Karnataka Minister Dr CN Ashwath Narayan has blamed the current work from anywhere/ home culture implemented by many companies for job losses. Speaking at the Legislative Council on the opening day of session on Monday, September 13, Dr Ashwath Narayan, who is Minister of Higher Education, IT, BT and Skill Development was responding to Congress MLC BK Hariprasad, who had raised the issue of employment. According to The Times of India, Hariprasad had cited a report on the employability of Bengaluru compared to other cities in India. Citing the survey, Hariprasad said that while Hyderabad and Pune have increased employment by 10% and 13% respectively, the same for Bengaluru has risen by 4%. To this, the minister said that the Skill Development Department gives training and makes job seekers equipped with relevant skills, however, the COVID-19 and related restrictions have negatively impacted the process. Further the work from home/ anywhere culture too has impacted employment at local levels, he added.
However, the minister expressed hopefulness in seeing a steady recovery in the economy and jobs in the near future as the COVID-19 situation continues to improve. He also cited government efforts in conducting and organising job fairs and related events where 1.1 lakh people have secured employment.
This is not the first time that politicians have cited WFH policy as a hindrance to the recovery of the jobs market. Earlier in January, when the first wave of infections were waning, BJP MP from Bangalore Central PC Mohan too had said that work from home policy adopted by IT companies was contributing to the slowdown. At that time, Mohan had also said how he would raise the issue with then Chief MInister BS Yediyurappa.
Recently, however, an advisory issued by Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Electronics, IT&BT, EV Ramana Reddy, asking companies to opt for WFH in light of the ongoing metro work on the Outer Ring Road was not well received. He had to issue a clarification that it was only an advisory and was not binding.