Welcome to Worksheet, a newsletter about how people are working smarter in these turbulent times.
In this week’s edition, S. Mitra Kalita speaks to Infosys president Ravi Kumar about what happens when your workforce is besieged by a COVID surge.
Infosys president Ravi Kumar was trying to get global attention on vaccines last year.
“Businesses can play a pivotal role in encouraging vaccine literacy and engendering vaccination trust in the workplace,” he said in a prescient December email to me. “Building and sustaining vaccine confidence has never been more important.”
Five months later, Kumar is in the middle of an all-out war against COVID-19, but his tact and rhetoric remain the same. The bulk of Infosys’s 250,000 employees work in India, where rates of the virus are surging. Headlines report record-high numbers; 400,000 cases a day this week, and growing despair over a lack of vaccines, oxygen, and hospital beds. It’s dire.
The implications of this calamity extend far beyond India, which is what Kumar has been sounding alarms on all along. Infosys, an emblem of the global economy and India’s rise within, operates in 46 countries; Kumar is based in New York, a departure from top executives past, and Infosys has committed to hiring tens of thousands of workers in the U.S. in the next two years.
There might be no “going back” to the world we once were. Still, companies like Infosys warn the current lack of global coordination, evident in fights over patents to passports, poses a great threat to the connected workforce and economy we have become. Kumar’s approach to fighting COVID, protecting workers and business, warrants emulation by others dependent on globalization (i.e., most of us).
Kalita goes on to write about what Infosys has learned about handling crisis. Bottom line? Nobody’s safe till we all are.
Read her full column here.
Wondering what else the future of work holds? Visit Fortune‘s Smarter Working hub presented by Future Forum by Slack.
This week's reads
How to shift your mindset for the coming workplace trend (Reset)
When happened when Basecamp tried to limit what employees talk about at work (WSJ)
Historically Black colleges and universities have had among the lowest rates of COVID (Scalawag)
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