Business vs coronavirus: all’s well, but business trips are cancelled

How enterprises of the republic are going to fight the epidemic

Business vs coronavirus: all’s well, but business trips are cancelled
Photo: Maksim Platonov

The coronavirus is changing business processes in companies in Russia and abroad. Many of them en masse are allowing their workers to telework, some companies are introducing additional measures to control their employees’ health. Realnoe Vremya asked business representatives in Tatarstan how their operation had changed due to the pandemic, and their opinions split — some are fully developing the work online, others don’t see the necessity of changing the existing order of things.

Who is making corrections to work

The office of a big Kazan developer Unistroy is switching to online work. Office meetings, talks with partners and interaction with clients are held online, said Vice Director General of the company Iskander Yusupov:

“We have made corrections to the company’s operation. We’ve already cancelled our employee’s trips abroad, we are restricting business trips across Russia, minimising face-to-face meetings, switching to online negotiations with our partners. We began to think about the possibility of allowing the employees to work from home beforehand. As for the work with citizens, our company created all conditions to resolve the issues of accommodation online. Residents can submit an application or address via a mobile app, without going to the office. The website of the servicing company also has a possibility of ordering food delivery, dog walking and so on. The Territory of Comfort company is disinfecting common areas: entrances, lifts. We are taking these measures beforehand for prevention and training of big staff and residents of our complexes.”

KAMAZ took precaution measures first — as early as 6 March. As production can’t stop, they focused on the disinfection of the territory of the enterprise, control of employees and cancellation of business trips. This is what Oleg Afanasyev, the head of KAMAZ PJSC press service, told Realnoe Vremya:

“KAMAZ was the first here. Everybody was laughing at us because we adopted an anti-coronavirus programme on 6 March. And everybody is copying us now. We restricted business trips abroad, the organisation of mass events (for instance, an office party on 8 March), banned meetings — they are held only via teleconference. We have already purchased additional masks, thermometers. The temperature is taken at the checkpoint, and if it is above the average, a worker is sent to the health post for a check-up. Air ionisers have been bought, they are installed in places where people gather to clean the air. We have purchased hand washing gels, they are also places in the most crowded places. Cleaning is done more often. As for business processes, we are provided with components and orders till the end of April. The enterprise isn’t so far planning to close. If quarantine is introduced at the top, it is one thing. But we don’t have the right to stop the production because we are tied by contracts and commitments to people. But if there is a force majeure at state level, we will make decisions accordingly. It is considered to shift some subdivisions to teleworking, but 99% of our employees work in the factory, and it is impossible to allow them to work remotely.”

BARS Group is organising teleworking only for those employees who are back from abroad, in this case, they work from home for 14 days. The company also took some other measures to control its employees’ health.

“Cleaning is regularly done, the offices are aired. It was also decided to daily take all workers’ temperature and have a notebook for it. The company operates across Russia and considers business trips in the country safe. Nevertheless, all important meetings are postponed,” the company said.

Who is operating as usual

Anton Vasserman, executive director of Ak Bard Home, said their office was operating as usual:

“The office of Ak Bard Home is operating as usual as here it is safe and we are following all recommendations. The employees have medical masks, antiseptics. I will also remind you that we have launched a service for remote deals. A client doesn’t have to go to the sales office to get a consultation and choose a flat.”

Andrey Anisimov, director of Reaspect performance marketing agency, doesn’t see the necessity of teleworking for his employees either:

“Our employee has recently returned from Bali, we sent him home for quarantine. Generally speaking, I consider the transition of employees to remote work unreasonable in the current situation. We are washing our hands, controlling the employees’ temperature. There is no reason to send somebody home if he or she doesn’t have a temperature,” Anisimov said.

Marat Gallyamov, director Storeys, says that the company isn’t considering to seriously change the company’s business processes, everything is going as usual:

“We are fine, nothing is changing. The only thing is that we have cancelled all business trips, including across the country, for some time. We have warned all the employees, if they feel bad they should stay home. In general if there are compulsory anti-coronavirus measures, we are ready for teleworking, there are all technical and organisational possibilities for this.”
By Aleksandr Artemyev, Lyudmila Gubayeva
Tatarstan