In what could be considered as a game changing move if it becomes a reality, Infosys is considering the idea to permanently let about one third of its employees to work from home. Infosys is considered as one of the leading companies in the software and Information Technology (IT) sector in India, as well as the world. This Indian IT giant is always at the forefront of innovation and setting new market trends for others to follow.
Many companies and organizations across the globe and India have been forced to shift to a remote working model due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision to work remotely is because the virus is highly contagious and can spread very quickly. Infosys might become one of the first companies to consider a plan for transitioning a large part of its employees into remote work, permanently.
In an interview with a popular business news daily, Infosys’s Head of Human Resources and Executive Vice President, Richard Lobo said “Once things are normal, over a period of time, probably 50 per cent of employees will come to office and the rest will work from home. Moving on, 66 per cent will be in office but 33 per cent will work permanently from home (sic.)” This translates to roughly 80,000 employees out of its total workforce of 2,42,371 employees. As offices are opening up gradually, Infosys has currently about 5 percent of its workforce going to offices in India while the rest are working from home. Commenting on the plan of action for the next few months Lobo said “we can’t predict the course of the pandemic but if it is following the path that it is, for most countries and if everything goes well, a third of total employees will come back to office (sic.)”
However, Infosys is not the only company mulling over transitioning into permanent work from home model. Another Indian IT giant, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) announced a whopping 75% of its 4,48,000 employees globally would be working from home by 2025.
Let us know if you think the work from home model will be adapted by various other companies in the future post COVID-19!
Google Maps To Introduce A New Feature Named COVID Layer
The COVID-19 pandemic has literally brought the world to a standstill for almost 3 months. This is having repercussions on the economies,the mental well being of people and various industrial sectors. However, with countries deciding to lighten restrictions, businesses are slowly inching back to normalcy and with the travel restrictions becoming easier people are taking the risk to travel. The pandemic however is showing no signs of slowing down as the worldwide cases hit almost 32 million while the death toll is almost at one million.
With the number of cases increasing, technology giant Google is introducing a new feature to its Maps called COVID layer. This feature will show the users important information like the number of COVID-19 cases in an area which will enable a user to make decisions on their travel plans and whether or not to take the trip. Google will roll out the new feature in its latest update this week on both Android and iOS this week.
Google in its blogpost said users can see the data in Google Maps after opening it and tapping on the layers button on the top right hand corner of the screen and clicking on the COVID-19 info. This will then show a seven day graphic of new COVID cases per 1,00,000 people for the area in the map at which a user is looking.
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Google will also add a colour coding feature which will help users to distinguish the density of new cases in an area. Trending case data is visible at the country level for all 220 countries and territories that Google Maps supports, along with state or province, county, and city level data, where available.
The data is going to be gathered from different sources which will include Johns Hopkins University, the New York Times, and Wikipedia. These sources get their data from the World Health Organisation (WHO,) government health ministries and local hospitals.
William H Gates Sr., The Father Of Bill Gates Passes Away
Bill Gates shared the news of the demise of his father William H. Gates Sr., in a blog post. Bill Gates announced the news in a blog post saying his father passed away peacefully on Monday at their family residence in Washington. William Gates was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and is the most likely cause of his death.
William Gates Sr.,was a well known civic leader, attorney and philanthropist and is also one of the key figures in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In an obituary the family credited the patriarch with a “deep commitment to social and economic equity,” noting that he was responsible for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s first efforts to improve global health as well as his advocacy for progressive taxation, especially unsuccessful efforts to pass a state income tax on the wealthy in Washington.
Bill Gates mentioned in his blog that his father always had the knack for taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture. Bill Gates also mentions how his father’s legal advice has helped him a lot and other famous personalities which include Howard Schultz of Starbucks.
My dad was the “real” Bill Gates. He was everything I try to be and I will miss him every day.https://t.co/OnAEsmosNb
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) September 15, 2020
Bill said his father wrote him a letter and one of the excerpts from it was “I have cautioned you and others about the overuse of the adjective ‘incredible’ to apply to facts that were short of meeting its high standard. This is a word with huge meaning to be used only in extraordinary settings. What I want to say, here, is simply that the experience of being your father has been… incredible (sic.)”
Bill Gates summed up William H. Gates’ life in the best way possible in his blog post. Bill said “I know he would not want me to overuse the word, but there is no danger of doing that now. The experience of being the son of Bill Gates was incredible. People used to ask my dad if he was the real Bill Gates. The truth is, he was everything I try to be. I will miss him every day (sic.)”
We at Startup Stories extend our deepest condolences to the Gates family as they mourn the death of William H. Gates Sr.
TikTok Ban Paves The Way For YouTube Shorts
Google is the latest entity to take advantage of the Indian Government’s ban of the viral application TikTok. Google plans to introduce a new feature on YouTube called YouTube Shorts. The feature for all intents and purposes mimics the same features TikTok used to provide. The new feature will mimic many of TikTok’s most popular features, allowing users to make and post 15 second videos with built in creative tools encouraging them to add licensed music and more.
The YouTube Shorts is being bundled into the main YouTube app for Indian users, where it will appear with a prominent “create” button. The videos can also be set to music, thanks to YouTube’s access to a large library of songs that it says will continue to grow over time. India will be the first country where YouTube Shorts will be launched. YouTube said “Music for these videos will be available through in-product music picker feature. The picker currently has 100,000s of tracks, and we’re working with music artists, labels, and publishers to make more of their content available to continue expanding our catalogue (sic.)”
TikTok was enjoying an unrivalled popularity in India as it became a means to keep boredom at bay during the nationwide lockdown which was imposed in light of the COVID-19 virus. TikTok amassed more than 200 million users in India and this is mostly due to the cheap internet plans rolled out by Jio Telecommunications, which made the internet accessible to every person even in the remote corners of India.
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However, the Indian government announced that it would ban 59 Chinese applications in which TikTok was one, along with WeChat, Helo, Cam Scanner and many others. The ban was imposed citing data security and concerns about data being shared with the Chinese Government. This left a huge void in the instant video sharing space and Facebook was the first to cash in on it by releasing Instagram Reels. Even Instagram Reels does not have any standalone application but is instead a feature in the Instagram app where it is promoted heavily.
Neither Instagram nor YouTube have tried to clone TikTok’s patented search algorithm and are instead relying on their own discovery algorithms to push content to the users. As TikTok continues to be banned more and more players will look to cash in on the massive void left by the viral app. Facebook and Google are the first major players to try to take a chunk of TikTok’s user base. It will be interesting to see how YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels will perform in the future.
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