Every organisation is trying to find its own way of dealing with the work-from-home situation in these uncertain times. With no clue as to how long this will continue, companies are trying to do the best they can to cope with the times. ATC Tires, part of the Yokohama Group, has taken certain measures for employee welfare during this Coronavirus outbreak.
Work from home
Following the directives from the Government, the organisation has allowed almost all of its employees at the Mumbai head office to start working from home starting March 16. For ATC’s 300-strong workforce at its headquarters, the work-from-home arrangement will continue till March 29.
Transport and food
ATC is enabling a few workers, including the leadership team, to come to office. For this purpose, the Company is running buses to pick and drop its employees. It is also taking strict measures to ensure that the hygiene factor is maintained.
Rajeev Singh, CHRO, ATC Tires, says, “We usually do not provide company transport facilities throughout the year, but in this situation, we are providing a highly sanitised bus facility for the employees who are coming to office.”
Each bus has a seating capacity of 35 people, but only 10-12 people are allowed to board one bus. Out of the total workforce of 300, around 40-50 people continue to travel to office. This is to ensure that hygiene is maintained and people can maintain distance from each other for preventive measures. Each person is given a dose of sanitiser, before boarding and deboarding the bus. “Social distancing is the mantra we are following, to stay unaffected,” adds Singh.
The Company is not just taking care of the employees’ commute to and from work, but also their breakfast, lunch and snacks, all at its own cost.
It is a different way of working and calls for a mindset change as well
Singh adds that they have changed their work timings too. Earlier, they used to start at 9:30 a.m. or 10 a.m., but now they start an hour early so that major traffic is avoided. Moreover, the employees are also allowed to leave early at 4 p.m, again to avoid peak traffic conditions. At a time when social distancing and staying indoors is the mantra, avoiding traffic is a good option any day!
Connectivity and equipment
It is not just the employees who are going to office, but even the remote employees are being taken care of, but in a different way. Remote working is not an easy thing and there are a lot of factors to consider for the employer to understand and evaluate how the worker is going to perform. From adequate working conditions to having the necessary equipment, there are multiple aspects that need to be looked into.
That is why, ATC is taking select measures to help out its employees working from home. For most employees, regular work can be performed on their own laptops at home.
However, there are certain groups of employees who use high-end facilities at the office because their work itself demands so. One such group is the research and design division at ATC. The R&D people regularly use high-end software, which does not run on ordinary laptops because of the enormous software demands. Therefore, to enable these employees to deliver even when at home, the organisation has ensured that the office desktops are delivered to their houses. All measures are being taken to ensure that employees remain connected. ATC is even reimbursing their internet cost!
Working from home may sound like the ultimate dream, but it can get pretty lonely. In office there is a culture and camaraderie in place, and employees are likewise engaged being among their colleagues and peers. At home, the situation is completely different. With no other option to fall back on, ATC has made optimum use of virtual meetings to keep their employees focussed.
Every day, team leaders across business functions make it a point to have a meeting with their members to discuss the agenda for the day and the following day. The members decide amongst themselves the time at which they will all connect.
“In the Indian context, especially, very few people will have a home office or a study room. Most people work from their bedrooms or drawing rooms and because of this, working from home can be distracting”, says Singh.
To ensure that the ship sails smoothly, even with less than half of its employees on board,the leadership team at ATC has made it a point to meet physically, face to face, once every week, to discuss developments and create agendas.
With over 95 per cent of its sales outside India, the same measures are being taken uniformly across locations, such as Europe, Israel and the Americas.
“It is a different way of working and calls for a mindset change as well,” concludes Singh.