“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence ; it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” – Peter Drucker
COVID- 19 has disrupted the human world like no other calamity before. But as the evolutionary theory states — only the species that adapts to its surroundings, survives. And so, it will be a blunder to resume our lives with a business-as-usual approach.
On the contrary, it’s time that we observe and reorient to the new reality. After all, experts say that our world will never be the same again and the same holds true for our workplaces.
Therefore, keeping our workforce’s health and wellness as our top priority, we are resuming our operations at Urban Company offices, post the COVID-19 lockdown, adapting to the new normal.
It must be noted that despite our operations being highly human-dependent, we were among the first companies in the country to move 100% of our staff to a work-from-home arrangement. Even now, under Project Suraksha, we have ensured that detailed protocols have been put in place with trained professionals for resuming office operations. Among other things, this also includes the government-mandated protocols of hygiene and social distancing.
Here is a gist of the range of measures that we have taken with the sole aim of creating a workplace that allows our employees to operate from our offices with maximum safety and security:
1. Building the UC Care App
The UC Care app was developed in-house by our technology team to enable us to keep a close track of our employees’ health, on the basis of various parameters like pre-existing medical conditions, whether living in containment zones or not etc.
All employees are required to check into the app daily with a health assessment. Only when the app gives an employee a Green Gate Pass, is he or she permitted to operate from the office. This helps us ensure that only those who are healthy and at low-risk come into our offices.
2. Minimum Team Strength
We continue to maintain minimum attendance in our offices by ensuring that teams that can work remotely continue to do so. Other teams are slowly and gradually resuming work from offices in a phased manner, with limited strength capped at 25% to begin with.
3. Hygiene Checks at Office Receptions
All employees and partners entering our offices have to undergo a mandatory temperature check, wear a mask and sanitise their hands. Other small yet important steps that have been taken include shutting down of our elevators, and neatly marking our reception areas with socially-distanced squares for sitting and standing.
4. Ensuring Social Distancing
Crowded offices, meeting rooms and cafeterias are now a thing of the past. The new social distancing norms completely changes how Urban Company offices look.
For instance, a W-seating format has been implemented across workstations, where-in nobody sits next to you, in front of you or behind you. Seating capacities of meeting rooms have been reduced to at least 50% or less to avoid crowding.
Even breakout areas have been marked to ensure that employees maintain social distance when getting a cup of coffee or water. Water bottles, mugs and cutlery have been packed away, replaced by one-time use products. Lastly, all common surfaces are being sanitized round-the-clock as is the entire office.
5. Support Staff Training & Feedback
Urban Company’s housekeeping and security support staff is being continuously trained on the new hygiene, sanitization and security protocols as they are the ground force that will help keep our workplaces clean and safe. Moreover, continuous monitoring and feedback procedures are enabling us to ensure that all protocols and guidelines are being implemented at the ground level in all our 25 offices.
We have set up a dedicated COVID-19 Helpdesk at Urban Company to support our employees in matters ranging from updated government advisories and guidelines to hospital and lab information. Any ‘high-risk’ cases will be continuously monitored for their health status.
As the pandemic situation evolves over the coming weeks and months, we are prepared to adapt to the changing nature of how we operate our offices and do the best that we can to ensure protection of our staff at the workplace.