Before discussing impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) to implement the concept of ‘Work from Home” in India few lines about the virus may be highlighted from the website of WHO, (www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus), “Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness. The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face”.
The COVID-19 which has created human devastation in the world has popularised a theory in secondary and tertiary sectors (in case of wage-employment) known as “Work from Home (WFH)” now a popular concept in India also. It was at low ebb in India, albeit, from ancient age handloom and handicrafts works, earthen utensils making, etc. were carrying out from home for business purpose indicating “Work from Home”, but these were self –employment. In case of wage employment, the concept is comparatively new and getting popularity. For example, according to US census data, 5.7 percent of workers in the US were working from home in 2017 which was around 8 million persons. The same was 5 percent in 2016 and 3.3 percent in 2000. In USA, apart from some industries, viz., construction, primary health care and transportation, working from home has been able to flourish. This is mainly due to the advent and rise of increasingly efficient technology. Anyway, in India, to reduce the spread COVID-19, first schools and malls were closed and then many establishments asked employees to “Work from Home” wherever possible. Few data and facts to substantiate the statement are presented here collected from different websites.
Volvo Car, India and Tata Motors have announced work from home as a safety measure for its employees due to the rising number of coronavirus infections in India. In wake of the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. auto Ford has asked 10,000 employees in India, except those in business-critical roles, to work from home, a step which has also been taken up by Swedish luxury car maker Volvo.
Also the Economic Times, March 23, 2020 reported that “about half of India’s technology workers – estimated at 3 million – have already begun to work from home as social distancing becomes key to contain the spread of the outbreak. If employees continue to work from home for a few more months, IT companies are likely to conclude that 20-30% of their workforce can operate remotely”. Also it was reported that Tata Consultancy Services “has asked more than 40 percent of its employees to work from home. Accenture has moved over 60 percent of its employees to work from home in India and the Philippines”. Another case “Work from Home” is from a prestigious academic organisation located in Hyderabad known as the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD&PR), which is an autonomous organisation under the Union Ministry of Rural Development, is a premier national centre of excellence in rural development and Panchayati Raj. Recognized internationally as one of the UN-ESCAP Centres of Excellence, it builds capacities of rural development functionaries, elected representatives of PRIs, bankers, NGOs and other stakeholders through inter-related activities of training, research and consultancy. The NIRD&PR celebrated its Golden Jubilee Year of establishment in 2008. In addition to the main campus at Hyderabad, the Institute has North-Eastern Regional Centre at Guwahati, Assam to meet the NE-regional needs. This Organisation for the safety of its employees in view of outbreak of COVlD-19 has implemented “Work from Home” for the staffs, including consultants, contract, and outsourced employees up to, 31 March, 2020. However, the essential staffs viz., CMU (includes Electrical section, House Keeping, Water Supply, Sanitary Section etc), Health Centre, Garden section, Vehicle section, Security etc. are obligated to work on daily roster basis. “The Heads of each of the support units (Executive Engineer, Lady Medical Officer, Garden Superintendent, Multi-Tasking Staff, and Security Officer) will design a roster for the essential services”. It was reported that first time in the history of NIRDPR the “Work from Home” has been introduced.
Thus, in India in many sectors “Work from Home” has been implemented which is the outcome of COVlD-19. Eduindex News is also giving opportunity to writers and other experts Work from Home https://eduindexnews.com/tag/work-with-eduindex-news/
Relevant information collected from the websites:
Dr. Shankar Chatterjee
Former Professor& Head (CPME)
NIRD &PR (Govt. of India),