India IT giant Infosys hints at reopening offices amid third wave warning
Infosys Technologies Ltd headquarters in Bangalore in the South Indian state of Karnataka (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)
INDIAN information technology giant Infosys told its employees last week that they could restart work from offices, according to a memo witnessed by Reuters. The indication offers an early sign of the country’s technologies services sector worth $190 billion getting back on track.
The company, which is headquartered in Bangalore in the southern state of Karnataka, stopped short of calling all its employees back to office, reflecting a wider caution that has been taken across the sector as authorities and experts have warned about a possible third wave of the Covid-19 infections hitting the country.
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India, which has seen more than 31 million people affected by the virus and more than 410,000 dead, has found itself overcoming a devastating second wave over the past few months.
Although the rate of infections has come down, experts have warned the state governments and common man not to become complacent against the virus, cautioning the third wave was inevitable.
Other sectors like aviation and manufacturing had to call some staff members back to their sites or were staying fully shut as the pandemic hit travel and many states had imposed lockdowns to curb the spread of infections.
Infosys said in its memo that the country’s safety situation seemed to be improving, particularly with a growing vaccination drive, Reuters said, adding that the company did not respond to its request for a reaction on the memo.
“We have been getting requests from certain accounts to allow their team members to work from Infosys campuses. In addition, some of our employees have also been asking to come back and start working from office, as a personal preference,” the company said.
Infosys said last week that roughly 99 per cent of its staff was working from home and the company would make efforts to get “more and more people to come to office” over the next couple of quarters.
TCS looks to vaccinate all its employees by September
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Ltd, India’s biggest outsourcer, said earlier in July that it hoped to inoculate all its employees and their families by September.
“Recognizing that vaccination was our best bet to an early return to normalcy, we undertook a pan-India vaccination drive that began in May,” TCS chief executive officer and managing director Rajesh Gopinathan said, adding that 70 per cent of the company’s staff had been fully or partially vaccinated so far.
Other firms like Wipro said they will have to wait till September to get their employees back to work.
Thousands of tech employees in India have grown comfortable with the working from home arrangement since the lockdown started and some managers in the sector say privately that they are worried about their ability to get workers back on site when the situation improves.