Coronavirus: Flipkart offers work from home for employees with small children
Flipkart is offering its employees with small children to work from home and encouraging use of digital and video tools to ensure business continuity amid the global coronavirus outbreak. Its group company PhonePe has also asked most employees to work from home (WFH) until further notice. The number of coronavirus cases continues to climb globally, with 74 cases being reported in India so far. Coronavirus, declared as a pandemic by World Health Organization, has claimed over 4,600 lives worldwide.
"We are promoting the use of video conferences for meetings, including job interviews, and are temporarily avoiding events and training programmes that require large gatherings as a precautionary measure," Flipkart said in an emailed statement.
It also said that apart from giving a work from home option to young parents (with children studying till grade 5), we are checking system preparedness for working remotely using digital and video tools.
The company has also issued a ban on all non-essential domestic and international business travel, and is encouraging employees who may have returned from international travel to work from home for 14 days.
Flipkart said its facilities are being sanitised and deep cleaned at regular intervals as per standard norms for such situations.
"Specifically, for our supply chain and logistics network, we have organised awareness sessions across all our facilities on how our employees and partners can minimise their exposure by following simple precautionary measures," Flipkart said.
It added that its delivery partners are being provided with sanitisers and other required equipment to use while they are on the go, and are keeping track of impacted areas to minimise their exposure.
Those who are unwell are being advised to the rest with all assurance of medical support.
PhonePe said it has also initiated a WFH policy. "Most teams have been asked to WFH until further notice already. Employees in a few critical functions, have been asked to come to the office on a rotational basis," it added.
As the contagious disease with flu-like symptoms spread across the globe, domestic and foreign companies operating in India have issued advisories to take precautions, and even asked employees to WFH.
For e-commerce companies with large fleet of people delivering products, containing the situation poses a bigger challenge.
Online grocery delivery platform Grofers said its delivery personnel are being monitored and trained on handling of sealed crates.
"At current levels, all essential supply chains are functioning normally, both for Grofers and for our suppliers. Apart from some items which have hard caps on production and particularly those that are sourced from China, most items should continue to be available, although the mode of delivery and supply chains will have to adjust," it said.
Bhavin Turakhia, founder and CEO at Flock and co-founder and CEO at ZETA, said the two companies have announced a slew of measures to ensure the well-being of its employees.
"Business continuity plan (BCP) across business units and functions including the support functions with a 3-5 work from home mock drill. Our BCP is not limited to only work from home, it takes into account succession planning for critical roles that will come into effect in case of an employee or their loved one falls sick," he said.
The company is also undertaking virtual interviewing and hiring, conducting educational and awareness sessions on health and fitness through online mediums to ensure their health is not compromised even as they work from home.