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Meet-less Fridays and other pandemic workplace innovations

COVID-19 has changed the world that we know today. One of the changes the pandemic has brought is the work-from-home set-up or WFH. This has been proven to work especially for employees who don’t need to be physically present in their office.

However, there are some challenges. The lack of disconnect between work and home has led employees to work longer hours, be in back-to-back meetings, and sometimes be less present in their personal lives. Another consequence of WFH is the lack of connection between employees.

These are challenges snacks company Mondelez Philippines aims to help address for its people working from home, to help improve their well-being and productivity.

To aid colleagues in their journey to better physical, emotional, and mental health, Mondelez Philippines provides three different programs to improve employee support: Meet-less Fridays, Employee Assistance Program (EAP), and the Sabbatical Leave.

Starting this year, the Meet-less Fridays program allows employees to have meeting-less time every Friday afternoon to focus on their individual projects or tasks in support of the company's flexible working policy. No meetings means employees can complete other deliverables, gather as a team to celebrate small and big wins, recharge for the next week, or attend other activities initiated by the company that promote well-being.

“At Mondelez Philippines, we want our employees to know that we respect their time and their hard work throughout the week, and we want to give back time each week for them to use for themselves,” said Aileen Aumentado, Mondelez Philippines People Lead.

“Our Meet-less Fridays drive has allowed our employees to get a 'breather' from a full week of virtual meetings and let them focus on their weekly targets, just in time before their much awaited weekend with their families. This drive has developed win-win business and people solutions while balancing business and people needs,” said Mondelez Philippines employee Donna Maligalig.

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) aims to support employees by providing online counseling for various mental health topics. It aims to ensure employees never feel alone or lack support. From time to time, everyone experiences situations that affect their general well-being. Employees can reach out to this EAP service for practical information, including physical, financial, legal, and family care resources. This can be done through counselling over the phone, online, or in person.

Lastly, the Sabbatical Leave program allows employees to take a prolonged leave from work to recharge and re-energize their mental well-being, or prioritize other needs such as caregiving responsibilities, self-development, and community work.

The new normal has added different challenges and responsibilities for each employee. The Sabbatical Leave is a chance for employees to experience a “break from work.”

“We pride ourselves in building a winning growth culture and this is not possible without the makers and bakers of our delicious products,” said Aumentado.  

Topics: work-from-home , COVID-19 , Mondelez Philippines , Employee Assistance Program , Aileen Aumentado
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