| 16 March 2020 | 11:36 pm
Two major mobile phone operators on Monday asked their employees to work online staying at home in view of worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
Another mobile phone operator said their workers were free to decide if they want to attend the office work from home
Grameenphone and Banglalink issued statements announcing their decision to discourage employees from coming to the office while Robi said their workers could avail a scope to stay home and work online.
Grameenphone spokesman Khairul Bashar said they issued a notice to its around 2,300 employees informing the directive as “safety is our foremost concern”.
“We have been preparing to keep our employees and associated business partners safe following the standard guideline provided by relevant authorities,” he said.
Bashar said the decision was part of the operator’s business contingency plans to protect their employees alongside ensuring continued services to its nearly 76.5 million customers as they “need us most in this time of uncertainties”.
On the other hand, Banglalink, the third biggest operator in terms of subscribers, said it took the “work from home” decision for two weeks from March 18 in line with its parent company Veon’s directives.
Banglalink’s chief corporate and regulatory affairs officer Taimur Rahman, however, said workers of its essential services like network operation, customer service, LIC support would require to attend offices to run the operations.
“We are (also) encouraging our employees to limit their outside interactions to an absolute minimum and in emergency situations only,” he said.
He said Banglalink believes that in a crisis situation, mobile network providers have obligations to ensure maximum availability of their services to support governmental efforts.
Robi’s chief corporate and regulatory officer Shahed Alam said they asked their employees to decide whether they preferred to work from home or attend the office.
“Working from home has long been practiced in Robi. In the wake of the Corona pandemic, we are encouraging our employees to avail this mode of work to minimize their chances of contracting Coronavirus,” he said. Robi is the second biggest telecom operator in Bangladesh.