Indian PR agencies lead the way in giving employees some downtime during the second wave of Covid
- With the increasing number of Covid-19 cases every day, it is becoming extremely difficult for a lot of people to stay calm and keep working.
- A lot of companies have upgraded their policies to help their employees navigate through this tough period and to push them to take care of their
- However, a few PR agencies have done something remarkable during these testing times -- they have given their employees wellness day-offs.
Despite feeling anxious about contracting the virus, employees are going the extra mile to concentrate at work. They are also facing the blues of working in isolation, pressure to overperform in a dismal atmosphere, lack of job assurance and security, and some of them, even salary cuts. All of this combined has led to mental fatigue and burnout. As per WHO, burnout is characterised by three key factors: feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and reduced professional efficacy, and so many of us have been experiencing most of this in our daily lives.
And those who were already battling with clinical mental illness such as OCD, anxiety, depression, or autism—have found their stress levels kicking through the roof and struggles intensified.
According to Microsoft's Work Trend Index report in October 2020, which surveyed over 6,000 employees across eight countries, India had the second-highest percentage of workers facing increased burnout in Asia at 29%. India also came out on top with over 41% of workers citing the lack of separation between work and personal life as negatively impacting their well-being, resulting in increased stress levels.
The year 2020 taught us the value of having the mind-space to deal with the unexpected. To allow their employees to spend more time with their loved ones during one of the worst calamities India has faced in recent times, Public Relation Agencies are setting examples for others by giving them a wellness break.
This move is a brilliant reminder to prioritise a culture of well-being at the workplace at a time when we are all feeling lost, dejected, demotivated, and exhausted.
Here are a few PR agencies that have implemented a wellness programme in the past few days:
Edelman has moved to a 4-day work week for an entire month.
Rakesh Thukral, Communications and Public Affairs Professional and Managing Director of Edelman shared agency’s wellness plan on LinkedIn. He wrote, “To ensure the wellbeing of our colleagues, and to enable them to support their loved ones who need attention and care, we will be moving to a 4-day work week through May 2021. Every Friday in May has been announced as a self-care day. This will allow them some downtime from work to support their families, but also plan for early vaccination. I am sure our client partners will support us in this effort.”
In the light of rising COVID cases, MSL has declared a 4-day breather for its employees.
Monica Miglani, Group Head, MSL India shared on social media, “From colleagues who are suffering themselves or have family members infected or even employees who are just feeling pathetic with whatever is happening around, this downtime is for them to support whosoever needs their help or just legit take a breather so that we all can fight this second wave more fiercely. I am using this time to get all my family members, helpers tested who have shown symptoms in the last few days.”
Another PR agency helping its employees tackle burnout is Lintas Live. The entire month of May is going to be a 4-day working week for its employees.
Telling us more about agency's wellness days off, Ameer Ismail, President, Lintas Live, Shared, "We have always had a culture of caring and taking care of our employees is a part of our agency DNA. We have given support to our teams in many ways and encouraged team members to share the load and take over tasks when someone has been facing difficulty and needs to spend time with loved ones and family members. Whether it is our Lintas Employees Welfare Trust that stepped up and delivered a Covid Care package in late 2020 that included financial assistance and counsellor support for those who need to cope or now our decision to have a 4 day week so that each employee can take time to take care of themselves, we have always kept our employees welfare front and center."
Perfect Relations has announced a leave of 5 days for its team in a bid to combat burnout and be there with their families.
In today’s testing times, these agencies have reminded us the importance of compassion, empathy and building the right working environment for employees. Here’s hoping more agencies and companies take a cue from this.