New Delhi: Working from home could become a permanent feature for some job profiles, with location constraints no longer a problem, as executives at leading companies said it improved productivity during the ongoing pandemic.
“Remote working is shaping up well and has brought many people into the workforce who were earlier hampered by personal commitments,” the Economic Times quoted Laxman Narasimhan, global chief executive officer at healthcare maker Reckitt Benckiser as saying at the CII-FMCG Summit on Wednesday. “People don’t have to travel for hours every day and there is lots of flexibility.”
Reckitt Benckiser has about 40,000 employees worldwide and counts India as a core growth market.
“The 9 am-to-5 pm working hours are a thing of the past,” the publication quoted Britannia Industries managing director Varun Berry as saying. “At some stage, working from office may come back, but it still may not be what it used to be.”
Worth mentioning here is that both Britannia and Reckitt Benckiser logged record sales during the pandemic this year and returned to 100% production capacity a month after the nationwide lockdown was implemented.
According to a report by tech solutions provider WorkInSync, only 10% of employees returned to office at the end of November compared to March as fears of getting affected by the Covid-19 virus still persists.
However, according to CEOs the only downside of work from home was that new recruits and trainees were unable to observe seniors at work. Companies are working on hybrid models to address this issue.
“When work from home started, we had apprehensions since in metros the transit time is two-three hours. But as it turns out, work from home has improved productivity and the flexibility to bring in more women into the workforce,” Marico MD Saugata Gupta told the business daily.
Gupta said Marico was working out multiple models to integrate trainees with the organisation’s culture. Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages, Coca-Cola India’s largest bottling partner with 6,500 direct employees, had allowed a significant chunk of its workforce to permanently work from home. The option is available to employees who need not be physically present at factories or sales locations.
It may be noted that last month, the government eased guidelines on work-from-home and work-from-anywhere norms for business process outsourcing and IT-enabled service companies, allowing them to tap into talent from small towns and remote parts of the country.
IT companies Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Wipro have said they will let the majority of their employees continue to work from home till March.
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