GP, Banglalink adopt work from home policy

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Robi takes similar approach, joining other operators in the effort to prevent further spread of coronavirus in Bangladesh

Mobile phone operators Grameenphone (GP) and Banglalink on Monday asked all their employees to work from home, in an effort to prevent further spread of Covid-19 in Bangladesh.

Another operation Robi has also taken a similar approach, encouraging its employees to work from home, but did not make it mandatory.

So far, Bangladesh has detected eight people infected with Covid-19, most of whom returned home from abroad recently. Three of them, however, have made full recovery, according to the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).

More than 2,000 people are also in isolation at different hospitals in eight divisions of the country.

GP has issued a notice for its 2,300 employees in this regard, confirmed the company’s head of external communication Md Hasan.

“Safety is our foremost concern; we have been preparing to keep our employees and associated business partners safe following the standard guidelines provided by relevant authorities,” he said in a statement on Monday.

He said employees engaged in roles that are not customer-facing have been encouraged to work from home.

“Customer-facing employees have been encouraged to take the necessary safety measures and focus on providing services through digital technology, which limits their physical contacts and movement. We will assess the development and decide on the next action accordingly,” the official added.

Meanwhile, Banglalink also issued a similar notice for its 1,100 employees, which said that it was actively monitoring the situation and preparing to ensure full organization-wide readiness in case of adverse local development.

“Accordingly, Banglalink (following Veon’s guidance) has decided to implement ‘work from home’ for most of the employees for a period of two weeks commencing from March 18, 2020 except essential services, such as network operation, customer service, LIC support etc,” it added.

During this time, Banglalink encouraged its employees to limit their outside interactions to an absolute minimum and in emergency situations only to prevent from being exposed to Covid-19.

To ensure the employees’ health and safety, Banglalink has also taken several measures including travel restrictions, avoidance of mass gatherings, following all the guidelines related to ensure disinfection and personal hygiene in all of its offices and service centres, the notice added.

Robi Chief Corporate and Regulatory Officer Shahed Alam on Monday also told Dhaka Tribune that the company already took the work from home policy for employees, but did not made it mandatory.

“We encouraged our co-workers to practice the work from home policy, but there is no official notice for make it mandatory. We took all necessary steps to ensure safety in the workplace,” he said.

Since the outbreak started in China’s Wuhan city in late December last year, the new coronavirus strain has infected more than 174,600 people and killed over 6,600 people in 162 countries and territories, according to worldometer.