Hyderabad: Even as software companies in the city are contemplating Work-From-Home (WFH) options in the wake of the coronavirus scare, firms like Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in Hyderabad have decided to shut down their canteens from March 16.
In an attempt to prevent large gatherings within the campus, the company has decided to close down its cafeteria from Monday.
In a message sent to all TCS employees, the company said, “Canteen services will not be available from Monday to avoid movement of associates at the same time in groups. Limited semi-dry food will be served and kept at every floor reception packed. Associates will have to pick up and eat at desk.”
Several techies believe that companies closing down cafeterias will not alleviate fear among employees regarding the virus.
A TCS employee said, “With Covid-19 declared as a pandemic, there’s a lot of panic in our office as our SEZ ODC’s are closed air-conditioned zones and there’s high probability of spread of flu from person to person. Like all other IT employees, I was also expecting WFH option as part of business continuity, but my company has sent a mail to work as usual by taking precautions…. Wish the government advises all IT SEZ’s to allow employees to work from home and stay safe.”
The employee added that food delivery packages from outside have also been discouraged.
Sundeep Kumar Makthala, president of Telangana Information Technology Association (TITA) said that many tech companies in Hyderabad are contemplating WFH after Telangana government decided to shut down schools, colleges, cinema halls and malls as a precautionary measure against the spread of coronavirus.
“If the employees are with operation or maintenance teams, they will be required to be on-site. However, if they are with the development team like coders, for instance, they can work from home, if the company permits,” he said.
Hyderabad has around 5.6 lakh software employees.
Apart from the cafeteria, the gym and library will also be closed, according to sources. The employees will also be screened for temperature before they enter the TCS campus.
Meanwhile, Amazon, located in Pune, also gave a week-long WFH provision to all its employees. In Bengaluru, biggies like Google, Dell, Microsoft and MindTree have advised its employees to take up work from home.