Big Friend, Little Friend

In June, across all three global 1E offices, we celebrated ‘Wellness Week’, inviting all our staff to participate in a week of activities aimed at physical and mental health and well-being.

Amidst all our work-related activities, the one key attribute of life that we tend to neglect is our health and well-being. For many of us, especially those who work for international companies with offices across different time zones, it’s very easy to slip in to a schedule of late nights and early mornings, forgoing much needed sleep. Others just don’t place adequate importance on a balanced diet. And most of us don’t realize the value of giving back to our communities.

Yoga mats and cushions With this in mind, 1E organized Wellness Week for its employees so that they could take time out and focus on important attributes, other than just their day-to-day tasks. Each day comprised of an offered activity, including a complete health checkup, Yoga classes, massages, team bonding outings, and food and nutrition workshops. Each day focused on a particular topic, and each of us took back a lesson learnt. The one key lesson that will stay with me is that you are not necessarily healthy just because your muscles are pumped and tummy is flat. Being healthy is a combination of being stable physically, emotionally, and mentally. It is easy to hit the gym and get the superficial results, but what about the rest?

In the Indian office, a yoga session introduced us to daily meditation techniques and a few exercises that would help us with the all-too-common neck and back aches that are usually caused by bad sitting posture, not forgetting how it de-stressed our minds as well.

London meanwhile enjoyed a talk on mental wellness from our very own Kamaey Sodhi, Marketing Program Manager (EMEA), while Tuesday saw the New York office visited by a massage therapist who performed 10 minute neck, shoulder, and back massages. She set up some soothing background music and everyone went in one at a time to get their free massage. Without exception the team loved it and are looking to have her back in the office again next quarter. As soon as he finished his massage Paul Abranovich, VP Strategic Sales, East, summed it up perfectly, saying he felt like a brand new person!

It wasn’t all peaceful and serene though. Our London head office got in two ‘smoothie bikes’ – think exercise bikes with blenders attached – and staff paired up to race to make the smoothest smoothie. It’s true what they say, a smoothie really does taste better when you’ve pedaled like a madman for 60 seconds beforehand.

Wellness Week 2014 – Smooth Bike Race from 1E on Vimeo.

1E has always placed an emphasis on Corporate Social Responsibility, both as an organization, and through its employees, and is a committed supporter of several excellent causes. Giving employees ways to benefit across the wider spectrum of health and mental wellness is its way of demonstrating “we care for our people”. With that in mind, for me personally, the most significant day of Wellness Week across our three offices the final day of the Indian week; “Big Friend, Little Friend.” The children from Maanav Mandir, an orphanage supported by 1E, came and spent a day at the 1E India office in Noida. Every employee was paired up and spent time with one child. The experience was absolutely overwhelming. Rasik Bihari (Senior Software Engineer, Development) said “Spending time with the kids and just listening to them talk about their lives has definitely triggered my compassion and understanding, and served as a reminder that not everyone in our society enjoys the same existence.”

Big Friend, Little Friend It is the small things like these that add up to the bigger happiness, and it is necessary to break out of the daily routine once in a while and experience those moments.

To finish off the week the UK office enjoyed a cocktail evening, whilst the US team went to watch the USA vs. Germany World Cup game. The food and drinks weren’t the healthiest options, but the staff really enjoyed bonding over the game! We’ll get you into cricket next guys…

Wellness Week ended with boundless smiles and relaxed minds. On top of that it got us all thinking on the simple things that we can adopt in our daily lives to bring a bit more sunshine!

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Michelle Berninger
Michelle Berninger is a Digital Marketing Manager running the 1E blog and social media. Prior to joining 1E, she worked in the documentary film industry where stories about privacy, cyber security, and the changing digital landscape caught her attention. Michelle lives in Brooklyn and is based out of 1E’s New York City office.