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Breath of fresh air: Cos come to staff's rescue to fight smog

Monday, November 13, 2017

New Delhi: At a time when Delhi-NCR is grappling with hazardous air quality, companies in the region are going the extra mile and implementing employee-friendly measures like flexible working hours, work from home and installing air purifiers in office to ensure staff wellness.

With deterioration of the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Delhi-NCR, doctors in Delhi have declared a public health emergency. The Delhi government has put out health advisories for high-risk groups, mainly children and the elderly, saying they should avoid outdoor activity.

However, those who travel for work are the worst affected of the lot. In order to ensure wellness of their employees, companies operating in the Delhi-NCR region are offering the much-needed assistance to protect its employees against health hazards.

Companies have sent out health advisories to all employees with Dos and Don'ts. Some have distributed anti- pollution masks and enlisted services of a doctor for the well-being of their employees, among other initiatives.

"We have distributed anti-pollution masks to all our employees while offering flexible working hours and the option to work from home. Our office already has air purifiers installed as part of our overall approach towards the health and well-being of our employees," said Emmanuel de Roquefeuil, VP and Country Director – India, Thales, a global technology player in aerospace, transport, defence and security.

Power automation player Schneider Electric India CHRO Rachna Mukherjee said: "The flexibility in working hours and work from home options help our employees continue to deliver best results and work efficiently, without risking their health and undergoing unnecessary stress."

Media conglomerate Zee Entertainment Enterprises has provided an anti-pollution mask to each employee and is allowing 'Work from Home' for employees who are suffering from severe respiratory problems. The organisation has also implemented the 'Flexi Working Hours' policy and has taken on board services of a doctor at its Noida office for 10 working days starting November 9.

Global job site Indeed India MD Sashi Kumar said the company has provided its Delhi employees with the opportunity to work from home to ensure they can stay safe during the adverse weather conditions.

IT consultancy GlobalLogic India Vice-President, Human Resources, Neeru Mehta, said "we anyhow have office transport, cabs, metro shuttles etc being provided, so we made sure we are time-bound and everyone was well taken care of. Another extra mile we've gone is giving our support staff breathing mouth masks".

The smog situation is also affecting the talent landscape of Delhi and NCR.

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