WFH or WFO? India Inc decides to wait and watch as cases spike again

As the COVID-19 infection rises once again in some parts of the country, India Inc has for some time adopted a ‘wait and watch’ approach as a model of work.

Companies such as Bharti Airtel, Ericsson, Hyundai, Flipkart, Zomato, Honda Cars India, Tech Mahindra, Samsung, Uber, Nestle, Mphasis, Panasonic India, CashKaro, Upgrade, Apollo Tyres, Vodafone Idea and KPMG told ET that they would follow suit. have been Keeping a close watch on the instructions of the state government, we are watching the situation closely.

A spokesperson said, “Airtel is monitoring the situation and is maintaining stringent COVID safety protocols across all its facilities.”

Honda Cars India said that it has been adopting a hybrid model of attendance for the last two years, where a fixed number of employees work from office and home respectively. “The company monitors the situation on a daily basis and optimizes the ratio of physically working executives.” Korean auto major Hyundai said the company is ensuring that all employees at the company’s headquarters in Gurgaon and Chennai follow COVID safety protocols – masks, temperature checks, social distancing, frequent hand sanitisation – strictly.

A spokesperson for ecommerce major Flipkart said that apart from adhering to all COVID protocols, it continues to “work closely with the central and state governments”.

In an email advisory sent to its employees on April 19, Deepinder Goyal, cofounder and CEO of Gurgaon-based Zomato, said there is no need for hospitalization at this time and there is no need to panic, due to the current spike “A”. It is possible New version completely”.

Hybrid work model

Goyal advised the employees to continue wearing masks and not to come to office if they have minor symptoms. “Depending on how the next few days go, it may be necessary to work from home again for a few weeks; please prepare your home workstations for this event.”

Packaged food company Nestle is calling employees to the office only when necessary and is planning to work through the hybrid work model in the future.

With 2,380 new coronavirus infections reported in the last 24 hours, India’s active cases rose to 13,433, according to data from the Union Health Ministry. After a steady decline, some parts of the country are witnessing a spurt in Covid-19 cases, with Delhi, Haryana and Kerala showing an upward trend due to increase.

Adarsh ​​Mishra, CHRO, Panasonic India said, “Employees are coming to the offices here and the company is closely monitoring the situation. We will take a risk analysis and decide on the next steps in line with government norms.”

Most of India Inc. is currently on a hybrid work model. But companies like Apollo Tires and Panasonic India, whose employees are coming to office, say they are ready to change their operating model if the situation and government regulations so require.

Apollo Tires said that while its employees are currently working from office, it is monitoring the situation closely and will “take measures as and when the situation demands”.

Swati Bhargava, co-founder of startup CashKaro & Earnkaro, said that it is currently following a hybrid model, but it will essentially work from home policy whenever cases escalate. “Appropriate social distancing measures, rapid testing, use of sanitizers and masks have been restored at the CashKaro headquarters in Gurgaon,” he said.

Tech Mahindra’s Global Chief People Officer Harshvendra Soin expects employees to be allowed to work from anywhere.

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