Talking about a global pandemic is difficult. It is scary that so much has changed in the past year, and it is uncertain how much the world will continue to change moving forward. We wanted to take this time to share what has worked for us at OSG with continuing to work from home and how we can support each other on our teams, especially our Indian teammates, during these stressful times.
Supporting Our OSG Family While We Work From Home
When everyone seems so far away and separate, especially during lockdowns and while worrying for yourself and loved ones, we’ve tried to emphasize health, safety, and virtual bonding in order to stay connected at work.
Encouraging Mental Health Days
At OSG, employees are highly encouraged to take time off to reenergize their mental capacity. Employees are bound to feel overwhelmed with the constant work pressure as well as balancing family responsibilities at home. Our clients continue to face challenges that require complex solutions, and diving into that work while adjusting to a new work environment can be stressful for anyone, so breaks are highly encouraged so that our work and health don’t suffer.
Checking in on Teammates
On the marketing team, we have started a practice of fun activities to kick-off our weekly meetings. From playing “2 Truths and a Lie” as a team, to doing our best to explain in pictographs what our company is and does, we have been getting to know each other while having fun as a team. We also take time at the beginning of meetings to check in with one another, since our team spans all the way across the US as well as having team members in the UK and India.
Continue to Celebrate the Wins
As a company, we have maintained our monthly and quarterly company and region-wide meetings to learn about what everyone across the company is doing. These were virtual before, since we had people working from everywhere around the world, so it was easy to keep this cadence of touchpoints for building connections as a company.
Build Virtual Communities
In November, the India office organized a virtual show-and-tell when everyone could share their talents and knowledge with their colleagues and feel a sense of community. In December, we hosted our first Hackathon, where cross-division teams came together to imagine and build new technology that we could use in our solutions and website. We’ve seen an uptick in fun and heartwarming pictures shared through our internal social platform, and we hope to see that continued into the future.
We hope that if you are reading this and based in India or otherwise struggling with stress due to the pandemic or not, that you’re able to be supported by those around you, at work or not, in order to find your balance.
Embracing Work From Home: Working through COVID
People can still meet their deadlines on time. They are not surrounded by distracting colleagues coming to their desks for a social visit. But that is contrasted with the lack of distance between home and work now that work is happening at home. Some employees may throw themselves into their work, some may struggle with staying focused when surrounded by family. Share with your colleagues and team members what has been working for you, and what systems you’ve developed to support your productivity.
Some are not able to see their families due to the difference in geographic location, while others are overwhelmed with time with family. So many are either facing staying away from their loved ones or not traveling as much as before to stay healthy or becoming even closer to the family they do live with. Now that remote working is keeping people working from home, home might serve as school, work, and family space all in one building.
How is the Pandemic Impacting Global Employees?
As a global company, our employees are located around the world, with employees everywhere from Switzerland, to Dubai, to Mexico City. Our main offices may be in Newtown and Bengaluru, but our US and Indian teams now span across both countries as we continue hiring and working from our homes. Due to a variety of lockdown experiences around the world, our company has shifted everyone to remote work and kept minimal office space and staff, and we continue to support employees in working from home. This shift is also reflected in the global workforce, with whatever work can shift to remote doing so, and other work.
India put regional lockdowns in place for most of the duration of the pandemic and viral videos circulated of police officers sentencing those who broke curfew to do different exercises to make them feel the shame of their actions. The current situation in India is a healthcare system struggling to support too many patients. The country is suffering from a lack of oxygen and intubation systems, as well as a lack of beds and space for all the patients being admitted. Because of patients suffering from COVID-19 overwhelming the system, the health services available to those impacted by anything other than COVID-19 are being strained. If you have the means to do so, consider supporting various donation drives for the needs of patients and patients’ families in India, by checking out Give India’s list of initiatives.
If you are interested in joining the OSG family, check out our Careers page or contact us if you’d like further information about our teams and organization!