Service and consulting company’s 25/25 strategy part of growing trend to reimagine work after COVID-19
The work-from-home trend is looking more like the new normal as companies around the world plan for large portions of their staff to no longer come to an office on a regular basis.
The Lowdown: Under 25/25, no more than 25% of TCS’ global workforce (currently 448,000 people) would come to the office regularly by 2025.
The Details: TCS is not alone in rethinking its workforce strategy. Officials at Infosys, a multinational systems integrator, said the company was able to move to a remote working model very quickly and is looking at work-from-home as a possible long-term strategy. And Wipro, another global IT firm, said 90% of its employees are delivering projects and services to customers remotely.
A survey of chief financial officers (CFOs) by market analyst firm Gartner found that 74% are planning to keep at least 5% of their workforces at home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly one-quarter plan to keep 20% or more of their staffs on a work-from-home basis. Infosys, another global systems integrator, believes businesses will maintain 20% to 30% of employees working from home even as lockdowns unwind.
The Impact: The embrace of work-from-home by businesses is about more than just convenience. The easing of social distancing restrictions that allows businesses to reopen comes with caveats. Public health officials are telling companies that they need to “reimagine” (read: redesign) their workspaces for continued separation between people. Businesses are already calculating the cost of those redesigns and deciding to keep current and future employees on a work-from-home or flextime standing.
The Buzz: “We believe that [with] this particular model and way of working, we will be in a position to achieve about 25% improvement in velocity, throughput productivity,” said TCS COO NG Subramaniam. “This is coupled with our overall machine-first thinking. We also believe that as we go along, 25% of the project team of any project may not [be] located in one single location.”
“This data is an example of the lasting impact the current coronavirus crisis will have on the way companies do business,” said Alexander Bant, practice vice president of research for the Gartner Finance Practice.
“What happened this time was that work-from-home was not really part of companies’ business continuity plan. They had to scramble to move people to WFH, and they faced a lot of challenges there,” said Infosys co-founder and co-chairman Kris Gopalakrishnan. “But they have surmounted those and moved people to work-from-home. Larger companies will make sure people are accustomed to this and will have about 20-30% WFH as per my calculation.”
Channelnomics Point of View: The work-from-home trend is already being felt in the channel. Vendors and solution providers have experienced a surge in orders for PCs, software, and accessories as workers shifted from office spaces to home scenarios. Managed service providers have reported a steep increase in support ticket requests from clients needing help getting their staffs up and running at home. The expectation is that businesses will continue the work-from-home posture for the foreseeable future, causing a shift in technology needs and buying patterns.