Reimaging Employee Experience with ‘Week in Office’ Initiative
ShareChat has grown exponentially in the last two years on multiple fronts. The organization is now valued at US$5 billion with investments from Google, Twitter, Snap, Tiger Global, and more. The period also witnessed the organization grow in employee strength — going from less than 500 in 2020 to more than 2300 in 2022.
With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the globe, ShareChat adopted a remote-work culture to prioritize the well-being and mental health of the associates. Two years on, our employees continue to work remotely and we’ve made significant gains in building a global organization with new hires in Europe, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom.
Given the current setup, most of our new hires have joined remotely. This allows them to start their journey with us from the comforts of their homes, or a place of their preference. Apart from our offices in Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi, we’ve also tied up with co-working spaces pan India to make available an on demand office set up for employees when they feel the need to work together in small groups or want a formal set-up for a change.
The COVID-19 pandemic has ensured organizations now look at productivity and work culture from a different lens. Organizations have had to reimagine the employee experience. At ShareChat, we wanted our associates to meet each other in physical workspaces to improve their bond with their team members, improve cross-functional collaborations, and have a chance to meet the leaders. All this while they have fun at work.
The months of July, August, and September saw employees from different business functions converge in the Bangalore office for an initiative that we named — “Week in office”. The idea was to make it a week full of fun, a place to brainstorm and keep our associates engaged with different activities.
Mondays were dedicated to Virtual Reality games, Tuesdays and Wednesdays saw our employees compete in a table tennis tournament while Thursdays were reserved for board games. On Friday, we held town halls to update our employees about the progress, the future, the wins, the failures, and give the employees a chance to connect with the leaders. Saturdays were reserved for team outings before our associates flew back to their homes to be with their families and drive ShareChat’s journey forward.
“The ‘Week in Office’ was a great initiative primarily because it helped us connect with all the folks in the team — catching up with old team members, exchanging all the updates with them, and also putting a face and personality to all new joiners, who I have only interacted on Slack or calls,” said Setal Patel — Director, Product at ShareChat.
“Moreover, everyone coming together led to a lot of brainstorming discussion within the team as well as between different teams. This led to some issues or problems getting resolved in hours instead of a day.
“This was great from a product manager’s perspective as it led to a lot of ideation, better relationships, and some complex issues getting resolved. There were apprehensions that there would be too many shoulder nudges to “talk” but we managed to get a lot of work done, have brainstorming sessions, and plan for the upcoming quarters.”
Setal’s views have been echoed throughout the organization. In the survey floated by the People’s team to six business functions, more than 98 percent of employees felt satisfied with the initiative. A total of 99.3 percent felt it led to better interactions with their colleagues while 97 percent felt it gave them a better opportunity to resolve roadblocks and build better alignment. More than 96 percent of associates felt the various activities helped them stay engaged and have fun.
“Most of the employees were excited to come to Bangalore and meet their teammates as they hadn’t seen each other in a very long time. In some cases, they were meeting their colleagues for the first time. I also met some of my team members for the first time during the initiative. There was a lot of excitement,” said Chirag Shenoy, technical lead (iOS) with ShareChat. “
“Working remotely brings in a lot of benefits but there’s always a need for a physical connection. Meeting your colleagues once in a while also helps improve the connection when people work virtually. The fact that they all stayed together in the same hotel also led to great bonds being formed.”
Chirag, on his part, played a key role in ensuring that the table tennis tournament for each business function was conducted without a glitch and allowed the associates to unwind while bringing out their competitive best.
At ShareChat, we continue to hire new talent and fuel our growth. While most of our associates continue to work remotely, such initiatives play a key role in helping employees learn the culture of the organization, relate to different values, and it also gives them a much-needed change from their regular work routine.
The ‘Week in Office’ is just one of the many initiatives we are deploying to give our employees the best possible work environment to flourish and grow in their journey with ShareChat.
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