IT services firm Tata Consultancy Services employs around 448,000 people around the world, of which 19,000 work across the UK and Ireland, based in the organisation’s offices and those of its clients. Ramkumar Chandrasekaran, HR director in the UK and Ireland, says: “When the threat of the pandemic started to become apparent, there was a lot of concern among employees so we made sure their wellbeing was the focus of our planning. As well as taking proactive measures, such as cancelling events and large internal meetings, we took steps to enable them to securely work from home.”
Within three weeks, almost 95% of its global workforce was able to work from home using the organisation’s secure borderless workspaces model. This provides employees with a digital workspace with all the connectivity, tools and security required to work remotely. “Employees love it,” says Chandrasekaran. “They can work as normal, collaborating digitally with colleagues and delivering the same services to clients, but with the reassurance and flexibility of being at home.”
The employer has also introduced a range of wellbeing benefits to support employees working remotely. These include an employee assistance programme (EAP), health information and advice, and a virtual engagement team set up by the HR department to promote wellbeing and to help keep employees connected.
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While the switch to remote working was driven by the pandemic, the organisation is using the experience to shape policy going forward. “Our vision is that, by 2025, only 25% of our workforce will need to work out of our offices at any time, with employees only required to spend 25% of their time in our facilities to be 100% effective,” explains Chandrasekaran. “We have been really encouraged by the way employees have adopted remote working during the pandemic. We could have waited to announce this change but, in a time of anxiety and uncertainty, we think it helps to reassure our employees that they are such an important part of our future.”