As coronavirus cyclones through world, companies strengthen virtual bonds

Mumbai | New Delhi: A half-an-hour Bhagavad Gita session to start the workday helps keep employees calm, at a time when there is a rising mental stress amid the Covid-19 outbreak, says Ajit Menon, the group human resource head at the Dalmia Bharat Group.

Starting this week, the manufacturing conglomerate is organising morning Bhagavad Gita discourses through a Zoom call, where its employees working from home can tune in before they get to their work online. “Once the lockdown stops after 21 days, this may just become a way of life (in the company),” said Menon.

From spiritual discourses to virtual team lunches, and online fitness clubs to digital chai breaks, India Inc is getting creative to keep its workforce motivated, create a feeling of togetherness and keeping the spirits up while employees work from home.

Companies such as Swiggy, Flipkart, Schneider, Ola, RPG Enterprises, Dabur, Tata Consultancy Services and Deloitte are doing their bit to ease the mental stress in these unprecedented and uncertain times.

In fact, in keeping with public demand after the lockdown, the information and broadcasting ministry has announced that mythology series Ramayan from the 1980s would be rerun from Saturday. Talks are on for the rerun of the Mahabharat TV serial too.

Among companies, ecommerce major Flipkart is encouraging employees across the organisation to take a ‘Digital Chai Break’, with their pets and children making special appearances. Also, to help people keep up with a daily fitness routine, the Flipkart Physical Fitness Club is now online, hosting two sessions a day. This aims to enable employees to keep up with their exercise regime and stay healthy, while at home.

RPG Enterprises is organising an informal ‘Chai-pe-Charcha’ session after office hours on Google Hangouts. “During these times of extreme distress and overabundance of dread flowing in from across the world, a few RPG Group employees came online to spread cheer amongst employees with an ingenious chai-pe-charcha session via Google Hangouts,” said a company spokesperson. The ground rule was that no business-related matters will be discussed. “Organised post official hours, the session proved to be quite the mood-lifter and the camaraderie lending assurance that everybody must overcome this together,” the spokesperson said.

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