hybrid work: Back to office: Companies create strategies to bring employees back to office

From inviting employees to attend weekly meetings in a pub or a restaurant to creating workplaces where new parents can bring their child along; companies including the information technology (IT) majors are creating strategies for encouraging more people to start coming back to office.

Companies are starting to realise that a large portion of their employees are getting used to working from home that was started due to the Covid pandemic.

Many companies now want more employees to come back to office, but are facing some resistance.

In sectors such as IT, where attrition is at its highest, companies are looking to motivate employees to come to office rather than a high handed approach. Some of them have even hired consultants to figure out the strategy so that more employees could come back to office.

“While our overall experience with remote work has been good, we believe that for optimal engagement and productivity, renewing and creating fresh social equity is essential; for which in person connect and activities help immensely, We have ideated our approach on return to work along with our employees and have got great ideas and suggestions and are working on implementing some of these solutions,” said Richard Lobo, Head HR,


The company currently has 94% of its workforce working from remote locations but is looking to increase this in the coming three to four months. The company has been asking employees to give suggestions as well.

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“Consistent feedback and learning have helped us improve our offerings on employee experience and we will enhance these further with solutions around relocation assistance, transportation, and childcare options including in-campus facilities, health care benefits, and so on. We believe that these solutions are more useful to employees than any direct financial incentive,” said Lobo.

“Many companies have seen better team engagement, higher productivity and drop in attrition levels as teams have started coming back but they are keeping elements of hybrid and virtual opportunities available. Getting employees back has not been easy – companies have had to go back to redefining their employer brands and create excitement through events and parties to engage talent,” Nitin Sethi, partner and CEO, India for human capital solutions at Aon, said

“Workforces over a span of just three years are moving toward boundaryless careers and employees can work from anywhere. This emerging development coupled with remote working and the growth of digital transformation outpacing the supply of adequately skilled tech talent is leading to a change in company culture,” a

spokesperson said.

Companies including Infosys and Wipro would continue the hybrid model.

Many other large companies too are looking to continue with these models, but say that certain functional heads and employees would be required to come to office at least once in a while.

Talking to ET, CEO of a professional services firm said that strategies such as throwing welcome parties or conducting meetings in a pub or a restaurant aren’t working. “They (employees) come to these parties, but they don’t come to the office thereafter. Many of them have moved back to their home towns in smaller cities, and would rather work in a family business or some small firm than attend offices,” he said.

People in the know said that in certain cases companies are also wary of the security aspect when an employee is working remotely. “Especially, in certain sensitive assignments where client confidentiality is paramount. Often we have to rope in investigators just to monitor our own employees, which tends to add to the existing costs,” a senior executive working in a large IT firm told ET.

Many companies have also sought opinions from consultancy firms on how to stop attrition in IT companies. Many firms claim that WFH is one of the biggest contributors to attrition.

Industry experts also say that some of the benefits of a corporate job, such as socialising with colleagues, travelling, and staying in plush hotels or offsite, are curtailed due to the pandemic. This has left employees with the “core of the job” that is merely working, which could become boring.

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