Wipro: Get back to the office for three days a week or else

Still, at least it isn't forcing everyone to wear smart casuals...

Indian outsourcing titan Wipro is mandating a return to the office for three days a week and there will be repercussions for staff that fail to comply.

The Bengaluru-based biz indicated in a leaked email that around 55 percent of its staff worked in-person on site for the requisite three days a week since May. The IT giant employs nearly 245,000 people worldwide.

However, in the middle of this month Wipro will shift from encouraging employees to come back to the office and instead initiate a mandatory policy.

“Starting November 15, all employees must be present at their assigned office location for at least three days each week. This change aims to enhance teamwork, facilitate face-to-face interactions, and strengthen Wipro's culture,” stated an email from Saurabh Govil, chief human resource officer, according to local reports.

The way this rolls out will be based on where an employee lives, and Wipro will need to negotiate with unions or other employees reps.

A spokesperson at Wipro told us:

"Since the onset of the pandemic, Wipro has adopted a flexible workplace approach, with the goal of prioritizing the well-being of our employees while aligning to our clients’ evolving needs and ensuring our talent’s professional growth.

"Since May of this year, we have been encouraging our employees to work from the office three times a week. This approach has afforded our employees the flexibility of remote work, while allowing our teams to exchange ideas and experiences in real-time, build stronger relationships at work, and access new opportunities through expanded networks. Currently, approximately 55% of our employees are coming to the office three days a week.

"Recognizing the immense benefits of in-person collaboration and innovation, we are now taking the next step in our workplace policy evolution and requiring all employees to work from the office three days a week, effective November 15, 2023. We strongly believe that in-person interactions are critical to the professional development of our talent as well as to our success in driving ongoing innovation for clients. We look forward to welcoming all our employees to the office."

Those on the Infosys payroll that refuse to return, as required, may well face punishment by January, the email states but did not specify what form any potential disciplinary action it will take, and Wipro didn't respond to our question.

That Wipro is making the move now isn’t a great surprise, many of its peers have also instigated a return to the office including Infosys, which asked staff to come on site for 10 days a month and Tata Consultancy Services, which made it compulsory for its people to work on site five days a week.

TCS also told staff they’d need to wear “business casuals” from Monday to Thursday and ’smart casuals’ on Friday. Biz suits are requisite wear at corporate events, however.

Many tech vendors in the West are also adopting a more traditional approach to work attendance, and some that initially made grand proclamations about the place of work never being the same again have since rowed back on those pledges. Dell is perhaps the one that springs most obviously to mind, yet it isn’t alone.

Meta, Google, Amazon, TikTok, Zoom, Salesforce, Roblox, IBM and more have all formally asked staff to return to the corporate workplace.

Dropbox and Nvidia are still among the outliers that are operating a very flexible work from home policy. ®

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