On Tuesday, 28 July 2020, the Government of India announced that it had extended connectivity norms for IT and BPO companies till 31 December 2020. Earlier, the time period for work from home was ending on 31 July 2020.
In a late-night tweet, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) stated, “DoT has further extended the relaxations in the terms and conditions for other service providers up to 31st December 2020 to facilitate work from home in view of the ongoing concern due to COVID- 19” Currently, over 85 percent of the IT staff is working from home and only those performing critical functions are heading to workplaces. In March, the DoT eased some OSP norms until April 30 to facilitate work from home (WFH) in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which was extended till 31 July 2020.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, Google is extending its work from home (WFH) to employees worldwide until June next year, including India. Sunder Pichai, in an email sent to employees, stated that “To give employees the ability to plan ahead, we are extending our global voluntary work from home option through 30 June 2021 for roles that don’t need to be in the office.” The move is expected to impact much of the 200,000 full-time and contract employees across Google and parent Alphabet Inc, including India, where the company is estimated to have about 5,000 employees. India is a major market for Google, with a strong presence in Hyderabad and Bengaluru. Pichai recently unveiled the Google for India Digitization Fund with an investment commitment of 75,000 crores (about $10 billion) over the next 5-7 years to digitize the Indian economy. Google's expansion of the WFH is in line with many MNCs' expansion of its WFH policies as a precautionary measure. E-commerce giant Amazon recently announced that “employees who work in a role that can effectively be done from home are welcome to do so until 8 January 2021.” Alok Ohrie, president and managing director, Dell Technologies, stated that 100 percent of its workforce in India is enabled to WFH even before the COVID-19 crisis. Manoj Bhat, CFO of Tech Mahindra, stated that they will also eventually have close to 25- 30 percent of its employees in work from the home sphere permanently. “Now more than 90 percent of people are working from home. Customers are appreciating that we have been able to meet expectations in terms of service delivery. To me, overall long term, 25-30 percent will be permanent WFH.” He further stated, “Given the current uncertainty, working from offices will be a very small number, potentially at least for one or two quarters” In a previous statement, the company said that less than one-third of employees are currently working out of office. Earlier, some of the service lines, such as business process services, encountered difficulties as employees worked from home.