The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) yesterday said it will continue the work-from-home model that is running 90 percent of its operations for the rest of 2020.
The carrier, in a statement ahead of last night's address by the Prime Minister, said that since March it has implemented its virtual store, e-billing and consolidated its office footprint in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the Government began lifting restrictions and allowing citizens to return to work following the first lockdown, BTC has opted to continue the work-from-home policy.
Garfield 'Garry' Sinclair, BTC's chief executive, said: “The safety of our employees and our customers is our number one priority. Since late January, we began to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic to determine the necessary measures that we needed to put in place to respond to this crisis.
"In early March, we conducted a trial work from home model, and since then just about all of our non-technical operations have been executed in a virtual environment, which has gone exceptionally well.”
BTC added that the decision to continue the work-from-home model for the remainder of 2020 will give employees who can work off-site the flexibility to continue doing so. The company is providing employees with free landline and broadband services to support their work-from-experience.
While work-from-home is being encouraged, BTC added that it will also re-open some of its offices to give employees the chance to return to the office if they choose. The company has reduced its office footprint in New Providence and consolidated operations between its network hub at Poinciana and Perpall Tract compound.
To support staff health and safety, and observe safe and social distancing, a rotation system has been implemented limiting the number of employees going into the office on a daily basis.
Mr Sinclair said: “We are remodeling our Perpall Tract facility to ensure that we have a socially distanced and state-of-the-art workspace for those who may opt to go into the office.”
Employees attending BTC's office and working from its retail stores are provided with the necessary personal protective equipment for their safety and that of customers. BTC has also implemented temperature checks at its offices and stores. Customers with higher than normal temperatures are being served through the virtual store option.
“We’ve successfully concluded over 30,000 transactions through our virtual stores within the last four-and-a-half months, and we are looking at ways to further enhance the service which we will introduce shortly,” Mr Sinclair added.
“We made a conscious decision to discontinue paper bills, and have updated our billing and bill payment platform. Bills are now e-mailed and can be viewed on our MyBTC mobile app. Bill payment options have also been made easier and customers can use BTC’s Fast Pay option to make a payment.
"Customers need their account number if they’d like to see their balance and pay their bill, or simply the phone number if they only want to pay the bill. Customers who still wish to receive a paper bill can make a request”
Customers also have the option of contacting BTC's call centre at 225-5282 to access their bills.