Connecting with people is an innate feature of human society. We look for and rely on human interaction when we face the stress of life’s challenges.
This is why MSM – an organization that prides itself with its strong human relationships – has sought new, creative ways to bring together its more than 250 employees in 17 countries on a virtual platform. One is a daily virtual meetup called Tea Time Connect, where there’s a new thrill or bonding activity every brand-new day.
For companies who rely heavily on face-to-face meetings and in-office work, how do you deal with this sudden change to employees working from home? How do you connect with them? How do you make sure that they remain motivated through this dire period? How do you take care of their physical and, more importantly, psychological well-being?
With the loss of physical interaction, one of the most severe threats to employees is the lack of social bonds that lay the foundation for teamwork.
We recognize this threat as one of utmost importance. This is why we have started to implement a strategy called Tea Time Connect.
Although many of MSM’s employees work remotely, there are still some employees to go to physical offices regularly. Tea Time Connect ensures all employees remain in touch with each other, especially those who are not used to working from home and those who have been hit hard by ongoing COVID-10 measures.
Tea Time Connect is unique because it’s based on the concept of a coffee break (or in this case, a tea break). So, the “meetings” are more about each other than about work.
Random employees are invited each day for fun online sessions. They can chat with managers, share their thoughts with colleagues, do yoga or Zumba, sing a song, introduce colleagues to their families, boast about their pets—all while sipping a cup of tea and connecting online.
“We want to motivate everyone’s spirit through these 30 to 40 minute virtual tea sessions,” says Suneetha Qureshi, MSM’s VP for Global. “We want to keep people happy and enjoy each session, no matter where they are in the world.”
“Here at MSM, we want to make sure that we stay strong amid the coronavirus pandemic. It’s our way of strengthening the spirit of unity and human connection alive in the organization, tough times or not,” she adds.
The coronavirus pandemic as an atypical situation requires us to adjust our social practices and find brand new ways to stay connected. For organizations looking to keep everything running amid the ongoing crisis, this means considering different ways to engage with and assist their teams, partners, and clients.
Remote work has been gaining ground in the past years. Worldwide, those in the service industry still man supermarkets and restaurants. Only about 29% of employees can work remotely, yet with the necessities of physical distancing during the pandemic, the majority of workers have been forced to work from home.
Keep posted for more fun, creative ways that we keep the #OneMSM spirit alive!