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How did TCS involve its employees in the major shift to the Work From Home model?

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Rakesh Wadhwa:

It is a massive decision, you know truly a remarkable decision. How did you involve your employees in such a decision process? That's the first question. TCS is planning to move a significant portion of the workforce to work from home. Will that not impact their ability to invite the organization, culture, and values? Because physical space is a big part of the culture as well. How do you plan to equip your employees in a way to ensure that productivity and motivation remain high?

 

Rajshree R:

I think I want to clarify a few things. One, it's not a mandate. It is a, I would call it a more cultural shift.

So we are not saying that you should not come to the office 75% percent of the time or 75% of the people should not come to the office. We are not planning to shut down our offices. But we are saying that the option should be with you.

I'm just bored sitting at home. We are not saying that you should not go to work. We are only saying that your going to office should be dictated by what you want to do and how you want to manage your work. We are definitely not saying that this is replacing an old model.

We in fact believe in the whole concept of the culture. We are social animals.  So talking to people, meeting people, meeting clients, meeting our associates is a very important part of our culture, but what we are saying that it's not a rule anymore.

We don't do it, but we know a lot of companies measure timesheets. They mandate nine hours working in the office and it's very difficult for everybody to get to that model. I know a lot of people who pick jobs based on where the office is located in the city.

Isn't that creating inefficiencies in our system? So all we're saying is that, make it an option. We are never going to go away from a model where collaboration does not happen.

But as you can see, a lot of things I talked about is about mindset shifts. I always used to hate when somebody said, Hey, that person is working very hard because he's coming on a weekend. But that cannot be a measure of our efficiency as an employee.

To me, that strikes me. And I think what we are doing is what I would call a culture shift. Of course, we are backing it up with a lot of technology shift and infrastructure shifts, but it's not a mandate. If a hundred percent of people want to come to work, they're happy to come to work.

Why we stated this as a vision and not as a mandate, clearly it's not a mandate, is because we found there were a lot of advantages of this in the market. There are a lot of things which are working on better in this model. And we've all discovered that, right? I used to travel extensively. I used to make at least 15, 16 international trips every year, you know, jet lag, health, travel visas. I'm so happy to be doing an event where I don't have to go through all of that. Of course. I'm not saying I'm not going to do a hundred percent of those events. I will travel, but not maybe 15 times a year. I'll probably do it four times a year. It is a cultural shift.

 There are a lot of things we have to do to enable collaboration. We are not physical intimacy at all.

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