How we redesigned RIA’s well-being culture to accommodate our colleague’s new setups and nurture our collectiveness

The plot

As an HR professional, staying in close contact with people is my DNA and comes at hand. Or at least it used to be. When the pandemic struck, the most challenging task became to adapt to the new normal and find creative ways to maintain people engaged, fulfilled, and healthy. Luckily we had good premises in making this happen since one of the best things at RIA is our amazing team and the joy we nurture in spending time with each other, at work, and in our spare time. Many lifetime friendships started in our company over the years, and I’m glad to witness they continue to form and maintain even in the new setup. The feeling of belonging and the help one could find in developing himself professionally and personally was always present with us. The fact that we, as a community, were well-grounded and bound became the ace up our sleeve in the shift from offline to online.

Reinventing social and work interaction

Like everybody else, we had to reinvent our way of balancing work and life, setting clear boundaries since hybrid became our new way of working. And as former First Lady Michelle Obama said: “We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our to-do list.” we took the advice and acted on it with consideration to our entire team. With a shared effort as a team, we became more attentive to our working schedule, avoiding burnout, planning internal interactions offline and online, and maintaining a healthy strike between our eating habits and physical activities. In this new context, we’ve started with online sports classes, and we’ve continued to participate in marathons organized during the pandemic. We went from sharing our admiration for the latest motivational speaker in the morning at the office or talking about new make-up products to online Trivia nights or online themed workshops. We switched from watching “The Game of Thrones” together in the conference room to online cocktail-making evenings, where our kids also enjoyed themselves with ice and child-friendly drinks. Carving pumpkins contests in the kitchen at the office on Halloween were replaced by carving pumpkins with our extended families in the kitchen/bedroom/living room/dining room at home while sharing funny photos on our internal communication channels.

 So we continued to stay together via standard virtual activities like cooking lessons or spontaneous goulash gatherings. You could already tell that we are a group of foodies, right? And these are acts of togetherness that keep us going strong. Let’s be frank, we do benefit from working remotely, and things seem to be working out. However, we do miss a bunch, the barbecues on our terraces, pizza & board games evenings, adventurous team buildings, and the memories of physical togetherness. Not to mention our signature Geek events, where we met and strengthened the bonds with the larger IT community.

But the fun goes on

We decided that we could only elevate our spirit by continuing with well-established traditions in a slightly different format. For instance, this February pursuing our health program, we have gathered colleagues from all RIA locations for a new exciting challenge. We RIActivated ourselves! Running after our pets, jogging in the woods, doing yoga on our balconies, stretching before coffee, climbing hills, mountains or stairs are just a few examples to shake ourselves up after the winter.

As we want to maintain our bodies and minds healthy, we will continue this year to balance our professional lives with individual or group achievements, participating at High Tech conferences, obtaining certifications in new areas of interest, mentoring new colleagues, opening new horizons for tech students, and of course following our career path which motivates us to continue the great job we are doing at RIA. Looking forward, we have great plans to implement our well-being program. Now, our focus goes from having ergonomic and posture correction workshops down to webinars on mental health, emotional intelligence, and relational programs.

What’s next? An open question. Let’s explore the answer together.

We know it’s not the same feeling and engagement as before, but it is still fun to do stuff together, building relationships and memories that matter. We are ready to do our best to improve the balance between work and personal life, and while we do our jobs with professionalism and genuine involvement, we try to remember more and more to make time to enjoy life. If this is something that resonates with you, you might wanna know that our community is open.

HR Specialist at RIA Solutions Group