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Surge in cases upends companies’ back-to-office plans


ISTANBUL

Surge in cases upends companies’ back-to-office plans

A surge in the number of coronavirus cases, triggered by the Omicron variant of COVID-19, prompts companies in Turkey to reconsider plans as to where their employees should work.

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Some companies have already asked employees to work from home and events have gone online again, while others have postponed indefinitely their back-to-the office plans.

“Firms that had planned to embark on hybrid or work from office models starting January have put those plans on hold,” said Buket Çelebiöven, the head of the People Management Association of Turkey (PERYÖN).

She also noted that more and more people have decided to work from home.

“Our monthly survey, Radar, this time focused on this issue. According to the results of our latest study, 43 of companies have altered their work arrangement due to the surge in the coronavirus cases, while 57 percent of firms, which took part in the survey, said they did not make any changes in their plans. The latter group included the companies which already shifted to the hybrid model,” Çelebiöven said.

Some 16 percent of the firms, which overhauled their plans amid risks from the rising infections, shifted to only-work-from-home scheme, while employees increased time for working from home at 66 percent of those companies that changed plans. Moreover, 15 percent of the companies decided that all employees, except for those working in the field, should work from home.

Companies are also increasingly cancelling events, such as trainings, trips and diners.

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“Around 70 percent of the firms moved their events to online platforms. It is unclear how long those measures will remain in place due to the uncertainties,” Çelebiöven said.



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