Currently, less than one percent of employees are working from office. The company has said any shift made by employees is voluntary.
Tech Mahindra employees are packing their bags and shifting to a company guest house as the lockdown in Pune comes into force on July 13.
The message, some employees pointed out, has come suddenly. Duration of stay would be close to 10 days, the duration of the lockdown, they added.
These employees primarily include those who are working on critical projects. There are also employees whose clients are yet to give permission to work from home, said techies.
The Maharashtra government imposed a 10-day lockdown in Pune from July 13 to July 23 to control the spread of COVID-19, which continued to increase in the region. The latest order allowed IT companies to work only at 15 percent capacity, while others can operate at 50 percent capacity.
Why would companies shift employees to their guesthouses when they are working at 15 percent capacity? Especially when IT firms have enabled work from home (WFH) for more than 95 percent of the workforce.
For one, not all employees can work from home. Tech Mahindra spokesperson said in a statement that less than 1 per cent employees are currently operating from offices for running critical engagements which cannot be moved to home.
In addition, the spokesperson said in the statement, “Given that some of our associates have to travel from or through containment zones, we have provided an option to stay at our guest house. Associates who are currently staying at our guest house have voluntarily opted to avoid the daily risk of travel.”
Apart from Tech Mahindra, another top IT firm too has asked some of its employees to move to a hotel as the lockdown began in the city. An employee of the firm pointed out that the company has given them an option to move to a hotel since the project they are working on could not get client permission.
“We were given the option to move to hotel for 10 days,” the employee added.
Though it is optional, employees added that the worry over the consequence of non-compliance is a huge deciding factor.Harpreet Saluja, General Secretary, National Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES), pointed out that the announcement was sudden and employees fear that non-compliance might result in termination of job or loss of pay.