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Companies evolve, adjust work culture during COVID-19 pandemic

Jakarta Post - November 7, 2020

Jakarta – The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted established workplace cultures, with many companies requiring their employees to work from home via various digital platforms to comply with government rules.

While some might find these changes troubling, some companies, such as state-owned telecommunications giant PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) and diversified conglomerate PT Astra International, have successfully adapted to the working environment of the so-called new normal.

Both companies shared during a webinar on Thursday several key measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, such as educating employees about the disease and applying the 3M health protocols: menggunakan masker (wearing masks), mencuci tangan (washing hands) and menjaga jarak (social distancing).

However, Telkom Group and Astra International also created new, innovative ways to protect their employees from COVID-19.

Telkom human capital management director Afriwandi shared that the company had assigned COVID Rangers who helped monitor employees' compliance with health protocols as well as educate internal and external parties about COVID-19.

Additionally, Telkom Group also uses an application called Diarium to monitor workers' day-to-day activities. He explained that the company had seen a surge of COVID-19 cases during the early days of the work-from-home policy.

"No one got infected when we were still working from the office as we apply strict health protocols," he said, "However, when we started to work from home, some employees started carrying out tasks they normally wouldn't, such as helping their partners shop at a traditional market."

Responding to the problem, Telkom Group now requires all employees to log in to Diarium four times a day, then report the time at which they logged in, their current location and health status, which includes a COVID-19 assessment.

Afriwandi also said that Telkom Group had been offering flexible working arrangements to all employees.

The company has also discovered effective ways for employees to either work from home or the office. With all the new approaches, Afriwandi said employees remained productive and the company even managed to reduce operational costs by up to 24 percent.

Meanwhile, Astra International corporate human capital chief Aloysius Budi revealed that the company had formed a team to deal with COVID-19 in its main office as well as business units in February before the first COVID-19 cases were found in Indonesia.

In April, the company established a COVID-19 crisis center and began to ask the employees to report their health statuses, movements and other information in a daily survey.

Aloysius said the daily survey became useful when there was a COVID-19 case, as it helped them conduct contact-tracing. The company also established a hotline center to assist employees with all COVID-19-related issues.

In addition to taking care of its employees, Aloysius said Astra International also assisted family members who have been infected.

"COVID-19 is a multidimensional issue as it affects the patient as well as their family members," he said. (jes)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/11/06/companies-evolve-adjust-work-culture-during-covid-19-pandemic.htm