Many workers find their nature of jobs makes it difficult for them to work from home. Tech reporter Ananya Bhattacharya told Quartz India that amidst COVID-19 global infection, many of India’s IT employees are still working from offices to keep the world running. About a third of India’s four million techies are going to their office for work, instead of working from home.
One of primary reasons, Bhattacharya explained, is the demand of clients who want a secure Offshore Development Centre (ODC). In the ODC, employees have to work on computers with several restrictions on data access and portability that cannot be taken back home. Employers also told Bhattacharya that they simply don’t have enough sources (such as laptops) for their IT employees to work from home. If the companies should allow employees to work from home, managers need to have client’s permissions.
Not all workers are able to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some employees must stay onsite and employers are responsible to keep them safe. For this particular reason, here are some tips on how to encourage, practice, and develop hygiene and physical distancing to keep your onsite workers safe and healthy.
WFH (work-from-home) and WFO (work-from-office) is the best practice employers can do when they have a large number of employees in a relatively small office. This can help manage physical distancing better as some employees would work from home and some others would work in the office. Team division can be random or aligned with your project necessity. For example, you can divide your team into two or three teams then each team will do WFH WFO alternately. Have some rules and regulations in place to conduct this WFH – WFO plan efficiently and effectively.
If employers cannot conduct a WFO – WFH practice, there should be enough space for everyone in the office to practice physical distancing, at least six feet away from each other.
No-visitor policy can help reduce the spread of coronavirus in the office. It is also better to not permit employees who do not have reason to work from the office to enter the building. In addition, try to restrict outside deliveries from essential supplies to launch drop-offs. Always sanitise the entrance or packages arrived at the office regularly.
When a group of onsite workers have to meet, collaborate, or do a brainstorming, it is wiser to make the use of remote tools such as Google Hangouts, Zoo, Microsoft Teams, etc. However, if there should be in-person discussions, always remember the six-feet physical distancing practice.
Lastly, flexible work options should still be practised amidst the crisis for onsite employees. This will show that even if employers do not allow employees to work from home, they still care and respect employees’ time to take care of their family at home. It is also important for employers and HR managers to practice compassion for both onsite and WFH employees. Therefore, remind employees to practice positive mental health habits such as doing yoga or sport to exercise the mind and body, have virtual water coolers, remind employees to take a break, etc.
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