Outsourcing giant Infosys Limited last week told employees they could resume work from offices, according to a memo seen by Reuters that is an early sign that the country’s $190 billion technology services sector is getting back on track.
The Bengaluru-based IT services company has stopped calling all employees to return to work, reflecting increased industry caution as Indian officials warn of the looming threat of a third wave of COVID-19 infections.
Still, after a devastating second wave of infections in May, the country’s daily numbers are about one-tenth from their peak, with the number of infections falling to the lowest in four months on Tuesday.
Health experts have appealed to state governments and citizens not to lower their vigilance against COVID-19, saying a third wave was inevitable.
Other industries, such as aviation and manufacturing, have had to recall some workers to locations, or remain completely closed as the pandemic disrupted travel and many states imposed lockdowns to curb the rising number of cases.
In its memo, Infosys said the country’s security situation appears to be improving, with vaccination rates growing. Infosys did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment on the memo.
The company said it had been operating in emergency mode for months, but noted that the situation in the country is now improving.
“We’ve had requests from certain accounts to have their team members work from Infosys campuses. In addition, some of our employees have also asked to come back and work from the office, as a personal preference.”
After reporting the results last week, Infosys executives told analysts that about 99 percent of its workforce was working from home and that the company would make an effort to “let more and more people come to the office” in the coming quarters.
The government has launched a campaign to vaccinate the country’s approximately 950 million adults by the end of the year. So far, about nine percent of the adult population has been fully vaccinated with a mandatory second dose.
But after a disastrous second wave in April and May, which sent deaths to more than 400,000, many companies are holding back and focusing on getting more workers vaccinated.
The country’s software services sector, which provides critical services to some of the world’s largest companies, including banks and retailers, struggled when the pandemic first hit the country last year.
Thousands of tech workers have since become accustomed to working from home, and some industry executives privately say they are concerned about their ability to get workers back on site if and when the situation improves.
Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, the country’s largest outsourcer, said earlier this month it hopes to vaccinate all its employees and their families by September.
“Realizing that vaccination was our best bet to return to normal soon, we undertook a pan-Indian vaccination campaign that began in May,” said Chief Executive Officer Rajesh Gopinathan, adding that 70 percent of the company’s workforce is entirely or partially had been vaccinated so far.
Other companies such as Wipro have said they will wait until September to get staff back to work.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)