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Work from home is serious business as top companies fight coronavirus


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Companies such as Coca-Cola, Godrej Consumer and Uber have all given their employees the option to work from home given that most employees are connected via laptops and phones

It’s the turn of the large conglomerates to bite the bullet. If technology and new economy firms took the lead so far in shielding their employees from coronavirus, now the traditional big groups including the Tatas, and Reliance are taking unusual measures to cope with the growing health hazard. Speaking in one voice, corporate India is asking its people to reduce travel, limit meetings and adopt stringent hygiene standards. Some of them are allowing work from home and advising self-isolation in what looks like a new normal.

Manufacturing plants have not caught up with work from home yet. Unlike the services sector, people in manufacturing do not need to travel extensively outside the premises and this offers a natural immunity, especially if it is also linked to a township.

That apart, other steps are being taken proactively by business majors with deep presence in manufacturing. For instance, every person stepping into the Reliance premises is being thermally screened. “We have asked anyone with symptoms of flu etc to isolate themselves. Fortunately, in the last one month there has not been much of international travel and we did not need to quarantine any of our executives,” said a Reliance spokesman.


India's top law firms too are gearing up with preventive measures. Dina Wadia Partner and Member of Executive Committee, J Sagar Associates said that they had all contingency plans in place including banning non-essential travel and work from home facility. She said that they are fully geared for this and are also testing its efficacy by having half work from office and half from home and all work from home for a few days this week. Like her, Shweta Shroff Chopra, Partner at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co said that from the day the first case was reported in India, her firm had put in all emergency response measures in place including WHO protocols, safety resources (60 per cent alcohol based sanitisers, masks, disposable eco-friendly crockery, etc), disabled biometric access and put in place more frequent deep cleaning measures, across all its offices.

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