Coronavirus: Ford, Volvo, Tata Motors resort to work-from-home

In wake of the coronavirus pandemic, US auto major Ford has asked its 10,000 employees in India, except those in business-critical roles, to work from home, a step which has also been taken up by Swedish luxury car maker Volvo. 

IMAGE: Security personnel use thermal screening devices on visitors in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, at the BSE Building in Mumbai.

A Ford India spokesperson said, in recent days, the company has concluded that the issue of coronavirus has taken on a different dimension. 
The company is continuing to act in real-time to keep its "people safe and help limit the spread of the virus in communities where we live and work". 
"Therefore, starting Monday March 16, we have instructed much of our India workforce (over 10,000 people) including Ford India and Global Business Services -- except those in business-critical roles that cannot be done away from Ford facilities -- to work remotely until further notice," the spokesperson said. 
He further said, "The action will additionally help reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus while maximising the health of our business. All necessary safety measures have been deployed at Ford locations as well as our dealerships to ensure minimum inconvenience to customers." 
In a similar development, Volvo Car India, the wholly-owned arm of Swedish luxury car company Volvo, also announced work from home as a safety measure for its employees due to the rising number of coronavirus infections in India. 
The company, which has around 40 employees on its rolls in India, said all of them have been asked to work from home with immediate effect while necessary IT infrastructure has been put in place to facilitate business continuity. 
It, however, said access to the office remains open for any employee who prefers to work from office, after informing their respective manager. 
Enhanced sanitation measures have been taken to ensure hygiene at the office premises. 
The company had also suspended all domestic and international travel since February to limit the exposure of our employees to the virus, it added. 
Volvo Car India further said it is also working closely with dealers to ensure their facilities are hygienic. 
"Guidelines to dealers include ensuring cars that visit workshops as well as dealer demo cars are properly cleaned before next use. In addition, all demo cars to mandatorily have hand sanitiser," it said. 
On Sunday, Tata Motors had also announced work from home for its office-based employees at headquarter and regional offices.

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