Earning more money becomes difficult for techies as after Infosys and Wipro, managing director of big IT firm says overtime is not ethical

Managing Director of IBM India, Sandeep Patel, has also opined that doing overtime, or having employees take on other projects while working for a company, is unethical. Endorsing what Wipro President Rashad Premji had said on the issue, Patel said: “You know Raishad’s position on this subject. I share Rashad’s position.”

Mumbai: Overtime has become quite the buzz lately with major IT companies Infosys and Wipro opposing the practice. Infosys has even warned its employees that the extra work could result in the termination of their contracts. Overtime is the practice of holding a second job in addition to regular work.
While it may be a boon for many techies to enable them to earn extra income apart from their salary, it may become difficult for IBM employees as the company joins the IT industry chorus of working overtime, calling the overtime practice “unethical”.

IBM India MD by moonlight

Managing Director of IBM India, Sandeep Patel, has also opined that doing overtime, or having employees take on other projects while working for a company, is unethical. Endorsing what Wipro President Rashad Premji had said on the issue, Patel said: “You know Raishad’s position on this subject. I share Rashad’s position.”

When people are employed by IBM, they sign an agreement confirming that they will only work for the company. “So, no matter what people can do with the rest of their time, it is not ethical for them to do so. That is my position,” Patel emphasized at the IBM Think conference in Mumbai on Wednesday.

His statement comes after Infosys, a Bengaluru-based IT services provider, warned employees that the extra work could lead to termination of their contracts. Opposing this view, Tech Mahindra is considering a policy that would allow overtime.

Quantum computing in India

In a separate interview with the Economic Times later in the day, Patel said that his company has outlined a broad roadmap for the growth of quantum computing in India. He said that the evolution of computing from supercomputers to quantum computing should include solving real-world problems.

“There are four aspects to making this real in any market – skills and training, building ecosystems, looking at industry and institutions in terms of identifying real use cases and working with government on regulation and public policy,” Patel added. .

The Indian Institute of Technology in Madras has announced it has joined the IBM Quantum Network, making it the first Indian organization to join a network of more than 180 members of the US tech company, the IT company announced earlier this week.

He also spoke about the talent crisis, noting that the company is focusing on expanding its presence across emerging cities (tier 2 and tier 3 cities) to tap talent. “Through the pandemic, we have seen a lot of our professionals migrate to their hometowns. This migration has not been completely reversed – which is why across the industry we have had to move and accept more of the hybrid business model,” Patel said.

WFH in Red Hat

Meanwhile, IBM subsidiary Red Hat will continue to work from home. With Covid still a concern for colleagues caring for immunocompromised loved ones, a Red Hatter is not required in an office if they do not wish to return.

“We’ve expanded flexibility by giving the majority of our partners the freedom to be ‘office flex.’ While some of our tech peers pull employees into the office, we don’t think our workforce needs to be in an office in order to succeed – we’ve seen the value of saving Flexibility,” Jennifer Dudek, Senior Vice President and Head of Personnel at Red Hat, said.

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