RPG decides extent of work-from-home for staff

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Harsh Goenka led RPG Group has announced that its sales force will permanently work from home (WFH). And for the rest of the functions, they will work for 50 per cent of the days from home, and the number of WFH days can be increased to 75 per cent of days.

Employees working on the shop floor will have to come to work because their job demands so, however, all people who work out of offices and not on machines, will continue to work from home for a minimum of 15 days or two weeks in a month. In some cases these two weeks can be extended to three weeks as well.

The Group has categorised its 30,000 employees in four groups – on the basis of their nature of work, and depending on the group, employees can work remotely and to what extent.

For instance, a security officer will need to be present at the office premises. Similarly, an employee at the shop floor will need to be present at the factory. In case of its IT business, Zensar Technologies, almost everybody can work from home, except for those who are working from client locations or mandated by contractual obligations with clients to work from company locations.

Currently, employees at the $4 billion RPG group, which has a presence in tyres, IT, health, energy, infrastructure and plantations, are working from home, and they have been doing so since March.

The new policy will come into effect from Tuesday, which is September 1, 2020, and will be applicable for all RPG Group companies including, CEAT, RPG Life Sciences, KEC International and Harrisons Malayalam.

Usually, IT companies have been working out of home quite smoothly, but it is for the first time that a manufacturing-led company has stated that its employees can work from home.

Harsh Goenka, chairman, RPG Enterprises, says, “Our new work from home policy shatters the notion of traditional workspace and productivity and has turned it on its head. Employees who are not operating machines in our manufacturing businesses or do not have a client obligation in our technology services business, can work from ‘anywhere’ even after the pandemic is behind us. It aligns with our vision tenet of ‘touching lives’ and brand promise of ‘happiness’.”

In a note to all its employees, RPG said that it encourages its employees to adopt new methods of working and thus improve their quality of life. “Empowering employees by giving them a choice to work remotely from home or another location for a significant number of days in a month, will enhance employee efficiency and business output,” RPG said in the note.

S Venkatesh, president group HR, RPG Enterprises, says, “We have seen that employee productivity has only increased during the past few months, and our early investments in building digital capabilities has given us the confidence to roll out this path breaking policy for perpetuity. What is noteworthy and unique is this policy is industry-agnostic and covers employees in all our group companies in all geographies around the world, including CEOs and senior leadership. We would be the first diversified conglomerate to effect such a far reaching policy as a long term option beyond the Covid-19 phase.”