Infosys Mandates Three-Day Office Work: Report

Infosys mandates three-day office work, citing low return compliance. Founder Narayana Murthy's work hour concerns fuel debate.

Dec 12, 2023 - 03:24
Dec 16, 2023 - 05:29
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Infosys Mandates Three-Day Office Work: Report

In a significant policy shift, Infosys, the Bengaluru-based IT giant, has mandated that its employees work from the office at least three days a week, according to an Economic Times report. The decision comes after repeated calls from top management to restore regular office routines saw low compliance from the workforce.

An email from the company's top management conveyed the directive: "Please start coming to the office at least 3 days a week. It will become mandatory very shortly." This move aims to bring a semblance of normalcy to office operations after a prolonged period of remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Expressing dissatisfaction with the modest response to return-to-office appeals, the email emphasized that the three-year work-from-home arrangement post-Covid was deemed sufficient. The company clarified that, except for medical reasons, employees are expected to resume regular office attendance.

Sources suggest that the management has expressed discontent with the company's delivery units (DUs) being underutilized. This prompted a call for immediate attendance at campuses housing offshore development centers (ODCs) for clients. However, the company is open to considering health-related requests from employees on a case-by-case basis.

In addition to the mandatory attendance issue, another email from Infosys announced the reinstatement of charges for bus services, set at ₹150 per day with a monthly cap of ₹1,500, effective from January 3, next year. Similarly, health club facilities will incur a daily charge of ₹100, capped at ₹700 per month, starting January 1, 2024.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, eligible Infosys employees could work from home for nine days each month. This new directive, if implemented, will mark a return to the attendance system prevalent before the pandemic-induced lockdown in early 2020.

In a related development, Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy had expressed concerns about India's work productivity in October. He suggested that youngsters should work for a minimum of 70 hours per week if the country wanted to compete with emerging economies. This statement triggered widespread debate on social media.

Narayana Murthy's comment was met with controversy, especially considering the evolving global perspective on work hours. A few days later, Microsoft founder Bill Gates offered a contrasting viewpoint. He advocated for a 3-day work week, emphasizing that "job is not everything" and suggesting that AI advancements could free up labor.

In an episode of Trevor Noah’s “What Now?”, Gates stated, “The purpose of life is not just to do jobs. So if you eventually get a society where you only have to work three days a week or something, that's probably OK.”

These contrasting perspectives from influential figures have ignited a renewed debate on work hours, productivity, and the evolving nature of work in the modern era. The discussions also highlight the challenges faced by companies in navigating the delicate balance between remote work and returning to traditional office setups.

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