Online exercise classes, care packs to boost staff morale

Several firms have started organising virtual engagement activities, while others have given out care packages of baked goods or fruit to employees.
Several firms have started organising virtual engagement activities, while others have given out care packages of baked goods or fruit to employees.ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

While firms have taken steps to ensure that staff remain productive while working from home, they are also aware of the emotional needs of employees amid the pandemic.

New initiatives have been started to boost morale and ensure mental well-being.

Withers KhattarWong partner and regional head of dispute resolution Shashi Nathan said it is important to recognise the efforts of employees during this period, as each person faces different challenges when working remotely.

He cites gestures like writing social media posts or thanking colleagues during meetings as a way of acknowledging their contributions.

Several firms have started organising virtual engagement activities such as exercise classes, and some have given out care packages of baked goods or fruit to employees.

For example, smart home solutions firm igloohome organises virtual gatherings and gives employees an allowance for treats.

Online marketplace start-up Carousell has a weekly session where staff can come together virtually and take part in stretching, yoga or high-intensity interval training sessions facilitated by their colleagues.

Ms Charlotte Thng, a key human resources executive at Standard Chartered Bank, said the bank has some employee volunteers who are qualified mental health first-aiders, as well as an external counselling programme for those who need emotional support.

Mr Joshua Yim, chief executive of recruitment firm Achieve Group, added: "We are not machines. There are KPIs (key performance indicators) and objectives to be met, but at the end of the day, it is also important to make sure that our employees are okay, physically and emotionally."

Choo Yun Ting

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 11, 2020, with the headline 'Online exercise classes, care packs to boost staff morale'. Print Edition | Subscribe