April 9, 2021

As the pandemic eases, company leaders must now make important decisions about where employees work and when they will return to the office. Having lived through a massive, unplanned experiment in remote work, many companies are re-evaluating their office needs.

TCS has been one of them, and I impart our lessons in my article in the latest issue of TCS Perspectives. We, like many other large companies worldwide, have been weighing the benefits and drawbacks of remote work, and analyzing whether employees are more or less productive at home. We have been evaluating which jobs need to be centralized, and which can be better done remotely.

In our case, we shifted more than 450,000 employees in 285 offices in 46 countries to working from home as COVID-19 spread last year. The experience was eye-opening for us, at so many levels. My article goes into these lessons.

Here are a few tidbits to tease your interest: We have found that our employees are more productive working remotely, their satisfaction metrics are rising, and they are spending more time on virtual training curricula. In client projects, we are seeing improved velocity and throughput, and we have honored our commitments to clients and their satisfaction levels have also improved. The results have been so beneficial that we have announced a forward-looking operating model, in which by 2025, we can be 100% productive if 25% of our employees work from TCS facilities.

In my article, I share five principles for organizations that want to succeed with remote work for the long term. The principles touch upon issues as varied as workplace design, remote governance and manager-subordinate interactions. They address how technologies, such as automation, augmented and virtual reality, and digital benchmarking tools, can contribute to a thriving remote working culture.

Looking forward, we believe remote work offers every large company substantial benefits: higher productivity, creates an open and collaborative culture, and attracts exceptional talent. My TCS Perspectives article (“Creating a Thriving Remote, Secure and Agile Workplace”) explains how to make this possible.

Subramaniam (NGS) is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of TCS since February 2017. NGS is also an Additional Director and Chairman of Tata Elxsi Limited since November, 2014.

He has held many key leadership positions in TCS across Client Delivery, Business Development, integration of businesses and Product Development. As head of Banking and Financial Services practice for TCS for close to five years, he was instrumental in consolidating TCS’s knowledge base, calibrating domain centric offerings, creating opportunities and laid the foundation for its verticalization.

NGS joined TCS in 1982 after completing his Masters in Mathematics from University of Madras and has had the benefit of attending various training programs including the Executive program for Growing Companies at Stanford University.