The workplace dynamics have changed dramatically over the past year. Organizations were forced to operate remotely, and work-from-home culture became more prominent than it ever was. The pandemic pushed the entire world into an era of increased health importance and for companies, ensuring employee health and wellbeing became highly crucial during the pandemic. To ensure employees are at their productive best, more and more companies started implementing wellness programs to address the importance of healthy living at work and ensuring they feel valued and appreciated.
“Employees’ health and safety is an integral part of all our initiatives and has always been a priority. This year, it was especially important to take extra measures to make employees feel safer and assure them their safety and health was of utmost concern. Even a small act of kindness goes a long way in easing someone’s concern in the current scenario. We also believe that happy employees make for successful workplaces, hence it’s important to celebrate small milestones during these tough times. We celebrated various milestones across the year, such as the launch of a new product, involvement of employees in company-led initiatives, and employees demonstrating their talent through our initiative called Mehfil, a virtual talent show. In fact, in this tough year, our employees voted us as a ‘Great Place To Work®,’ which I would classify as one of our biggest achievements. Finding joy in the small things can give team members a sense of belonging during these tough times, said Mr. Parag Kulkarni, Managing Director, A. O. Smith India, a leader in water heating and treatment.
Fabiola Mendes e Rodrigues, Director, Bennet and Bernard, a multi diversified firm based in Goa, said “We at Bennet and Bernard have always believed in leading with empathy towards the service of our valued employees at all times. Taking cognizance of the situation during these testing times, we have positively committed time, effort as well as money for the well-being of our employees and have gone the extra mile in helping colleagues balance their work lives. We have introduced several employee wellbeing initiatives such as flexible working hours, health workshops, physical and mental wellbeing sessions, Virtual walk, Yoga sessions, fitness competitions among teams with rewards, vaccination for all etc to help our employees keep stress at bay and improve their morale. The company remains focused on ensuring the teams’ well-being, emphasizing on what’s urgent and immediately needed, prioritisation of work and goals and ensuring teams have the necessary time needed for their own and families’ well-being.”
“Maintaining work-life balance has never been more important and difficult than it already was. A lot of people have been facing burnouts due to the lack of differentiation between work and personal life. I believe the key to a healthy balance is to practice demarcated boundaries of ‘work’ and ‘home’ and follow them through with self-discipline. Our company undertook several team building measures, like collective participation of our employees in fun online content and motivation session by team managers and management to ensure that employees remain motivated during such trying times and they do not face any lack in their efficiency. As home isolation can turn out to be gloomy and depressing for a lot of people, hence, we also arranged for counselling sessions for our employees. In addition to this, should employees feel low or in need of some support from a medical expert, we have tied up with ProPhysio, who have a team of psychologists, physiotherapists and psychiatrists and assist with their custom-made solutions. We have also initiated a host of measures like flexible working hours, stress management, online yoga and meditation for post COVID patients and we are also providing free vaccination for employees and their spouse. We also encourage employees to use this time to learn a new skill or work on bettering themselves,” adds Mr. Manas Mehrotra, Founder, 315Work Avenue, a leading coworking player.
While the notion of work from home signifies a certain amount of flexibility – given the dynamics of the current situation, it does call for an additional dose of empathy and understanding of employees’ schedules. While there is already anxiety and stress associated with this situation, the need to stay relaxed and balanced is all the more important. A working culture that is more sustainable, forward looking and acceptable in approach is the need of the hour.