MAM

Companies learn the positive side of WFH

People are now getting used to the new working environment

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MUMBAI: As the spread of COVID-19 is causing ripples in the economic system, companies around the globe have temporarily shifted to the work-from-home (WFH) model. They are enabling remote working to keep the business running while helping employees to follow social distancing.

Considering the recent world crises around the COVID-19 outbreak, industry experts believe it has become more critical than ever for companies in India to be able to support remote working for their employees. They are resorting to virtual meet-ups, VPNs, Google Slack, Zoom calls, Microsoft Teams, etc., for better functioning.

Sodexo vice president technology and operations Priya Dronadula says, "Sodexo BRS India has adopted the split – team routine for employees to work from home. Cloud video conferencing tools like Microsoft Teams and Blue Jeans have been deployed for employees to connect virtually and share presentations and have multi-party conversations, real-time. We are also encouraging our clients to adopt these safe and reliable tools for virtual meetings. Even our customer support teams have moved to this model so that there is business continuity without impacting the customer experience. VPN connection network creates a safe, encrypted network-enabled with strong authentication factors for hustle-free communication.”

The way people work has evolved significantly. Digital offers businesses the right tools to support remote work schedules at any time and on any device that they can imagine. Logicserve Digital founder-CEO Prasad Shejale thinks that it is important for companies to evaluate and make necessary arrangements to equip remote workers at scale. Companies should check whether their workers can join virtual meetings and accomplish important tasks irrespective of their location with available devices and applications.

“At Logicserve Digital, the health and safety of our team members and partners is our top priority. We are aligned with the government's efforts to curb this global crisis and have instituted a robust work-from-home programme as we already had the right collaboration tools in place including uKnowva," he says.

Shejale elaborates, “Logimates have stepped up engagements with our colleagues as well as clients on emails, calls and video chats. The company has made sure that all the teammates have available resources to work from home and there is a separate ‘Emergency Response Team’ that engages with co-workers regularly to ensure everyone is safe.”

Every morning, the live stream is led by Prasad with 350+ team members, which is another step towards social distancing and prioritising employee engagement while keeping them abreast of important updates and also motivating them during these tough times.

Dentsu Aegis Network India has been working from home since the outbreak and teams have adapted to this efficiently and are not causing any work-related hassles. Says CEO Anand Bhadkamkar: “Availability of internet bandwidth and connectivity is definitely critical; yet, the infrastructure across the country during this period is holding up quite well thanks to our network operators. This robustness and stability will surely provide a push towards the transition to digital.”

Surprisingly, the WFH trend has been growing around the world, but without much acceptance in India. To this, Bhadkamkar adds, “People are now getting used to this working environment, be it through choice or by force. Hence, it won’t be surprising if some companies completely switch to digital now when we come out of these challenging times.”

“A few companies including Ogilvy have introduced partial WFH in the last year or two. But, overall in the Indian industry, very few jobs allow full WFH. In fact, this approach has been looked down upon as a 'part-time' way of working for someone who is not properly employed. The lockdown is teaching us the positive side of WFH and after the crisis is over, it will become a far more significant way of working in India than ever before,” says  82.5 Communications chairman and chief creative officer Sumanto Chattopadhyay.

While work from home becomes the temporary norm, it will be worthwhile to check on the same a few months after this pandemic will be under control.

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