Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest IT company, is making a significant change to its working policy. In a recent internal communication, TCS announced that it will be discontinuing its hybrid work arrangement, requiring employees to return to the office for a full five-day workweek starting from October 1, 2023. Currently, TCS employees are required to be in the office for just three days each week.
The official communication stated, “As communicated by CEO and Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) in various townhalls, it is mandatory for all associates to attend the office on all working days (five days per week if there are no holidays) starting October 1, 2023.”
However, when questioned by CNBC-TV18, TCS responded, “As we are in the silent period at the moment, we will not be able to comment on your query.”
In its FY23 annual report, TCS emphasized the importance of employees returning to the office. The report pointed out that more than half of TCS’s workforce was hired after March 2020, and these newer employees greatly benefit from in-person interactions with senior colleagues and leaders to assimilate and learn from their experiences and perspectives.
“Without those interactions, employee engagement as well as acculturation got badly impacted. All these factors led us to gradually bring back people to our offices during the year,” the company stated in its FY23 annual report.
It’s worth noting that TCS allocates a significant portion of its revenue to cover employee expenses. In FY23, the company dedicated as much as 56.6 percent of its revenue to employee benefit expenses. As of March 2023, TCS is the largest private employer in India, with a workforce exceeding 600,000 employees. Consequently, this policy shift may affect a substantial number of employees who will now need to commute to the office.
In a previous response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, TCS’s then-CEO, Rajesh Gopinathan, introduced the “25×25 model” in May 2020. This model aimed to bring back 25 percent of the workforce to the office by the year 2025.
The decision by TCS to end its hybrid work policy and return to a full-time office presence reflects the evolving dynamics of the workplace and the company’s strategy to ensure effective employee engagement and acculturation, especially for newer team members hired during the pandemic.