Coronavirus: Cognizant, Paytm, Zoho Shuts Down Office; TCS, Wipro, HCL Embrace Work From Home
Panic has gripped India as 29 people test positive for Covid-19 in the country!
As the epidemic spreads, Work from Home has become the new mantra of every company in the country! But for how long?
Read to find out more…
Work From Home Model Gaining Popularity: But For How Long?
BPO companies initiated a work-from-home model. The aim of this is to provide cheaper services and dial them up or down based on the demand. The industry executives said, however, due to the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the work-at-home call centre model is likely to spread.
While many start-ups have been forced to declare undefined work from home programs for employees. Co-working companies and start-ups, which usually need to work together, are experiencing a footfall. While many companies have asked their employees to work from home, others have banned their employees from non-essential domestic and international travel especially to China, Iran, Italy, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.
Working from home, however, is a temporary measure till the workplaces are disinfected and sanitised. Maintaining hygiene and sanitizing the workplace is a top priority for every company.
Manishi Pathak, partner with Delhi-based law firm Induslaw said, “There is an obligation that employers have to provide a safe and healthy environment but there is no specific law that allows you to work from home.”
Let Us See Which Offices Are Shut Down and What Preventive Measures Are They Taking!
Indian companies are providing hand sanitizers and masks to their employees. Some of them are also cleaning the public spaces like cafeterias and washrooms are regular and frequent intervals. Common surfaces coming in contact with body like biometric machines, door knobs, facets, walls as such are being disinfected frequently.
The Paytm Offices in Delhi-NCR Region have shut down after an employee tested positive for Covid-19. This set off alarm bells among start ups and co-working companies, sharply affecting their business.
Gurugram-based messaging app Hike has stepped up their game a notch by providing Vitamin C rich food items like oranges, pineapples and guava to employees to boost their immunity.
Bengaluru-based IT major Infosys has a well-defined disaster recovery and business continuity plans at various levels that include increased precautions at its facilities, travel advisories, remote working, and a dedicated helpdesk, to ensure employee safety and business continuity.
Cognizant India has temporarily closed its Hyderabad office and asked its employees to work from home.
Oyo has asked employees to use alternative methods of communication, like video conferencing or phone calls wherever possible to avoid travel and face-to-face interactions during this time and restricted domestic as well as international travel.
A spokesperson of TCS said that it has advised its employees based in Italy to work from home.
Wipro has temporarily halted travel and transit through mainland China including Hong Kong and Macua, advised its employees to avoid non-critical travel affected countries. the company has enabled a lot of techies to work from home.
Similarly HCL TEchnologies have activated their “Remote Working/Work From Home’ strategy to aid social distancing in the impacted regions.
Sridhar Vembu, CEO of Zoho Corporation tweeted, “We have adopted work from home as the default for all our offices worldwide as a matter of precaution, though we have not had any cases. Our employees are encouraged to come to the office only when absolutely essential. We will continue this policy until the virus threat passes.”
Co-working company WeWork having 6 centres in Gurugram has increased daytime cleaning and regular sanitation. The firm also initiated a mandatory 14-day work from home policy for any employee recently returning from high-risk regions, as well as those who exhibit flu-like symptoms.
Wizikey upon the seriousness of the epidemic has 80% of its workforce working from home. They say that very few people coming to work are being provided masks, sanitizers and regular temperature checks. Similarly, the software company Wingify has announced a compulsory work-from-home for all their 240 plus employees.
Travel app Ixigo has also declared a one week mandatory work from home for the employees of the Gurgaon office from March 6 until Friday, 13th March.
The start up CARS24 has placed hand sanitizers in all common areas including the reception, meeting rooms and the cafeteria whereas common surfaces like doorknobs and biometric machines are being regularly sanitized. A CARS 24 spokesperson said that the company has also decided to cancel all planned public meetings and social gatherings for at least two weeks in the interest of minimizing the risk of spreading any infection.
Consulting company KPMG has been providing technology support to its employees. VPN bandwidth has been enhanced to support remote working and employees have been asked to carry their laptops home every day.