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    Balancing the WFH life: the SPAG way!



    The last few weeks have not been easy. The COVID-19 outbreak has pulled us away from our well-set routines and limited us to our homes. We all have been taking this time to settle into our new lifestyles, transitioning into this new-found virtual work environment. For some of us this transition has been smooth and even a welcome change, but for many it has been a challenging process coupled with stress, uncertainty, anxiety and confusion. It is easy to fall off your well-designed work routine when you don’t have anywhere to go or a fixed schedule to follow. It is also easy to get sucked into work and not find a work-life balance between.

    At SPAG, we began working from home in mid-March and it came with its challenges. Many of our employees underwent a change in their emotional and physical well-being. Being in the profession of communicating and networking, it is often difficult to restrict ourselves to zero social interaction.

    However, over the last few weeks, we have taken some steps towards ensuring our employees don’t feel pressured in this new environment.

    Team lunches
    We all miss our fun chats and team lunches in office; the gossip sessions with our peers and the leg-pulling – this downtime in office is something everyone looked forward to and has been a part of our daily work lives for a while. Now, even though we are working from home, we wanted to keep the buzz alive – virtually! Therefore, right from the onset of WFH, we’ve been conducting team lunches over video calls on MS Teams with our employees across Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Singapore. And as expected they’ve been full of chatter and cheer, keeping everyone connected despite the social distancing.

    Activities

    Fitness Challenge: Fitness has its own role to play in keeping everyone physically and emotionally fit as our lifestyles become more sedentary and our movement is restricted. We tried to ensure that we at SPAG don’t keep our interactions limited to work. We thus started a fitness challenge which has been a great way to stay connected and keep all of us fit. From planks to push-ups we’ve had videos of our employees pouring in. Also, we ensured the kids at home got involved and inspired by their parents, uncles and aunts.

    Singing Challenge: Working from home has also been a great way to explore the talent we have in our company. Through the fitness challenge emerged a singing challenge where employees across the board have been sending in videos of them crooning to classic hits of the 80s along with some latest Bollywood numbers. This translated into a quarantakshari.

    Bollywood Quiz: To break the monotony of work, we also held an evening of fun and laughter where everyone participated through video conferencing in a Bollywood Quiz. The team sang songs, shared stories, jokes and we even saw a glimpse of some of our colleagues’ adorable pets.

    These activities have helped many employees feel motivated and laugh during this tough period.

    Taking time off
    It is important to take out at least 10 minutes in your day to simply pause and reflect. We forget amid keeping up with technology and work to take a step back for ourselves. Therefore, we encourage our team to take breaks between work to breathe.

    Online Training Webinars
    While all the above activities have created a new sense of bonding amongst the employees, it hasn’t been all fun and no work. We have also been actively working towards ensuring that we leverage all the resources at hand to educate and empower ourselves in this virtual work environment. Before WFH began, we trained our employees on how to use software which would help us stay connected through easy work-share options. So far, we have held a lot of other online training webinars internally for the employees on different aspects of our industry - communications, branding, HR and even on the nuances of working from home. These have been very beneficial for our team to cope up with the changing times.

    Through all of the above activities we’ve been trying to replicate a sense of community within our organisation even though we can’t physically work with each other given the current scenario. There is uncertainty, but it doesn’t have to take away our spirits. At SPAG, we believe that good mental health is a necessity to high productivity and in these tough times, we can all do by spreading a bit of cheer and easing the pressure. Social distancing does not mean emotionally distancing from our loved ones, friends, family and colleagues. It is important to maintain relationships which today technology supports us in doing. We hope we all can work towards maintaining those bonds and often reminding ourselves of the familiar emotional environment we belong in.