dtac announces work from home is here to stay

May 21, 2020 – Today, dtac has announced measures for its employees’ return to the company’s headquarters, regional offices and call centers. At the peak of the nationwide lockdown, 73% percent of dtac employees were working from home, including most salespersons. Now, all shops have reopened with strict social distancing measures. But dtac announced that its offices’ occupancy would remain capped at 30 percent until further notice, meaning over 1,000 employees will continue to work from home, at least partially.

Chief People Officer Nardrerdee Arj-harnwongse says it’s possible to be equally productive working from home.

RESPONSIBLE EMPLOYEES

Nardrerdee Arj-harnwongse, Chief People Officer of Total Access Communication PLC, or dtac, said, “Work from home on this scale is completely unprecedented in Thailand. Of course, there are still many positions in the company which cannot work from home. But our experience with support functions and the call center during the past few weeks is that many employees can be just as effective working from home as they are at the office.”

In a survey conducted among dtac’s employees, 84 percent said they feel motivated to do more than what is required in their job and 82 percent feel conditions in their job allow them to be as productive as can be.

Ms. Nardrerdee credits the positive impact of remote work at dtac to changes that were made in the past three years, both in terms of technology and soft skills. New cloud-based tools were introduced to allow better online collaboration between employees. And numerous initiatives focused on developing employees’ growth mindset, accountability and end-to-end responsibility.

“Companies shifting to work from home need managers acting as coaches rather than bosses. We would also recommend organizations consider flatter org charts, with wider teams, fewer handoffs and more empowered individuals. A culture of empowerment allows employees to work from home, without direct supervision, and maintain the same, or sometimes even better, productivity,” said Ms. Nardrerdee.

The dtac headquarters are now deep-cleaned on a daily basis in addition to limiting its occupancy at 30percent.

THE NEW NORMAL

Effective June 1st, dtac’s office personnel will be divided into three groups: those who cannot work from home, those who can work from home from time to time, and those who can work from home all the time.

“This is all completely new to us, and we’re having to write the rules as we go along. But the general principle is to aim for less than 30 percent occupancy in the office, to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. The first consideration for dtac is our customers’ and employee’s health,” said Ms. Nardrerdee.

dtac CEO Sharad Mehrotra shares a “virtual breakfast” with the dtac Jaidee team.

Many limitations remain to achieve or push beyond dtac’s 70 percent target for remote work. Data protection laws dictate that certain types of data cannot leave a company’s headquarters, making work from home impossible for those dealing with this data.

To keep up dtac’s team spirit, a Healthy@Work campaign engaged employees to create content on TikTok, share virtual lunches, or break out into song while video conference. Hundreds of employees participated and engaged with the organic content. Moreover, dtac increase the frequency of its quarterly town halls to twice a month, and made them entirely virtual, patching in employees from the network field operations, call centers and shops to share their experience of the new normal with the rest of the organization.

For more information on dtac’s response to covid-19 for customers, please visit https://www.dtac.co.th/covid-19.html

The dtac network operation center has strict social distancing measures to maintain 1-2 meters between each network engineer.