Google wants employees back in office three days a week

Google announced that it wants to start a hybrid work model from April 4; Indian companies are also looking at options to restart offices.
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Google has announced that they will be asking employees to come back to work for at least three days a week starting on April 4. This is primarily targeted at employees working in the San Francisco headquarters, as well as other US-based locations.

This change is due to the fall in cases after the Omicron virus has not proven to be as deadly as first feared when it appeared in November.

However, this follows a trend being seen across both the US and India. The tech giants of India, such as Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, Cognizant, and Wipro, have indicated that they would like to promote employees coming back to the office.

These efforts are largely centred around getting employees back on a hybrid model. Infosys is hoping employees will come back for a day or two every week, while Tech Mahindra has also asked employees to come in twice a week starting in April.

Richard Lobo, Head HR and executive VP at Infosys, told Economic Times that he hopes 40-50 percent of the workforce will be working in the office on any given day soon. At present, 96 percent of the staff is working remotely. At Tech Mahindra, nearly 18 percent of staff are working in the office.

In the US, Google seems to be the first company to have announced a "return to work" deadline, but other companies will be eyeing it as well. Apple had wanted to return to offices as early as November 2021, but had been forced to push its plans due to the Omicron outbreak.

However, the American tech giants are not oblivious to the negative employee feedback of such a move either. Publicly listed US companies have to file a 10K filling every year with the SEC, and companies including Amazon, Intel, and PayPal have all mentioned that they understand that changing the status quo of the remote and hybrid models could cost them quality employees in the new normal created by the pandemic.

Data from Naukri.com, cited in a recent Mint article, suggests that these companies are right about employee mindsets. Naukri lists almost 93,000 temporary or permanent remote jobs, but they have seen almost 3.2 million searches for these jobs in the last six months alone. About 57 percent of these searches were looking for permanent remote jobs.

As the pandemic's latest wave seems to be subsiding, the question now becomes whether tech firms can retain talent if they start asking employees to come to the office.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

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