Time to end the WFH: HD Srinivas Rao

Hyderabad: Telangana State Director of Public Health and Family Welfare Dr G. Srinivasa Rao on Tuesday stated that the third wave of Covid-19 has almost come to an end and it was time to put an end to Work From Home (WFH) and people return to their office spaces. The Director said the third wave which began on December 28 and peaked on January 28 has since been on the decline. He said that the infection rate has come down to the minimum and the daily positivity rate which had gone to 5 percent at the peak has now dropped to lower than 2 percent even as he stressed COVID-appropriate behaviour and vaccination.

He declared that it was time to remove the WFH and return to offices. He also called for conducting physical classes for educational institutions. Another reason he stated for people to return to work and schools was that it was leading to mental and health problems among people and children. Psychological disorders were being recorded among people apart from issues like disorientation and inability to focus.

In a specific call to the IT companies to resume work from the office, the director of public health said the WFH was affecting the livelihood opportunities for people employed in allied services.

There is a possibility that IT companies will open up the doors to offices in the coming two weeks. Startups and small companies that have suffered losses over the past two years are looking to recall staff. Meanwhile, Bharani Kumar Aroll, President, Hyderabad Software Employees Association (HYSEA), said that IT companies are safe places to work now and have all the safety security measures in place.

Most of the IT giants like Google, Microsoft, Wipro, Virtusa, etc., have declared work from home for their employees till May this year. But the smaller companies are slowly limping back to normal or trying the Hybrid model of work. A majority of Hyderabad’s IT/ITeS companies feel a complete return to the office may be a thing of the past and a hybrid model is the future of work, a HYSEA survey titled `Future work models has found.

According to the survey, small companies (with less than 500 employees) seem to have moved first in getting employees back to offices with nearly 20% of companies having over 20% staff on work from office (WFO), as compared to just 5% WFO in the MLVL segment, which averages out to nearly 76% companies having less than 9% WFO component in the city. In an indication that a significant shift to WFO might happen only in 2022, nearly 79% of the companies (including MLVL) said they expect anywhere from 30% to 90% employees on WFO by March 2022, which translates to a minimum of 2 lakh and maximum of 5 lakh employees back in offices by March next year, Bharani Kumar Aroll stated in August 2021 in a Times of India report.

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