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Contingency and Disaster planning should always be vital part of a company’s business plans as many companies are now discovering with the unprecedented effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of 25 March 2020, India is on nationwide lockdown of its 1.3 billion people with many now trying to work from home.
Graham Curren, Sondrel’s CEO and Founder, said, “Having staff work at home is a very new concept for many Indian organisations who just use the model of large offices with teams of people in them. Fortunately, Sondrel is an international company with designers around the world so all our staff are already fully equipped for home working to enable them to collaborate with colleagues in different time zones. In addition, more than 70% of staff in Sondrel India have more than five years working experience and almost half have more than ten years. This maturity of the team has also contributed to us being able to work efficiently despite the restrictions imposed because of COVID-19.”
Guy Davis, Sondrel’s Head of IT, commented, “For several years, our company policy is that every member of staff has the flexibility to work from home or from the office with high speed broadband, company laptops, and secure end-point protection via encrypted channels for remote VPN access into our server systems. This forward planning means that we can continue our work for all customers without interruption. It is very difficult to put such robust system in place in a hurry as many Indian companies are now discovering.”
Angeles Castelo, Sondrel’s Manager, EMEA and India, added, “Identifying what our employees need from us and being able to implement support measures as circumstances develop is vital when responding to emergency situations like this one. We communicated with our employees in Hyderabad regularly, we listened to what our employees told us, and we made it a priority to put meaningful support measures in place as the situation developed. For example, we provided employees who have responsibilities to care for elderly or very young family members after the closure of schools, the possibility of taking time off work with pay before the government’s lockdown measures were published.”