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Work from home | Bad posture, long hours? Get that ergonomic chair and bill it to office   

Chairs, power banks, headphones, laptop stands and monitors are among the things firms are picking up the tab for as they enable staff to set up a basic office at home.

July 29, 2020 / 02:18 PM IST

Work from home hurting your back, giving you a stiff neck? 

You no longer have to worry about shelling out money to buy that ergonomic chair, power backups or even wire extensions as companies are picking the tab to enable work from home.

Online travel aggregator Ixigo, cloud-based service provider Salesforce and payments solution company Razorpay are offering employees funds to set up a basic office at home.

Millions of Indians have now been working from home for almost four months and that is likely to continue for some time as coronavirus shows no signs of abating. While some companies have mandated work from home till December 31, global firms such as Google have said they will not need employees in the office till June 30 next year.

"... to make remote working comfortable for our employees, an allowance has been given to every employee's salary— this can be used to rent comfortable office furniture through our partnership with Rentile for corporate offers, upgrading broadband connection, or any other essentials the employee wishes for," said Anuradha Bharat, Head, People Operations, Razorpay. 

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Bharat didn't disclose the amount of money the company was paying.  

Ixigo said it was offering Rs 7,500 as a one-time payment to each of its 150 employees, the US-based Salesforce is giving $250 (Rs 18,700).

Ixigo has made work from home mandatory at least till December 31. Employees will be given the money as a reimbursement after they make the purchase and submit receipts.

Ergonomic chairs, power backup, headphones, bed tables, laptop stands, monitors, keyboards and wire extensions are among the items that the company will pay for. Employees also have the option to pick up the chairs from the office.

Salesforce, which has more than 2,500 employees in India, is planning a staggered return of the staff to the office but it also plans to will them the option for working remotely for the rest of 2020.

"Such a move is not just about employee welfare, it adds drastically to the overall efficiency of working from home as well which the corporates are cognizant of," said Anshul Lodha, the regional director at Michael Page, a UK-headquartered recruitment agency.

House furniture was not designed to be sat on for eight to nine hours and it is frustrating to work without proper infrastructure, Lodha said.

India now has 15,31,669 confirmed coronavirus cases, with the daily count topping 40,000 for the last few days. As many as 34,193 people have died of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus. The spike in infections has forced several states to bring back restrictions and limit the movement of people to curb the spread.

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Priyanka Sahay
first published: Jul 29, 2020 01:03 pm