Tamil Nadu

COVID-19: Work from home, a difficult strategy for non-IT companies to adopt

The work from home strategy is well established in the IT sector, but it won’t be easy to adopt for the manufacturing sector in the wake of COVID- 19. Photograph used for representational purposes only

The work from home strategy is well established in the IT sector, but it won’t be easy to adopt for the manufacturing sector in the wake of COVID- 19. Photograph used for representational purposes only   | Photo Credit: lechatnoir/Getty Images

In sectors such as manufacturing, it will be difficult to adopt a work from home policy, experts said

The work from home strategy is well established in the IT sector, but it won’t be easy to adopt for the manufacturing sector in the wake of COVID- 19, due to various infrastructure bottlenecks, experts say.

“In case of non-IT sectors most of the employees work on desktops and organisations have not provided laptops. The tools used to perform business operations are not accessible from outside the network without VPN access,” Sunil C., Head – Specialized Staffing, TeamLease Digital, said.

Aditya Narayan Mishra , CEO of staffing firm CIEL HR Services, said that in terms of manufacturing, only a few support functions like Human Resources, Finance and Planning can be provided with the work from home option. However, he said most firms won’t have the infrastructure in place to opt for it immediately.

“Work from home is not an evolved model and organisations do not have monitoring IT tools. Since the concept is not widely practiced in non-IT sectors, the change may take some time. Managers should trust employees and not call them frequently to check on them,” Mr. Sunil said. Mr. Mishra points out that some companies are worried about performance-related issues and how they can tackle them.

K. Vaitheeswaran, advocate and tax consultant, said that while bigger companies and technology-driven companies operate on their own IT platforms which enables work from home, it is not the same for other companies. “This would mean that the employee would be given access to documents and records of the company through storage media or shared emails or would be provided physical copies. Even in the first case, while the employee would be logging in to the network of the company, the employee would be using systems at his/her residence which may not have the same degree of protection and security,” he noted.

Mr. Vaitheeswaran said companies should ensure that matters of secrecy or significant confidentiality are not the subject matter of a work from home policy, and confidentiality/non-disclosure agreements should be put in place and executed with the employees.

K.E. Raghunathan , past president, All India Manufacturer’s Organisation said the new-age concept of work from home is hugely irrelevant for the micro, small and medium enterprises ector, which is already reeling under various other challenges in the last three years due to measures like demonetisation, GST implementation and general economic slowdown.

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Printable version | Jul 9, 2020 9:47:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/covid-19-work-from-home-a-difficult-strategy-for-non-it-companies-to-adopt/article31098241.ece

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