Covid-19 has catapulted us into the working from home future. What does this mean for employee volunteering? Before Covid-19, many employers gave their employees some time off to undertake voluntary work, but it was neither universal nor consistent across companies or the public sector.
Connecting employees with the real world
Some organisations have employee volunteering schemes that give their employees paid time off work to do volunteer work that helps them step into the community to do charity work or experience the ‘real world’ issues that their policies impact upon. Employee volunteering is increasingly viewed as a way for employees to get out of their offices, practice good citizenship in action, and actively participate in long-term public interest.
Employee volunteering post covid
Before Covid-19, many employers gave their employees some time off to undertake voluntary work, but it was neither universal nor consistent across companies or the public sector. In fact, Volunteering New Zealand recently submitted on the opportunity for the Public Sector to universally embrace employee volunteering as way of providing leadership in civic participation. Do the experiences of organisations during this crisis enable more and better employee volunteering into the future?
“If we could change our working arrangements post-Covid-19 so we can continue to contribute positively to our communities, with governments and employers recognising that this has a tangible benefit to our society and to workers, then something truly wonderful and worthwhile would have emerged from the shock of this crisis.” Managing Director Andrew Barnes, Perpetual Guardian.
Pre-covid, staff at Perpetual Guardian, who opted into their four-day week productivity policy were required to give one of their annual 40 gifted days off to charity every quarter. They were able to choose what cause or organisation they would support with some form of volunteer support.
“Though we did not plan it, the announcement of the four-day week eventually was integrated into our marketing strategy, and the independent charitable work done by staff dovetails with our company’s large-scale philanthropy services. During the trial, our market share grew and we won more contracts, and the positive notoriety has increased alongside the global four-day-week conversation” noted Barnes.
There are some other great benefits too:
- Flexible working arrangements create time savings that can be redirected to non-profit organisations and worthy causes.
- Enabling employee volunteers to decide which organisations they support and when better facilitates relationship building betweent the volunteer and the Not For Profit. Moving it from a transactional relationship to a transformative experience.
Volunteering New Zealand