries and continents together for a considerable duration of time running into months. ITeS companies due to the nature of their business with the customer and delivery team across different continents have worked from anywhere baked into business models for a long time now. Initially, it was predominantly from the various office locations across the world which later got extended to any place, and any device securely with scale. Government and financial institutions evolved to move their citizens and customers to an online model over time for enhancing efficiency, transparency, flexibility along with the reduction of cost of serving them. Online marketplace companies accentuated the consumption of these services through mobile and web with a larger set of citizens over time. Digital transformation drives by corporates in the last few years also ensured most organizations adopted web/mobile delivery of key applications with DR and BCP plans. The recent prolonged lockdown across the globe will drive the next wave of digitization of business. Millions of businesses may go out of business due to month-long lockdown plus restrictions for companies that don’t have WFM flexibility for both their internal and external processes. The Organisations which manage to survive will learn at a very heavy cost that both internal and external processes need to be WFM, ready to survive such a scenario.
The thrust and focus from now on will make every internal operation of all organizations ready for access from any place and any device for any number of people for a sustained period of time. Many modern businesses like modern Banks and ITeS have challenges for WFM for their internal operations. The challenge is severe in Government departments too. The focus post resumption will be on secure and scalable operations of all applications and processes both internal and external across locations and devices in a safe, on a war footing.”
Mr. Ashis Guha, CEO at RAH Infotech
“The current pandemic situation has affected mankind and businesses badly, at the same time it has also pushed us towards working through new methods like WFH. At our organization, the business runs on human connect, being in touch with customers and partners, however, during this pandemic when movement is restricted, we are offering remote working solutions to our customers and partners. We are extending all possible support to our partners and customers to minimize the lockdown impact. We will assess the situation post lockdown and so far we have not taken any decision on moving any department permanently for WFH. Post lockdown, we will also look at training all our employees on how to handle work better during such a pandemic situation.”
Mr. Gurpreet Singh, Managing Director at Arrow PC Network Pvt Ltd
“Remote working will become the new norm post-COVID. Next-generation of employees is already asking for Flexi timings and open work culture. In the post COVID era, many companies will open up the opportunities to work from home for various departments as it is highly beneficial in terms of saving time, reducing attrition rates as well as saving real estate costs. Employees need to be self-motivated, disciplined, and highly professional to excel in such scenarios. The decision on which department and who is to be allowed to work from home may have different parameters for different industry verticals. Post lockdown, it will become imperative for companies to put a cap on data leakages and phishing scams by implementing a robust security infrastructure to sustain the benefit of working from home.”
Mr. Ravi Raj U, Brand Head – Director Sales & Support at NetRack
T companies are more prone to adopt WFH as they have the necessary systems and security features in place to accommodate remote working. But implementing the same for manufacturing units is not possible except for sales & support function. A lot of manual intervention is required for the design and delivery of products and solutions. The key advantage of an automated industry is that the number of people working per area is very low compared to an IT company. A typical example is around 100,000 SFT of IT space will have more than 10,000 people, but the automated industry will have 100 people or less where most of the employees will be located around the industry. The manufacturing units, many times, support the IT & ITES verticals. Considering the above, allowing manufacturing units to function will help to keep the economy moving. The staged exit of lockdown will minimize the losses for the manufacturing sector.”
Mr. Prashanth G J, CEO at TechnoBind
“Remote working which was already being explored by a lot of companies, the adoption of this will only get hastened. Companies have now experienced their entire organizations in a WFH situation and are now in a position to assess what part of the workforce can effectively discharge their objectives when working remotely. While it is too wishful to think that a majority of the workforce will WFH and office spaces and traffic on the roads will come down, but we will see anywhere 20-40% of the workforce moving to a WFH scenario. And as technology sales guy we will see a lot of adoption of tools and technologies which will make the WFH a risk free proposition for the IT guys – technologies like secured access, remote access, and support, collaboration tools like online meeting rooms, backup of data on endpoints will see an upsurge in adoption.”
Mr. Satish Kumar V, CEO at EverestIMS Technologies
Our experience with WFM enforcement has been a revelation. The insights we have drawn from this will go a long way in restructuring our modus operandi. Certain departments such as R&D, Development, and HR have increased their efficacy and output by leaps and bounds. We have observed that it is a function of multiple factors: time saved traveling, lesser stress from the hustle and bustle of traffic, better focus, and an improved work-life balance. Teams like R&D are now completely focused on specific tasks without getting distracted by any secondary office activity or engagements thus generating better outputs and insights. Through effective usage of collaboration tools and conferencing platforms, we have continued to simulate & maintain our earlier office regimens of having a stand-up meeting at 9:30 am for day planning, and another one at 7:00 pm in the evening to take stock of progress. During the day we are online using various tools spanning chat, voice or video to stay in touch continuously and ensure that communication and interaction levels are maintained with regular processes not being impacted in any way. Various communication groups (chat, video) have also been created for department and work silos. Our HR department has been innovating on how to ensure that employees remain engaged. They conduct multiple engagement activities like a daily quiz, one-on-one discussions, feedback sessions, and many others to ensure that employees stay active and absorbed mentally and physically. This new stance has ensured that employees also gain a significant leap in work-life balance which translates into better well-being for them. What we glean is that there can be an infrastructure downsizing on one side, and on the other a rightsizing for conferencing and communication tools. The outcomes that we are generating now, will only go towards strengthening the company, delivering better products, and keeping us tuned to our customer-focused vision.”