Wipro lays off 300 employees for layoffs, what’s next?
New Delhi: As IT major Wipro lays off 300 employees for job postings – working for rival firms while drawing full-time salaries at the software firm – industry experts on Thursday said IT companies need to clarify their employment policies and workplace work as a work-from-home (WFH) culture. in the IT sector has apparently led to similar work practices.
Amid the debate over what is right and wrong for employees to stay home and work, some leading IT and cloud firms, fearing a backlash from employees if they sign up, told IANS that such practices actually are unethical and WFH have their hands tied as they cannot monitor what their employees are doing from the confines of their homes.
At this point, CP Gurnani, CEO and Managing Director of Tech Mahindra, came in support of hiring by the tech giants, saying that “If someone meets the efficiency and productivity norms and wants to make a little extra money, I have no problem. I would like to turn it into a policy. So if you want to do it, cheers for it, but be open about it.
Shrijay Sheth, founder of Legalwiz.in, told IANS that the problem with homeworking is not just about multiple jobs.
“A bigger issue that employers face has to do with work ethic, integrity and priorities. Since working from home is now mainstream, working at a job is a common secondary income stream. While many agree with employees engaging in alternative activities during extended working hours, some people working at work are actually dual workers,” explained Sheth.
There are also fears of data sharing and intellectual property (IP) theft.
Most modern businesses are based on intellectual property, know-how and data, and there is always a risk of data and knowledge leakage, particularly when work is done for competing companies.
“Many companies rightly expect their employees to be advocates for their brand. Many don’t even claim work credentials on their public social profiles simply because they run a competing “freelance” business in the same field. This is becoming very common in ITES and other service industries,” noted Sheth.
On-demand delivery platform Swiggy introduced a new ‘Moonlighting’ policy last month for its employees that will allow them to take on external projects to earn more money.
Swiggy said this could include off-hours or weekend activity that does not impact their full-time job performance or has a conflict of interest with the company’s business in any way.
And all hell broke loose.
Mohandas Pai, former director of Infosys, believes that “Moon job is not a scam”.
“Employment is a contract between an employer who pays me to work for him ‘n’ number of hours per day. Now what I do after this time is my freedom, I can do whatever I want,” according to Pai.
TCS has also termed moonlighting as an ethical issue. Infosys issued a letter to employees strictly prohibiting them from practicing moonlighting, saying, “No double work, no moonlighting and no double life.”
The IT specialist has sent an email to his staff saying that it is now mandatory for everyone to work from the office at least three days a week.
Amidst the uproar over moonlighting in India, cloud major IBM last week made it clear that the practice is unethical and the company does not encourage such behavior in the workplace.
According to Sheth, it is best for businesses to clarify their policies.
“Employment contracts should explicitly set out employers’ tolerance of undeclared work and provide guidance on what is acceptable, if at all. This can help formally alleviate conflicts and frictions around the issue,” he noted.
However, a shell-shocked workforce of millions working from home could revolt against their bosses if more layoffs occur in the ranks of IT firms.