We sell the concept of offshore/ outsourcing/ working remotely/ "virtual extension of IT environment" to our clients abroad, but when it comes to offices in India, we have big lavish offices in an IT park with 100s and 1000s of people working from these premises.
Why can’t these teams work remotely from home?
Why don’t we practice what we sell?
In India, we have challenges of infrastructure; load shedding and Internet speed, but imagine being stuck on an average of two hours a day to reach office.
Having a laptop/ small UPS at home more or less takes care of these issues. A dongle backup over the broadband can do the trick.
I feel, its just a mental block of traditional managers. Look at the young generation, their entire conversation with friends is over facetime, whatsapp and the likes of it. These are are going to be the future workforce in the coming years.
There are excellent tools on the cloud for project management/monitoring tools, servers, disk space etc. As long as everyone is online during office hours, it should work. Not to mention the employee satisfaction and increased productivity.
I feel the interaction over online conferencing tools is much more efficient than walking over to a colleague on the next aisle for discussions and ending up with chit chat over a coffee. Too much time wasted over team going out for a coffee/ smoke several times instead of being at their workstations. When they are at the workstations, its purely to impress their boss on time spent in office instead of being productive and meeting deadlines.
There are definite advantages of having a physical office space, but not sure if they are justified enough.
What I’m suggesting above can cater to at lease 80% of the work done at offshore. The ones with sensitive information/ data protection/ call centre and dependence on heavy infrastructure can be avoided, but everything else on software development can be managed well remotely.
Think of the huge cost savings that can be passed on to clients and increased salaries to employees. If required, it can be complimented with periodic face to face meetings and socials to keep that bonding alive.
A food for thought..