From advising employees not to set up any meetings between 7 pm and 9 am to being concerned about their and and that of their families, several city firms are rewriting employee–employer relationships
Covid-19 has done many things, including rewriting the rules of the employee-employer relationship. While the pandemic has resulted in job losses for many, it has also put the onus on employers to care for the mental well-being of their workforce who are working from home.
Thank God Friday is a holiday
To start off, here’s a company who has put clear boundaries between work and home. Prione Group decided to give Fridays off to their employees. “During the lockdown when work from home became a reality, we amped up our initiatives. We offer counselling sessions on mental health, parenting and nutrition through our Employee Assistance programme. We also introduced virtual workout classes for employees and their families by partnering with a leading online fitness service provider,” says Shilpa Vaid, HR Head, Prione and Cloudtail. These firms have a dedicated downtime for employees where they are advised not to schedule meetings between 1 pm to 2 pm every day. “Similarly, employees are advised to disconnect between 7 pm and 9 am. More than business impact, the health and safety of our employees are the biggest priority,” she adds.
Adding meaning to life and work
With 100 per cent of Salesforce India’s workforce working from remote locations, the company has been constantly focusing on ways to think differently about the way they work and live, says Deepa Narayan, Senior Director, Employee Success. The firm started programmes like fitness benefits, home-office allowances, and initiatives like Wednesday Wellbeing and B-Well Together Series, where a wide range of topics are discussed and activities like gardening and photography take place.
With yoga, meditation, Zumba, and wellness webinars conducted by experts, Tally Solutions, an Indian MNC, has also encouraged its employees to virtually volunteer their time and skill to bring meaningful changes in the lives of others, says Chetan Yadav, Chief People Officer.
Among several initiatives, online education technology company Unacademy has launched UCARE that allows unlimited special leave for covid-positive or home-quarantined employees and covid test reimbursement for employees and their family.
Anxiety is main cause
To build strong relationships with employees, IT company Mphasis has introduced employee-centric tools such as Pulse surveys, wellness apps, Mental Health Train, WFH wellness tips, and stress-busting Tryouts Games. “Anxiety has emerged as a prime area of concern and therefore, we have trained counsellors on board, as a part of our Mental Health Train initiative, who conduct anxiety management sessions for our employees. Also, our short Pulse survey helps identify aspects like employee safety and need for additional assistance from our HR team or immediate leaders,” says Srikanth Karra, chief human resources officer, Mphasis.
Dealshare, a social e-commerce firm that has offices in Bengaluru, Jaipur, Mumbai and Ahmedabad, has seen a growth of over 19 per cent in productivity and efficiency after undertaking special initiatives to maintain positive employee morale. “We have created non-work related WhatsApp groups which help employees to bond and de-stress. These groups are for exchanging jokes, memes, light-hearted audio/video content and also to have casual conversations. We also host virtual meetups and Fun Friday sessions where we bond over discussions around weekend activities, sports interests, hobbies etc. Anyone who picks up a new skill is encouraged to showcase/talk about their new-found joys,” says Sankar Bora, founder and chief operating officer, DealShare.