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Covid surge: Tech firms bet on hybrid work, vaccination

New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) With India witnessing a rapid surge in Covid-19 cases, technology companies operating in India are betting big on the hybrid work model, while encouraging eligible employees to get vaccinated to fight the pandemic.

While Accenture said it is continuing to monitor and consider the guidance of external experts and groups, Dell Technologies said its entire workforce in India is doing remote work.

“We have the required infrastructure, automation, monitoring tools and network topology, which has been empowering work from home for our team members,” said Alok Ohrie, President and Managing Director, Dell Technologies India.

“In fact, in India, our entire workforce is doing remote work with this required infrastructure in place, and we are fully prepared to support this flexible work environment.”

Dell Technologies said that it is also ensuring that other companies can leverage its technologies to offer the work solutions suited for the current situation.

“While our customers and partners are concerned about the changing environment, we are committed to ensuring that there is no disruption in their ability to serve their customers, societies and employees,” Ohrie said.

“Through our multiple initiatives such as our flexible payment solutions, remote working solutions like Unified Workspace, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure and many more, we are serving our customers and partners across the globe during these critical times.”

Several companies have also come forward to bear the cost of vaccinations for their employees.

“We strongly support the scientific and public health advice that encourages vaccination,” said Rekha Menon, Chairperson and Senior Managing Director, Accenture in India.

“For employees who are eligible and choose to receive the Covid-19 vaccination, Accenture will cover the cost for the employee and their dependents who are part of our medical benefits programme.”

Cloud data services company NetApp has also taken similar initiative to encourage vaccination, while also offering “periodic wellness holidays” to ensure general wellbeing of employees.

“NetApp had announced extended work-from-home for all its employees till January 2022, much before the second wave of Covid-19 hit,” a company spokesperson told IANS.

“We are encouraging all our employees to get vaccinated as announced by the government. All vaccination and Covid care related costs are being borne by NetApp.”

Some organisations feel that while it is important to contain the surge in Covid-19 cases in India, a complete lockdown at this point of time might not be the right solution as the economy is still recovering from the damage it suffered due the restrictions imposed last year.

“To avoid business impact, we at Kodak TV India, are following all the protocols and guidelines and calling workers that cannot work from home. This is to ensure that we continue manufacturing while ensuring their safety and the safety of our consumers as well,” said Avneet Singh Marwah, Director, and CEO of Super Plastronics Pvt. Ltd, a Kodak brand licensee.

“I feel another complete lockdown is not a solution, economy is in crisis… we need to have a balance.”

India recorded 1,26,789 Covid-19 cases on Thursday, the highest single day surge after the pandemic outbreak last year. With this, India’s total tally rose to 1,29,28,574, according to Health Ministry data.

According to a Nasscom report released in February, despite the impact of Covid-19, the Indian technology sector rallied round to grow at 2.3 per cent year on year in the financial year 2020-21 on the back of rapid acceleration in digital transformation and tech adoption.



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