LAHORE: In conversation with Asif Peer, CEO, Managing Director Systems Limited
- How has your company facilitated your employees during pandemic?
The current COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented, and demands innovative measures to contain its spread and promote safety at the workplace. We keep our policies up-to-date on COVID-19 preparedness, response control, and plans for returning to normal. In line with the government’s directives to reduce office occupancy to minimize transmission amongst employees we sustain healthy business operations to maintain a health and safety of every Systems team member. Our policies are aligned with World Health Organization (WHO) and comply with the guidelines of Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) as foundation to plan, assess risk and implement preventive and protective measures for safe and healthy working conditions.
- What kind of special COVID-19 protocols are you following in office and with clients?
Systems Limited has witnessed a transformational trajectory with lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on how we perceive work and workplaces. Hence, we are following a hybrid work model for an efficient utilization of our workplaces and have adopted the work-from-home mode, which gives our workforce the fluidity to choose where they can work from. The model supports our female employees who are finding it easy to remotely work and balance their personal lives. Employee health and safety is paramount to us as we are an employee-oriented organization.
- How is your vaccination drive any different from others?
We take pride in associating ourselves as an organization with a majority of workforce that falls under 20-30 years of age bracket. Therefore, we started our employee vaccination drive with this particular age bracket to inoculate them within their office setting in a safe environment. We go at great lengths to ensure their health and safety, and have accommodated this particular age group while pushing others to register with the government for their vaccination.
- Are you facing any employee retention issues post-pandemic?
I won’t lie to you; we are facing this issue because of the pandemic and the increasing demand for IT & ITeS for freelancers and companies alike. The pandemic has globally affected the IT industry in a positive way and hence, resulted into an increase in demand for outsourcing IT & IteS. We responded to the growing need by recruiting more workforce and paid salaries prior to special occasions such as Eid to keep our employees at ease.
The government has been supportive of IT export industry by allowing call centers and business processing operations (BPOs) to remain functional. To meet the ongoing demand, we optimized our capacity by following protective protocols, paying extra-hardship allowance, providing meals to facilitate employees, and more.
The pandemic has taught us to be agile and adaptive; we are also considering this as an opportunity to improve our employee experience. The employee-centric activities post-pandemic are comparatively different from what they used to be, but we have been working hard to build a stronger bond with our teams.
- What are your back-to-office policies? Discuss WFH/Hybrid policies?
We adhere to government policies to ensure employee safety and we are always ready to evolve and better ourselves. We ensure online/offline work and below 40% attendance, push all employees to benefit from the vaccination drive, provide flexible opportunities, and going forward, will be adopting a hybrid work model. With flexible working hours, full-time to part-time jobs will be available for females so that they can effectively maintain a proper work-life balance. These initiatives will open up more opportunities for us to attract and retain talent.
- Can you tell us about maintaining your bond with employees during pandemic and WFH on the rise?
We follow strict protocols by maintaining a hybrid work model for most of our interactions. Employee engagement is central to the Systems values and being more empathetic towards employee needs as times are tough and every individual is trying navigate the unprecedented state of affairs. We believe in compassion to create a stronger bond based on trust to be our way forward. Employees sail the ship, while customers lead us to the journey.