The global pandemic is bringing a lot of uncertainty to our lives, and we’re all feeling a bit out of sorts considering our extended work-from-home situation. Many of us are dealing with additional responsibilities and stress at work and in our personal lives, trying to manage families, work expectations, and household chores all from the same place—our homes.
As always, NetApp’s first priority is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our employees. The leadership team has been checking in regularly with employees, through feedback mechanisms such as the Thrive Well-Being survey, to give us insight into how everyone is feeling. In a recent survey, many of employees shared their experiences of mounting burnout, “virtual meetings fatigue,” and the difficulty of maintaining clear boundaries between work and personal commitments.
We understand and share these concerns. In a recent email sent to employees, the leadership team recognized the efforts that everyone is making to collaborate and work together, and also the need for us all to continue to take time to think, work, and learn in our jobs.
The Global HR team has implemented several programs to help improve the ongoing uncertainties we all face. Here are a few of these initiatives.
- Work-from-home expense reimbursement. NetApp will reimburse costs of work-related equipment or services to all employees, up to US$50 or equivalent per month.
- No-Meeting Fridays. Everyone needs time away from virtual meetings. On the second Friday of each month, all employees are encouraged to “just say no” to meetings and spend the day catching up on work or emails or whatever they need to do. The intention of No-Meeting Fridays is to take action together as One Team across the company and to minimize the time we spend in meetings for one day a month.
- Global Wellness Days. June 29 and September 25 were paid days off for all employees worldwide in appreciation of everyone’s outstanding response to working remotely. Global Wellness Days also recognize the need for quiet time to recharge after managing the pandemic work environment for an extended period.
Some of our employees shared on social media how they planned to spend their day off.
— Ann-Marie Grissino (@amgrissino) September 29, 2020
Stayed in bed late, have no plans for today and will go with the flow, also taking a break from all decision making. #justchilling
— Meenu Datta (@Me_Datta) September 25, 2020
In an email to employees, NetApp Chief Human Resources Officer Debra McCowan wrote, “Only when we approach our wellness together can we truly have the extra time and space that is not only healthy for us as individuals but is important to the health and success of our organization.”
2020 has become the year of “Re” – a time when we re-evaluate priorities, re-new ourselves, re-discover, re-charge, re-fresh, and rest. Taking intentional breaks as a global team is one way we all do this – because we’re all in this together.