Tech companies’ Covid war rooms are working around the clock as the number of distress calls from employees seeking help — many of whom have been infected by the coronavirus — have increased.
Companies have increased insurance cover, set up Covid helplines, home quarantine facilities and mental wellness programmes for employees and their families. They have activated shadow IT teams and business continuity plans (BCPs) to ensure work does not get disrupted.
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Goldman Sachs’s technology and business services centre said it has been focused on potential disruption risks and maintained a map of critical functions and related business continuity plans, which were adapted to the Covid situation in 2020. Accenture said it has the agility to transfer work across its network to help its people in India while continuing to meet the needs of its clients. An Accenture employee, who requested that he not be named, said the company has had a backup plan since last year.
Wipro has formed a Covid global crisis management task force comprising members from cross-functional teams, which focuses on governance, people safety and wellbeing, customer delivery, facility readiness and business continuity. “For employees engaged in critical projects, we have arranged accommodation either at our guest houses or in hotels close to our facilities,” the company said.
Kishor Patil, co-founder and CEO of KPIT, said 3% of its people globally have been affected over the past year. “We have allocated more people for projects so that we are able to manage client deliverables,” he said. The company has over 6,000 employees.
Persistent Systems CEO Sandeep Kalra said the active number of cases may be in the range of 200-250 now. “Many people who have gone through it have recovered from it,” he said. Sindhu Gangadharan, MD of SAP Labs India, said the company’s crisis management team is working around the clock to answer employees’ questions and clarifications.
IBM said it was covering medical treatment of its employees and their dependents under Corona Care Insurance for up to Rs 5 lakh.