While the year 2020 changed the world in various ways, one of the biggest game-changers in business was the shift to remote working. Being a remote-first organization brings many benefits and positive progress to the way we work, there are also some challenges to overcome. Castor’s most significant core value is “Achieve anything with a happy and healthy Team,” and so we wanted to ensure we embrace this value even more in a remote-first set-up where employees are not regularly coming into a shared working space.
We wanted to support a smooth transition from office desk to home workstation and ensure Castorians got set up both physically and mentally to produce the best and most sustainable work possible.
What did we implement?
Castor has created several initiatives to provide the home office’s necessary setup and reduce stress factors, improving work/life balance while working from home. We want to share some practices which are working for us:
Activity 1. Sleeping Course
Sleep patterns are crucial not only for rest and well-being but also for productivity and effectiveness at work. With the whole work set-up being changed and many stress factors added, our sleeping behavior can be affected.
Therefore, Castorians had a chance to participate in “sleep training,” which took place online for eight weeks.
Insomnia is a significant risk factor for health and productivity, so with the help of sleeping doctors, participants focused on exploring their behaviors, attitudes, and thoughts about sleep. They implemented lifestyle changes to improve sleep patterns and received practical tools and support from the group.
Activity 2. Remote Ergonomics Workshop
Castorians got the possibility to participate in a remote ergonomics workshop with an occupational therapist. The workshop covered topics such as setting up workstations, correct posture while working, and safe sitting. The occupational therapist showed exercise on relieving strain and improving postural comfort and gave instructions for suitable stretches in sitting and standing to reduce muscle fatigue and stress.
Activity 3. Remote Rocket Boost
In addition to all the essential equipment provided in March, Castor created the Remote Rocket Boost Challenge to provide additional pandemic support to every Castorian.
All of a sudden, this year, home space merged with the work environment. Naturally, this brings many new challenges, which require an individual approach. Therefore, we created a Remote Rocket Boost program, which included a 350 EUR net allowance for every employee. Each Castorian could choose their desired upgrades or additions for their home setup, depending on their needs.
Important note: We gave absolute freedom to choose the assets with some recommendations on what it can be. We also encouraged Castorians to engage with this initiative by creating a Slack channel where employees could get additional inspiration and share the results of their upgrades.
Here are the results we want to share. We split it into two main categories:
Upgrade your Workstation
We have different life circumstances outside the office. While having all “must-have” equipment for remote work, each employee has their needs that require personal adjustments.
Think about a standing desk, ergonomic chair, an improved sound system (advanced microphone and headphones), natural light lamp (if you don’t have enough sunlight), or other equipment that brings your workstation to the next level.
Support your Wellbeing
The way we live and how we spent our time has been significantly affected by the global pandemic. Now, even more than ever, the state of general well being is essential. Everything requires a balance, so Castorians used their remote rocket boost to improve physical and mental health.
Think about such great examples as an indoor bicycle in your workroom, a new surfing desk, sports equipment for yoga/home-based HIIT, or a monthly subscription to your favorite gym.
Castorians invested in hobbies and their non-work-related activities to support mental well-being, such as massage and spa visits or a good takeaway treat from favorite restaurants on the weekend.