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ʼSolidarity and responsibilityʼ the motto of fight against COVID-19, Telenor says

While there are some universal solutions, every company needs to be creative to respond as needed and act to stop the coronavirus, according to Judit Endrei-Kiss, chief HR officer of Telenor Hungary.

Judit Endrei-Kiss

"These days are the days of solidarity and responsibility. It is our personal responsibility what’s going to happen in the next few days. Now is the moment to take the initiative. We, as company executives, need to take responsible decisions. So, how do we at Telenor respond to the situation? Sometimes you just have to step out of the line," Endrei-Kiss argues.

Telenor has already shut its HQ in Törökbálint and ordered home office for all. The company provided shop staff with protective gear, implemented protective measures, elaborated quarantine rules, and are evaluating how to let people stay at home, if necessary, on an individual basis.

Additionally, the company does not allow those in critical positions to use public transport. Telenor now relies on pool cars, their own taxi service, and help from colleagues in transportation.

Instead of ordering unpaid leave, ordinary leave, absence, downtime or sick leave, the business implemented a home office regime instead, asking everybody to perform to the best of their abilities.

The kitchen at the HQ will continue to operate, Endrei-Kiss says, adding that home deliveries have been organized for colleagues which means that restaurant staff will not lose their jobs. This also means that employees have to leave their homes to go shopping less often and they will also have to cook less.

Telenor also has volunteer coaches and psychologists available to provide employees with mental health support in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

To help employees receive the necessary technological equipment, the company also helps people with unneeded laptops and those who are in need of such devices get in touch and coordinate. 

A team made up from Telenor’s digital education program, Hipersuli and digital teachers, published recommendations for parents and educators in just 24 hours after the announcement of school closures.

Telenor also decided to provide 100 GB of extra data to all customers. With this gesture, the service provider provides support to customers and family members included in their family tariffs, in the wake of increasing internet usage.

"Given all the above, I’m immensely proud of my colleagues and fellow executives. It’s amazing what they’ve done in terms of decisions and actions these days... We also encourage you to take the initiative," Endrei-Kiss says.

"Face reality and take action. Do what you can inside and outside your companies. If you are invited to collaborate, don’t let yourselves be distracted by superficialities. You should evaluate whether an initiative makes sense, whether it helps people live a dignified life until we can stop the coronavirus. Solidarity and responsibility – this is the motto of the fight against the coronavirus."