Friday 13 March 2020

Flipkart staff to work from home for 3 days

Flipkart staff to work from home for 3 daysBengaluru: In a precautionary move amid the coronavirus outbreak, Flipkart has made it mandatory for staff at its Bellandur campus in Bengaluru to work from home for three days, starting Wednesday.

The e-tailer’s largest campus houses 8,000-10,000 employees, who are working from home as part of the “dry-run” of day-to-day operations of the Walmart-owned company in the wake of Covid-19. Unlike Paytm, there are no confirmed Covid-19 cases in Flipkart yet. Paytm, which said one of its staff in Gurgaon had tested positive after coming back from Italy — the worst affected country outside China — had shut its offices last week across Noida and Gurgaon.

The e-tailer is undertaking this exercise to ensure its critical functions and technology operate effectively in case of an emergency. In a memo to employees, Flipkart also told executives that have travelled abroad recently and have flu-like symptoms to not report to the office for 14 days and consult their managers. PhonePe, the group’s payments arm, will see 50-60% of its staff working from home starting Thursday at least for a week, a person aware of the matter said. PhonePe has around 1,200 employees.

“Our BCP (business continuity plan) takes into account the potential risks a situation like Covid-19 can have on our strategic operations and our customer obligations. This trial is mandatory and we request your cooperation in helping us implement the same,” Flipkart told its employees. The company has noted that for the dry-run to be effective, employees should not postpone meetings, campaigns and regular work to a later date, “but use digital tools available to collaborate with teams and executive work”.

The customer experience team of the company will work from partner locations and relevant details will be shared with them by their managers. This comes at a time when two employees of Dell and Mindtree have tested positive in Bengaluru and as of Tuesday, the tech-capital had four confirmed cases of Covid-19.

“We are checking system preparedness for working remotely using digital/video tools,” a Flipkart spokesperson told TOI on its three-day mandatory work-from-home directive.Covid-19 is also impacting business and supply-chain management for Flipkart and its rival Amazon. Last week, TOI reported how both these companies are trying to minimise the disruption in securing various goods that come from China. The effects might be visible next month — on availability and pricing. An Amazon spokesperson said it is, among other standard measures, letting people work from home if unwell. In a separate statement, Flipkart said it is sanitising its facilities and getting them deep cleaned at regular intervals in light of Covid-19. It added it is also raising awareness among its delivery executives since they have direct exposure to consumers.

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