Can you remember the time when you used to work from the office? Have you ever thought at the starting of 2020 that after a few months, you will be working from home for maybe the next two years? The way Covid-19 changed our personal, as well as professional life, is quite astonishing. It has impacted the employees as well as employers. In this article, I will try to mainly focus on the positive impacts of how Covid-19 changed Indian IT Sector.
Work From Home: The New Normal
Over the last 1 year, I have spoken to a lot of people about how they feel about working from home. From those conversations, I started to see a common thread emerge. Although not everyone fully enjoyed this sudden change in their life, people actually started to appreciate it after a few months. Indeed, in the beginning, they were not sure they could be productive at all. They started to question whether working from home would actually work for them.
But almost after a couple of months or so, most of them realized, that with the help of video conferencing systems like Zoom, WebEx, MS Teams, and others, along with messaging apps and email, they were as productive as they were earlier. In some cases, they felt they were even more productive than they were in office.
What Indian IT Sector employees are feeling:
A few days earlier A Pan-India survey was conducted by industry body ASSOCHAM. They have found that most of the employees who started working from home (WFH) after the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns that followed, would prefer to continue working from home. 74 percent of staff would still prefer to continue with work-from-home arrangements even post-lockdown according to the survey conducted by Primus Partners.
This also points out that employers have also seen the benefit in letting employees work from home. Now they can hire people from any location and it also reduced the operational costs like office premises rental or transportation.
According to a survey conducted by Flexjobs findings, “58 percent even said they would look for a new job if they would have to return to the office. Only 2 percent said they would prefer to return, while 11 percent said that remote work was not essential for them. At a third of respondents naming it as their preferred mode of working, the hybrid model that combines office and remote work was also popular.
The M-factor: Money
Undoubtedly the biggest perk of working from home is the M-Factor. Most employers now don’t have to make travel arrangements for employees. Also, big tech companies can rent out their existing office premises. It will potentially save a lot of money. On the other hand, people who were living in some other cities will also benefit from working from home. They can save a lot of money from not staying in any rented apartment for work purposes.
According to the same survey by Flexjob, saving money was the 2nd most reason(75%) why people would love to work from home post-pandemic.
According to a report in the Times of India, in July-September quarter large IT MNCs have witnessed more than 70% annual reduction in their travel expenses. Travel costs at TCS, Wipro, and Infosys—reduced by 65%, 72%, and 75% respectively annually in the quarter ended September 2021.
Commuting Daily to the workplace
According to the U.S Census Bureau, the average American worker spends 26.9 minutes commuting to work every day. For Indians, it is even worse. Indians spend more time in daily office commute than people in most countries in the world. They spend more than 2 hours on the road every day, according to a report by the office commute platform MoveInSync. Now while working from home they can save more than 7% time in a day. Now you can consider the days of heavy rains or high temperatures on the road. This is why in Flexjob’s survey not having to commute to work was ranked as the no. 1 benefit of WFH.
Other concerns about returning to the office include:
- Change in daily routine: 27%
- Being away from family or pets: 26%
- Office politics and distractions: 34%
- Childcare or caregiver responsibilities: 15%
- Lack of health and safety measures (i.e., wearing a mask, social distancing): 32%
- Being required to adhere to health and safety measures: 21%
Employees are more productive
Several studies over the past few months show productivity while working remotely from home is better than working in an office setting. On average, those who work from home spend 10 minutes less a day being unproductive, work one more day a week, and are 47% more productive.
In a workweek, those who work at home are more consistent, work more hours, and get more done. Right away, this doesn’t sound right.
77% of those who work remotely at least a few times per month show increased productivity, with 30% doing more work in less time and 24% doing more work in the same period of time according to a survey by ConnectSolutions.
Attrition Rates: How Covid-19 changed Indian IT Sector
Indian IT giants like TCS, Wipro, Infosys see a heavy difference in attrition rates amongst them. For TCS, attrition rates are lowering, on the other hand, for its competitor, it’s increasing day by day. It seems there is a trade-off between fear factors and war for talent.
Fear Factor-Q1, 21: Low Attrition Rates
In Q1,21 every tech giant saw a rapid decline in attrition rates. Employees were preferring to stay in the same company rather than jumping to another. Even due to this same fear factor, some employees declined lucrative offers. They were even ready to take a pay cut to stay in the same company. On the other hand, IT giants had turned their focus on improving employee utilization and re-skilling talent.
Due to this fear factor, IT companies in these ‘pandemic’ times saw a silver lining in terms of attrition. In the first quarter of the previous fiscal the top three IT Companies- TCS, Infosys, and Wipro reported a significant decline in attrition rates.
War for Talent- Q1, FY22: High Attrition Rates
In TCS, during the March 2021 quarter, the attrition level declined to 7.2 percent (LTM — last 12 months) — the lowest in nearly two years. It may remain the same or lower in the foreseeable future, as per the report by Emkay Global Financial Services.
Although its competitor Infosys reported attrition of 15.2 percent in the quarter ended March 2021. The company had seen such a high rate four quarters back. Wipro saw its attrition increase from 11% to 12.1% over the last three months, ending March 31.
Now as the attrition rates are going high that also means more and more people are switching to a new company. Now due to the Covid-led opportunities, demand for digital niche skills is also increasing. IT employees with these niche skills who are actively hunting for a job are getting almost 50-70% hikes on average. As the demand is at an all-time high and there is a shortage of supply, there is a war for talent in the Indian IT industry, making meatier salaries, bonuses, and perks common again.
Drop Out Rates at the Peak: How Covid-19 changed Indian IT Sector
As more and more people having niche digital skills are switching, they are getting more than 3-4 offers, as the demand is at an all-time high. According to ABC Consulting’s senior director (technology), Ratna Gupta: “Hiring in the IT sector is at its peak and candidates are getting exorbitant offers and better roles across the industry,”.
Drop-out rates i.e the rate at which people are rejecting new offers is also up. According to Randstad India director of staffing Yeshab Giri “It is now 40-50 percent. That is, for every 10 job offers made, 4-5 of them are turning down the offer. This is quite high and difficult for both us and the companies we recruit for to manage to hire”.
This also means that if you are an employee and you are looking for a new job, this is the perfect time to switch.
It’s also high time that employees should concentrate more on the skills that are the difference makers. If you wanna learn more about those skills, I have already written an article for you.
Check out the section which contains the skills which are difference makers.
New Recruitments in Indian IT Sector:
TCS, the company which is one of the largest campus recruiters in India, hired a record 40,000 freshers in FY21 despite the Covid situation. As per multiple sources, they are also going to recruit a similar no. of freshers in the current Fiscal year. TCS also plans to add a similar number of employees in the current financial year. It’s only a matter of time when TCS’s employee strength will cross half-a-million mark it seems.
Other IT Sector giants like Infosys hired almost 16,500 new employees last year alone. They are on their way to add 24,000 new employees and increasing their headcount this year. Infosys at present has a total headcount of 2.59 lakh as of March 31, 2021. Wipro, lead by Rishad Premji also added 15,000 employees in FY21, out of which 9,000 were fresh graduates. Currently, they have a total headcount of 1.97 lakh employees.