Francis Anthony’s home workstation is a lot like his office one. When he availed $250 from his company, Salesforce India, as home-office allowance in March, he knew exactly on what he would spend it on: a curved screen as external monitor and a Magic Mouse.“At office, I work with three monitors and with the new external monitor, I can replicate the office experience at home. It has also improved my productivity," says Anthony, 39, the trailhead content experience team lead (industries cloud) of the firm.
With the pandemic showing no signs of subsiding, people are realizing that work from home (WFH) might just be their long-term reality. To help people transition better and adopt the WFH lifestyle seamlessly, many companies have given a home office allowance, or other facilities such as furniture and computers.
Since April, Karthik Mandaville, founder of HR tech startup Springworks, has been sending across office chairs to most of his 120 employees, which were laying vacant in their Bengaluru office, besides UPS (since power cuts are a routine problem in the city), study tables, monitors and keyboards depending on their need. He’s also reimbursing some of the staff’s Internet connection.
“After talking to the team, we vacated two of the three office floors. Since we will be saving on rent, we decided to pass on the benefit to our employees. Nearly 90% don’t have home offices. Having a table and a comfortable chair helps them be in a better frame of mind and increases their productivity," he says.
For Niharika Bhide, who works at GCC-AB InBev, the global capacity centre of the liquor giant, the ergonomic chair shipped by her company made all the difference. Having shifted to a new house just before the lockdown, Bhide, 28, couldn’t buy new furniture. “For many weeks, I had to make do with a footstool, my bed, and sometimes the dining chair. These options can be uncomfortable when you work for long hours. I started developing back pain and would find it hard to focus on work," adds Bhide, a learning and development analyst.
She was among the 400 employees who received office chairs. “It’s almost like working in office. My home office is now much more professional, which helps me focus on my tasks rather than working in discomfort. The bonus is the bright green colour of my chair, which is so cheerful."