By Nor Aslinda, HSSEQ Compliance Executive
COVID-19 has reshaped what work looks like for many of us. With months of lockdowns and persistent social distancing, it has understandably shaken up our work life. Learning or interaction has changed overnight – COVID-19 has made all of us e-learners and part of the online community.
The recent Thome Safety and Environmental Day which was conducted virtually in November and December 2020 respectively, is the testament to the above statement.
Unlike in previous years where the events were conducted face-to-face in respective offices’ meeting rooms (Singapore, Croatia, Manila and India), last year’s events were conducted online and with one session per event due to the pandemic. While it was great to have events attended physically where we can see and feel the human interaction and engagement, events held online do not feel deprived of that and even have their own set of pros as well.
1. Lesser time away from work
The previous years’ Safety and Environmental Day were conducted in a face-to-face set-up divided in various sessions (Singapore office – 2 sessions, ROHQ – 2 sessions, India – 1 session, Croatia – 1 session) to cater for the number of staff involved and various time zones. This meant that a chunk of employee’s time were consumed from work to carry out the activities. Having the event conducted online last year only meant less time had to be taken away from work to organise the activities. The event was conducted in a single session and for about 1.5hrs to 2 hrs only. With a single session, staff in various global offices were able to come together and participate in the event.
2. Shy Employees Get to Participate
Not everyone likes to be out in front of an audience and participate in activities. During the online event, we noticed that the normally shy employees were being proactive and shows more comfortability in participating compared to when they are physically with their peers. This resulted in more interaction and engagement amongst staff.
There are many other pros of having an event conducted online, but the above mentioned are the ones that seemed to be the most significant. The only downside of the online event was basically poor internet connection. Some did experience poor connectivity which did affect their whole online experience.
In conclusion, online events and learning are likely to be the “new normal” and our experiences have proved that events and learning can be carried out successfully outside the meeting rooms.