A lot of challenges have affected our daily lives to move forward ever since the pandemic started. This immediately turned the world of every remote staff or outsourced employee upside down, where we have no choice but to adapt as quickly as we can to make sure that we are still doing “business as usual” so our SLAs and KPIs are met.
Even as part of our organisation’s Engagement Team called PEPCom, and as an employee, I am not exempt from feeling these challenges amidst the new normal.
As surprising as it may sound, not everyone in the community is ready for remote work.
Suddenly, a stable internet connection at home has become the main priority over other household monthly bills as it serves as the only means of contact between the team and the outside community in exchange for our normal face-to-face interactions.
It took PEPCom team a lot of time to cope and adjust to this new working environment. The whole adjustment process challenged and tested everyone’s “normal” way of working physically, mentally, and emotionally.
As an organisation in the BPO or outsourcing industry, we have been used to doing virtual meetings because we work with our clients who are overseas but the mental and emotional stress that the daily news or social newsfeed negatively affected us, as well as the new technical challenges we faced with the new work environment, and our motivation.
Our attention and focus got divided between tasks and new distractions at home, so virtual meeting preparations proved to be a test of everyone’s patience.
We didn’t experience these in the past as we were physically sitting beside our lunch break mates and work buddies, who also had their head down for their clients, but also provided professional support.
We realised that physical contact is the difference between mental wellness at work and coping with the emotional stress of this new normal of working from home during the pandemic.
Camaraderie is one of the key factors in bringing our team and the community closer together. Being in the same workspace where we build our memories and friendship, professionally or personally, keeps us engaged.
Now, the challenging part is the limited number of chances and opportunities we get to physically spend time together. Social interaction is inadequate online, despite our best attempts initially.
New employees don’t get to experience the excitement of being a part of our welcoming and fun office culture. It’s almost impossible to hold social activities this time with engaging events like office parties and team buildings.
Our PEPCom team still pushed through and came up with fun and quirky online activities as an alternative for the new normal, our vision to engage the workplace community took a whole new different level.
The Fun Friday activity alleviates the workweek stress, as always, through exciting and fun games — but this time, virtually.
We must admit, it is tough to think of a different virtual game every week to keep everyone engaged but we believe that it is for the benefit of everyone’s mental wellness.
As long as there are new ways and ideas to keep us all sane and happy, we will continue to do what it takes to be a part of our community in a happy workplace, both physically and virtually.
Indeed, happy staff mean happy customers.
People Empowering People Committee