Employee vaccination top priority for Hyderabad firms ahead of reopening

Keeping employee safety paramount, many companies have adopted a hybrid work model and are extending the work from home (WFH) option.  
IT Park in Hyderabad
IT Park in Hyderabad
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Hyderabad has been limping back to normalcy since the lockdown restrictions were lifted by the Telangana government on June 19, citing a decline in COVID-19 cases. While the government reportedly wants offices to reopen fully by September, companies in the city are not in a hurry to get employees back into the physical workspace. Keeping employee safety paramount, companies are prioritising vaccinations for employees, and many are opting for a gradual reopening of offices. 

Amazon India, headquartered in Hyderabad, said the health and safety of its employees is its top priority. “Through the pandemic, employees in roles that can effectively be done from home were encouraged to work from home (WFH) until the situation stabilised- including a decline in the number of cases and vaccine availability,” said a company spokesperson.  

The company, which has over 15,000 employees in Hyderabad, said it has invested significant resources to keep those who choose to come to the office safe through physical distancing, enhanced cleaning of the workplace, temperature checks, and providing face coverings and hand sanitisers. “We are working closely with world-class epidemiologists and medical healthcare professionals, gathering their advice and recommendations as we go forward and plan for teams to be back in the office regularly and to ensure our workspaces are adjusted for the safety of our teams,” the spokesperson added. 

Amazon also said it will continue to monitor the situation closely for India with regard to the pandemic and vaccination levels. “Right now, work from home will continue for many roles. We are doubling down on our efforts to voluntarily vaccinate all our employees (and their dependents) and shall plan for a safe and organised way to help employees return to the office, providing them sufficient time to make necessary arrangements on the personal front,” the spokesperson said. 

Mobility services firm WhistleDrive said as it is in the operations industry where the operations team must be on-ground helping other businesses move their people and goods safely, its operations team is already working from offices and at client locations with all the necessary safety precautions in place. “Our Technology & Business Development teams are working on a hybrid model, and once all our employees are fully vaccinated, we can't wait to work from the office at full-scale,” said Rakesh Munnanooru, Founder & CEO, WhistleDrive. 

“Being an Employee Transportation company, we are actually helping the corporates to kickstart Work from Office (WFO) again by providing them 100% sanitised cabs and driver safety measures,” he added. WhistleDrive said it has arranged vaccination drives for all the employees and their family members, and all employees have been vaccinated with the first dose. 

Vaccination, need of the hour

Hyderabad-based pet services provider Petpal has switched to a remote-only mode for the last three months and is managing operations via video calls with no more than two people in the office at any point. “We would like to make sure all employees are completely vaccinated before they can interact in person with the rest of the team. Nearly 50% of the team is vaccinated with one dose at the very least,” said Sri Gorthy, Founder & CEO, Petpal.

Startup incubator T-Hub has collaborated with Star Hospitals in Hyderabad and its startup, AdOnMo, to organise T-Hub Vaccithon at the T-Hub campus. The drive supported the T-Hub employees and their families but was extended to the startups, corporates, and academia as well. “Vaccination has become the need of the hour in India, especially after the brutal second wave of the pandemic. These drives will enable us to reduce the pressure on public healthcare systems and help India counter the pandemic more effectively,” said Ravi Narayan, CEO of T-Hub. 

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