How we switched to work-from-home

Our COVID response was fast, comprehensive and total without disrupting work.

Business continuity is among the foremost frontiers that could become a casualty if companies do not have a dependable plan in place to protect their operations. We were thankfully well prepared as we shifted to remote work. We were equipped with the requisite processes to maintain business continuity and protect client interests in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Our company had made timely investments in well-calibrated processes to seamlessly shift to remote work. We backed those with effective communication ability to speak to our clients about how we transitioned into a business-as-usual mode with remote working.

Two goals – remaining firmly committed to our clients’ needs; and ensuring employee health and safety – underpinned our strategy to land on both feet in our new work setting.

We fleshed out those goals by strengthening governance and monitoring to ensure productivity and the quality of services and deliverables. We had also instituted additional compliance checks, laid down guidelines and provided the relevant training to employees for effective and compliant remote work. We also enabled flexibility in working hours to support customer needs, specifically for the pandemic situation.

Alongside, we equipped all of our employees with the infrastructure and connectivity to work from home. As a backstop, we set up infrastructure and customer network connectivity at secondary offices, and re-validated those.

Our leadership had drawn up a comprehensive action plan for proactive mitigation of risks and transitioning the business to a fully remote operation, effective March 23, 2020. We re-calibrated workflow processes and the related infrastructure to move more than 1,500 employees at all of our locations in the U.S. and in India to start working from home with no disruption in services to customers.

We lost no time in setting up a pandemic response team (PRT), comprising senior executives from operations, information security, infrastructure/facilities, human resources and customer-facing delivery teams. The PRT and other support staff at our company worked round the clock to complete this transition within a short span of seven days.

Employee health & safety, and customer success

Our company organized its pandemic response on four fronts, as detailed below:

Continuity of business operations

  • With logistics, infrastructure and connectivity set up, all employees started working from home.
  • Additional compliance checks were put in place, guidelines were implemented and training was imparted for effective and compliant remote working. Infrastructure and customer network connectivity was re-validated at secondary offices (standby option).
  • Flexible working-hour provision to support customer needs, specifically for the pandemic situation.
  • Strengthened governance and monitoring to ensure productivity and quality of services and deliverables.

Employee health and safety

  • Provision of health information specific to COVID-19 to all employees.
  • Revision to the organizational leave policy with a provision for enhanced paid leaves for COVID-19. Extension of COVID-19 insurance coverage for employees.
  • Expense policy extended with reimbursement for transport and communication costs for business use.

Communications

  • Regular advisories to customers and employees with updates to Iris response, policy changes, support coverage, travel and other health and safety measures.
  • Our pandemic response team shared regular email and mobile alerts about ongoing developments with all employees.
  • Enhanced communication and escalation plan to ensure effective collaboration with customers and across Iris teams.
  • 24/7 employee information help desk over WhatsApp.

Talent acquisition, onboarding and engagement

  • Transition to a fully virtual talent acquisition process with safeguards for effectiveness.
  • Fully online, lean on-boarding process for new recruits with a comprehensive integration plan.
  • Comprehensive employee engagement plan with regular connects and focus on their mental and physical health and well-being.

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