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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
"... 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.
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.