“I have tested positive.” That’s the most dreaded call that managers across India’s companies, big and small, are grappling with. The fierceness of the second wave of Covid-19 has wreaked havoc at companies, with more and more employees reporting sick.

Work has taken a back seat and well-being is now up front and centre-stage as India Inc puts in place a series of interventions to help its employees combat the dreaded virus.

Take Tech Mahindra, which has just appointed Meghna Hareendran as a ‘Wellness Officer’ with immediate effect. It’s a new role created by the company catalysed by the pandemic to institutionalise holistic wellness of all associates and ensure access to medicine, hospitals and other medical supplies. Tech Mahindra has also collaborated with hospitals to convert some of its campuses into Covid-care units.

Accenture is offering Home Care Services for its employees and family members quarantined at home with mild symptoms. It has also partnered with healthcare providers to offer quarantine rooms in hospital-managed hotels in seven cities.

Paid leave & perks

The consulting firm has also introduced a new Covid-19 caregiver paid leave benefit of five days to help its employees take care of family members who have tested positive. An interesting initiative is a plasma donor repository that the company has developed that matches its employees eligible to donate convalescent plasma with Accenture colleagues and families who need it.

Cloud computing firm VMware has announced it will be doubling the Wellbeing Allowance for employees in India. Under VMware’s 2021 Wellbeing Allowance, all employees across its offices in India will be eligible for an allowance of ₹59,130 to equip themselves to live a more healthy and balanced life. It, too, has instituted a new pandemic paid leave benefit of five days for employees.

IT services firm Cyient has launched a wellness app to get real-time status on its associates’ health and enable local support. It is facilitating oxygen cylinders for employees in need, tele-consulting with doctors, and giving salary advances, besides roping in a professional well-being services firm to help and guide its associates and their families on mental health issues.

Hearteningly, many such initiatives are happening at companies all over India as employers go all out to take care of their most important resource — people.