It helps to be prepared. That is what IBM India did. So, 10 days before India announced a lockdown, it decided to start shifting critical resources to work from home (WFH) mode. "Due to that, critical resources got a week to iron out all issues of WFH, including connectivity, before the India lockdown was announced. After that, the shift was seamless," says Chaitanya Sreenivas, HR Leader, IBM India.
IBM adopted a three-pronged approach to connect with employees. At an informal level, managers connected with the team over coffee virtually. "No work was discussed. It was a means to bond together," says Sreenivas. This was done at least once a week. The second was formal, where employees could reach out for anything. The last was to ensure work-life balance.
Now that the lockdown restrictions are being lifted, IBM India employees, too, will get back to working from office. But what proportion of the workforce will come to work will be decided later. The WFH move has proven to be beneficial as far as employee learning and development is concerned. Over the year, there has been a 20 per cent increase in number of hours spent on learning and certificates awarded to employees.