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Keeping up morale during the coronavirus pandemic

September 16, 2020

Much has already been documented about how organizations have helped their employees work from home (WFH). Indeed, most of the tools we use already enable remote working, and for most of our people the actual reality of WFH during COVID-19 is nothing new.

However, what is different about this pandemic is the sheer amount of time that people have been expected to WFH, and less has been written about how organizations have helped the mental and physical well-being of their employees during lockdown and isolation.

Looking after our people

To help provide our people with the maximum comfort while working from home, we ran online yoga classes and general cardio workouts, live streaming them as part of our ‘Train from Home” campaign. We also implemented a support hotline, through which our people could contact an external therapist and receive psychological support during lockdown and intense periods of social isolation.

In order to reduce and even eliminate the feeling of loneliness, boredom, and fatigue during lockdown, we broadcast a series of “Stay Well at Home” webinars on a number of different topics. We invited external specialists in various fields to these webinars to share their views on problems affecting our well-being and safety. These included psychologists, journalists, business coaches, and university lecturers.

A virtual substitute coffee machine chat

The COVID-19 pandemic also coincided with the start of our “Among Others” project, which aims to show how diversity at Capgemini makes our organization a great place to work. As part of this campaign, we published a five-episode series with our people in the leading roles.

On top of this, we also recorded and published 12 podcasts to show the power of diversity in the workplace. We invited external guests to talk about topics such comparing the work assets of Generation X and Generation Y, how foreigners working in Poland can bring value to local teams, and why is it so important to pay attention to unconscious bias in the workplace. They also presented a variety of work-life balance approaches, advice on how to keep a good balance as a working parent, and how to prepare for the future in terms of developing new competencies.

In addition, training sessions, debates, and tech talks were organized online to provide our people with a continuous flow of interesting educational materials. Virtual thematic groups also provided an opportunity for our people to recommend books, films, recipes, as well as the results of their culinary experiments. These activities were intended to offer a substitute for meetings with colleagues at the coffee machine.

Providing for our youngest members of the Capgemini family

One of the biggest challenges faced by our people under lockdown was how to work, while also homeschooling their children. To help them to organize their children’s time, we established a “Kids Academy.”

Under this initiative, children over six years of age had the opportunity to participate in programming lessons taught by one of our colleagues. This helped our people’s children to understand their parents’ work and nurture an awareness of programing. For the youngest children – from 3 to 5 years old – we also held classes with a speech therapist to help teach the children the correct pronunciation – which, as you can imagine, in Polish can be quite challenge!

Now that Capgemini Poland is starting to return slowly to a normal way of life, we’re starting to reflect on the impact of the pandemic from an ecology and sustainability perspective.

Learn more about how our crisis care package offers provide pragmatic, turnkey solutions that help you to mitigate the disruption caused by COVID-19 and deliver tangible business outcomes to your organization.

This blog is written by Magdalena Katolik. Shemanages public relations and website content for Capgemini Poland.