Companies advise employees to work from home, as coronavirus starts taking its toll on businesses

While the Chinese government extended the Lunar New Year break by three days, many companies are asking employees to work from home till February 10

Big companies across China are advising employees to work from home as the country continues to battle the dreaded coronavirus. Till Monday, the deadly virus has claimed 81 lives with nearly 2,900 cases reported worldwide. Understandably, the move by big companies in China is in a bid to take preventive measures and check the spread of the virus.

All big firms in China have asked their employees to stay at home and work for at least a week after the extended Lunar New Year holiday ends. The Chinese government has been making efforts to curb the spread of the virus and now businesses too are doing their best to ensure the safety of their employees but it seems it has also started biting into their revenues.

Holidays extended by three days

Coronavirus outbreak in China (Representational picture) Pixabay

The Chinese Government on Monday extended the Lunar New Year break by three days. The holiday period will now continue till February 2. However, many firms like Alibaba and Tencent Holdings have taken a step further and have advised their employees to work from home till February 7 and return to work only after February 10.

In fact, Alibaba said that the work from home alternate applies to all its divisions, including its workers in Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan apart from mainland China. Alibaba although has a global presence with more than 10,000 employees, most of them are in China.

Preventive measure results in loss for companies


Not only Alibaba and Tencent Holding a number of other big companies too are taking similar decisions. Even the Shanghai government said that none of the companies operating from the city would be permitted to resume work before February 9. Also, nearby city Suzhou, where there are a large number of tech and pharmaceutical companies, has taken similar steps as the Shanghai government.

A large number of foreign companies like General Motors, Volkswagen and Tesla have their China base in Shanghai and the decision is likely to affect the operations of the company. Although employees of internet and e-commerce companies have the option of working from home companies in the manufacturing business are likely to suffer substantially with the temporary closure till February 9.

E-commerce companies like Pinduoduo and property developer Country Garden too have asked employees returning from Wuhan or Hubei province to stay confined in their home, while ByteDance has asked employees to work from home till February 14.

In fact, after Starbucks and McDonald's a number of other restaurant chains too are temporarily shutting their restaurants in China and Shanghai. The virus is not only taking its toll on the people but has now started affecting businesses as well.

Related topics : Coronavirus