Google’s mobility report reveals that nearly half of Maharashtra’s workforce went to work despite Coronavirus lockdown

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Google’s mobility report reveals that nearly half of Maharashtra’s workforce went to work despite Coronavirus lockdown

  • According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Maharashtra accounts for the highest number of Coronavirus infections in India.
  • Despite that, almost half of the residents in the state continue to go to their offices, according to Covid-19 mobility report by Google.
  • The report reveals that 47% employees in Maharashtra went to work between March 15 and April 26.
  • The State Police helped companies to shift the equipment from office premises to employees’ residence.
  • Overall, there was a 40% decline in people visiting their places of work.
Maharashtra accounts for the highest number of Coronavirus infections in India. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the total infections in the state stood at 12,974, including 548 deaths, as on May 4, 2020.

Despite that, almost half of the residents in the state continue to go to their offices, according to Covid-19 Community Mobility Report by Google. The report reveals that 47% people in Maharashtra went to work between March 15 and April 26. The report is based on the location history of people associated with their Google accounts.

On the other hand, the usual visit to places like restaurants, theme parks, movie theaters and other public places dropped heavily during the same period.
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Majority of the 300,000 IT employees in Pune worked from offices

The initial few days, when the lockdown wasn’t imposed across states, a majority of the 300,000 IT employees in Pune were working from their offices. That is because the companies were concerned about the security factors.

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“We have a work from home option with some limits. But there is no official word from the management. Some companies have asked employees to take alternate work from home. It does not make any sense as people will still commute and come to offices,” an IT employee told BusinessLine on March 16.

State Police helps IT companies shift equipment to employees’ homes

However, as the country went into a complete lockdown mode, the state government asked companies to facilitate work from home for their employees. In fact, the state police also helped the companies to shift the equipment from office premises to employee’s residence.

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Companies like IBM, Cognizant, WNS Global Services and others approached Home Guards after the lockdown was announced. Home Guards is a paramilitary force formed to supplement the Indian Police.

Overall, there was a 40% decline in people visiting their places of work. However, the number might increase as the government has relaxed lockdown norms for private companies.

On May 4, India entered the third phase of Coronavirus lockdown for two weeks. As per the official guidelines, private offices in Mumbai — which has the highest number of Coronavirus cases in the state — can operate with up to 33% staff while the remaining employees work from home. This might further increase the footfall across transit stations and offices.

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But, as virtual offices become the ‘new normal’ employees are likely to work in a remote setup more often — even after the lockdown is lifted. Most of them are afraid that travelling to work or for meetings might expose them to the virus.

“It’s very possible that we see a different kind of workplace after the lockdown. Before we were only talking about the future of work but now we are actually living it. Many companies are operating a completely remote workforce, conducting business via video conference calls, and upskilling online. We will most likely see a more flexible work environment,” Irwin Anand, MD, Udemy India told Business Insider.

See also:

Ola, Uber resume services in India without ACs ⁠— and both riders and drivers have to wear masks

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Goldman Sachs, Reliance, Samsung and others onboarding interns virtually during the lockdown