Startup leaders choose to go to office first before asking others to come

work from home

To instill confidence among workforces about health safety, team leaders and managers of India’s top startups including Flipkart, Paytm, Udaan and Zomato, have decided to go at work first before asking colleagues to come.

Despite the government’s recommendation to resume operations, many firms still have asked their employees to continue work from home for those functions which may not need at-work presence.

Paytm is Noida based firm and has recommenced with only 25% workforce whereas guidelines permit 33%. Its spokesperson said, “…depending on where the offices are situated wherever possible our senior leadership has taken the decision of coming to the office first, to instil confidence in our workforce that all necessary steps are being taken to safeguard employees.”

E-commerce giants like Flipkart, Udaan and Zomato have applied such similar approaches for their employees.

Udaan is headquartered in Bengaluru and it is basically a B2B e-commerce firm. Its co-founder, Sujeet Kumar said, “We encourage employees to apply their own judgement on when and how they would like to return to the office…A significant number of employees resumed work over the last couple of weeks.”

There are several concerns for employees about returning to work like

• Travel restrictions.
• Fear to risk the health of their family especially in cases of aged parents and young children.
• Some of them have moved to their hometown and are unable to come back.

An employee of Delhi-based on retailer said, “The fear is not just about the workplace but also getting to work, and other factors at play.” However, firms are understanding these concerns.

For instance, Udaan and joined hand with Zoomcar and Bounce to sanitized vehicles for employees who do not own personal transport. Ola too have addressed the employees about safety measures like sanitising workspaces six times a day, safety teams for every site and demarcated seating to enable social distancing.

The Chief Human Resource Officer of Ola, Rohit Munjal, has asked all the leaders and managers to call their team members to the office only if it is absolutely needed. He said, “Unless your work requires you to be at the workplace by the nature of it, you will continue to work from home until the end of June.”

In fact, Snapdeal has extended its work from home advisory till 14th June and hope for a smaller number of employees back in the office after 14th June. Its spokesperson said that the first phase would include those volunteering to return to the office and those who need to be in office for specific work requirements.

Chief HR officers of these firms have indicated that businesses would move closer to regular operations especially in Delhi and Bangalore at the beginning of the month July while exceptions have been made for the month of June.

HR executive of an e-commerce firm based in Bengaluru said, “As businesses open up next month onwards, stricter protocols will be in place. There will also be enough data and learnings from the last three months to come to the best conclusion.”

Other firms like Swiggy, Amazon, Facebook have extended work from home for all their employees for at least the month of June.

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