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Infosys Founder Narayan Murthy Says Work from Home Lowers Productivity, But Employees Say This is Debatable

Infosys founder Narayan Murthy recently said the work from home has lowered productivity of employees, and that they must work from office

Infosys founder Narayan Murthy kicked up a debate when he recently mentioned that he was not a fan of work from home as it “lowers productivity”. Murthy is of the view that work from office was needed as there has to be a demarcation between office and work. With the world resuming normalcy once again, Infosys cofounder is of the view that employees must start coming back to office as well. 

“When people work from home, that institutional culture will slowly become weaker and weaker,” said Murthy at a Deccan Herald event last month. However, these comments have given rise to a wide range of debates on whether or not employees should be called to office. While some have agreed with the views of the Infosys cofounder, others state that the new way of working is hybrid, and all companies have to now provide this option.

Why Infosys Founder Is Wrong on Work From Home, According to Employees

Work from Home Has Increased Productivity: A section of IT employees claim that work from home has increased their productivity instead of decreasing it as a result of the time they have saved due to not having to commute to office. “Working from office is expensive since you waste 2-4 hours commuting, in any part of the world. If work can be done from home why go to office? People are ready to leave job if forced to come back to office,” says Shakti on Twitter. 

Another employee echoes a similar view, and claims that his productivity and personal life is better without travel. “I’d disagree. My both office productivity and personal life is better with no travel. If companies force for work from office, they will see attrition like never before. A lot of small and good Europe, Dubai and USA based companies have opened offices in India and are offering permanent work from home,” says Vinay.

Employees Have Migrated to Hometowns during the Pandemic: Several people decided to move back to their hometowns to take care of aging parents, and other similar reasons owing to the pandemic, and are subsequently finding it difficult to move back. “I moved to my hometown in Mangalore during the pandemic when both my parents got infected with COVID. Work from home offers me the flexibility to work in my preferred area of expertise, while also allowing me to care for my aged parents. I believe work from home should be an option for people like us at least,” said Anuj, an IT employee to Dataquest.

Work from Office Means Lesser Carbon Footprint: SK Mohanty says on Twitter that all IT companies must consider work from home for the following reasons: “IT companies should explore the long term work from home option more critically. It has a far lower carbon foot print,  less expenses on rent, and electricity for the company and no travel related stress for employees. Yes some employees will cheat. So companies have to improve their monitoring and pay too.

Work from Home Has Been a Boon for Women: A recent study, conducted by US-based professional services firm Seramount, recently found that the number of women working in IT resigning has reduced by nearly half in 2021 compared to the previous year. The data released by Avatar said that attrition among women declined about 40% at the non-managerial level. “Work from home has been a blessing for me. I could not have managed to work from office as my children had online classes from the past two years. I have been able to give them time while also working at my convenience throughout the day,” said Manisha, an IT employee to Dataquest.

Why Infosys Founder Is Right on Work From Home, According to Employees

Unable To Train Freshers and Interns: While companies have been able to hold experienced employees accountable, some have had issues training interns and freshers, and also in keeping tabs on what they do. “We have had a lot os issues training freshers from a distance. They haven’t been able to understand our organisation’s culture, and are also not able to collaborate. This has also resulted in a lot more resignations as several interns and freshers have not been able to understand their job responsibilities and fulfil what was required of them,” said Prakash, a team lead at a prominent IT company.

“Even our office called back everyone because of lower productivity from interns and freshers. They would go out during working hours but show themselves Available on chat. A few got caught and then brought back to office,” says another view from an employee.

Extended Working Hours, and No Demarcation Between Professional and Personal Life: The biggest issue with work from home, according to several IT employees, has been that they have been working for as much as 14 hours a day. “Traveling to the office may be hell for certain companies. But work from home for both employees and families. Today’s generation think  productivity means endless video calls. Our forefathers built mighty industries with just basic phones, fax, and telex,” says Thejendra on Twitter. “Work from home is over-rated. Pioneers in IT Industry have accepted that ideation has taken a hit and highlighted that people need to be together physically,” says another. 

“My personal opinion is the same. Work should not come back to home for a work-life balance and that is possible only if office and home are separated. Working in office with team is also essential for personal development. Return to office must be a priority for corporates,” says Ranjeet Kumar. Along similar lines, “True. Home is the place where we find peace! If that turns out to be a working place, then people go out in search of peace. Working place and a rest place should be different,” says Likhith RK.

Ruchi Nirvana says on Twitter that she wishes her husband goes to office as he works endlessly at home. “My husband works 13 hours daily 7am to 8pm from home. He eats lunch at desk at 3pm and gets up once for restroom break. I want him gone to office, at least he will break for lunch 30 minutes and leave at 5 to 6pm. Endless at home,” she says. 

Moonlighting is Becoming as Issue: Some people are of the view that productivity is also decreasing as moonlighting, wherein employees secretly work for other companies and take up additional roles, is also on the rise. “Actually company’s top leadership is worried about employees Moonlighting. Brilliant employees who are paid less will resort to moonlighting. So the solution is to keep employees in front of the eyes as long as possible,” says Pankaj Malviya on Twitter. 

Project Delays Due to “No Power and Internet” Issues: Work from home is also apparently leading to breaching deadlines and delays in delivering commitments due to internet and power failure issues. “There has been project delays and declined productivity during work from home. ‘No power’, ‘weak internet’ (may be fake excuses) in many home towns. So there is a huge recruitment drive in all companies to clear project backlogs,” says another view on Twitter from a user called Bharateeya.

Hybrid Offers the Best of Both Worlds

A predominant view that came across from this debate is that companies should adopt the hybrid way for working for it offers the best of both worlds. “Hybrid model offers flexibility of both the worlds. You can interact with colleagues when working from office and also get to spend some quality time with family when working from home,” said Varun to Dataquest.

Radha, who has been a working mother from the past two decades said, “My company had the option of work from office and work from home (similar to the hybrid model) even pre-covid. I have been working in the hybrid set-up since long. It provides me the flexibility to manage family and work effectively.”

Although several companies have resumed offices with COVID-19 cases declining in India, companies may have to keep the hybrid working and work from home options as experts predict another wave to strike the country in future. In the meanwhile, viewers are free to leave their views in the comment section below.

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