ATG is all set for a restart in 2021. All the world is, but for the Mumbai-based tire manufacturer and marketer, the New Year begins in a brand new office! “We’re shifting from our main office in Lower Parel to Vikhroli by mid-January, if everything goes as per plan,” informs Rajeev Singh, CHRO, ATG Tires, Yokohoma. Originally, the move was scheduled for June of this year but of course, 2020 had its own plans. However, Singh notes that COVID-19 may have infected and derailed everyone’s schedules this year but “it didn’t kill our intention to move to a better office”. Besides, with a new office already in the works, it became that much easier to implement the new protocols for in-person interaction. “The new office is entirely in line with the Government’s guidelines. Things like face IDs replacing biometric attendance systems are now inbuilt in the new office,” informs Singh.
The New Year is going to be a restart for ATG in more ways than one. “We’re not only starting in a new office but also going back to in-office work in a scheduled manner,” says Singh. While the tire-manufacturing company’s plants have been operating at full capacity, with all precautions in place, ever since the lockdown was lifted, it’s the head office workforce that was primarily working from home. So, when the Company finally goes back to work-from-office, it will still continue to follow a hybrid model of work. “For the plant, of course, there’s no work-from-home but at our head office in Mumbai we’re trying to maintain a reasonable occupancy,” informs Singh.
“We’re not only starting in a new office but also going back to in-office work in a scheduled manner”
While the in-office occupancy will be limited to 30 to 40 per cent on a rotational basis, ATG has other plans to keep its workforce functioning efficiently for as long as the pandemic plans to stay around. “We’ll provide company transport for the commute to and from work, especially in Mumbai where the locals are still not running fully. We are committed to making their commute to work safe,” states Singh. “Even when they come to the office they have to plan in advance and we’re following a rota schedule, which is monitored centrally. For instance, certain departments will come for certain days or a specific week, and so on. We’re constantly tracking the situation and we will take further action based on how the situation develops,” he adds.
For the Company’s manufacturing units that began operations as soon as the various lockdowns were lifted, ATG had an HR outreach programme in place. This effectively communicated the constant new information and guidelines that poured from time to time. “The HR team was responsible for the outreach, which was religiously followed in the last eight to nine months,” says Singh. “The team reached out to each and every person, whether they were from the head office or the plant. We made sure that HODs and members from HR were always in touch with the workforce, ensuring their wellbeing and making arrangements, if required,” adds Singh.
Staff meetings were turned into a routine to ensure continuity of business. “We made sure that every manager had a staff meeting at least weekly, which was also attended by HR,” explains Singh. He also notes, “Earlier, staff meetings were taken for granted but now that physical resources for interaction aren’t available, staff meetings have become a habit.”
To ensure plants continue running smoothly at full capacity even at the time of a pandemic, Singh says, “We took extreme care in terms of making sure that people were being safe. We changed the bus pattern and shop floor working pattern. We revamped the air-conditioning, cross ventilation and filtration. All the WHO and Government of India guidelines have been followed very minutely.”
Thanks to the meticulousness, “we never had a situation where we had to shut a plant because of a COVID-19 case. The plants were running and we had made enough arrangements for people to be quarantined as well,” adds Singh. On-the-spot testing provisions are in place for newcomers. “If they show any symptom, we request them to quarantine for seven days before joining us.”