Covid19 Impact: Facility management companies ensure workers’ engagement with extra incentives

MUMBAI | BENGALURU | NEW DELHI: Facility management companies are providing extra incentives to blue-collar workers who are engaged in the work of cleaning and sanitising commercial towers and residential complexes.

The companies are doing so to ensure worker engagement, and several clients are ready to pay for this. Workers are also being provided food, temporary accommodation, and hygiene support and their safety is taken care of as well. Top facilities management companies in India employ lakhs of blue-collar workers.

“Considering the challenge and the risks involved, we have also looked into the aspect of additional benefits for these people to ensure that their families and next of kin are safe while they are fulfilling their professional responsibilities,” said Anshuman Magazine, chairman – India, South East Asia, Middle East & Africa, at CBRE.

Given the Covid-19 scare, workers have to undertake deep cleaning of complexes almost every second or third day, in addition to the regular hygiene measures, resulting in their work almost doubling.

“Blue-collar workers’ incentive is approximately 80-100 per cent of their average take-home salary. We are giving salary to everyone and extra incentives to people who are doubling up and are on the ground risking themselves,” said Pradeep Lala, chief executive, Embassy Services, which manages more than 70 million sq ft in 14 cities.

Cushman & Wakefield has asked its facility management and security workforce in a majority of the cases to stay at the sites for the duration of the crisis.

It has made arrangements for their food and accommodation, apart from incentivising them with additional daily allowance for this period.

“This ensures that the risk of community transmission at these respective locations is practically negligible,” said Rajesh Sharma, managing director – IFM & asset services, Cushman & Wakefield.

While some of these companies have ensured that a minimum number of workers have been posted on sites, others have divided the workforce into 2-3 batches that would work on sites with a 15-day schedule alternatively.

These companies are expecting increased use of technology to manage residential and commercial complexes once the Covid-19 crisis is over.

“The current crisis has brought to the surface the huge dependence on the manpower to manage the operations. It should pave way for the need to have technology playing a crucial role in the operations,” said Ramesh Nair, CEO, JLL India.

Realty developer Vatika Group that also operates a facility management outfit has provided a majority of its workers — over 700 in total, mostly migrants — accommodation within its township.

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