As one of the biggest and the most auspicious festivals in India, Diwali has a huge significance as far as workplace celebrations go. Most companies decorate the office and distribute sweets and gifts to the employees. Some even go as far as conducting ethinic day, Diwali-themed activities, a feast and what not.
Getting flashbacks of your last year Diwali party, already?
This year, all of these will take a back seat and new & unconventional ways of celebrating this festival would take over this time. All thanks to a tiny virus! But fret not, we have got your back! Take a look at some of the in-trend quirky Diwali celebration ideas for this unforgettable year - 2020!
With over half of the year spent working from home, the office Diwali celebrations is something we will surely going to miss. Diwali is one of the most extravagant celebrations in any corporate and this year, for the very first time, employees are sure to feel some void in these celebrations. Diwali is the festival of good over evil, the emergence of light over darkness. It is something that all of us can currently relate to and celebrate hope over despair. To keep up with the spirit of celebrations, organizations are moving to host ‘Digital Diwali’ with a number of activities including online collaborative games, virtual talent show, online ethnic fashion show, and hosting some sustainable challenges like “reduce, renew, recycle, & upcycle '' a product.
Salary & bonuses back on track
Over the last few months, companies have moved away from their COVID-19 induced ‘business continuity plans’ to running full-fledged operations with a mix of remote and on-site workplace strategies. This has meant that salary cuts have rolled back and employees may even receive a bonus right in time for Diwali – fondly known as the festival of lights. It is also a timely reminder of new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. For most of the year, there’s been anxiety, stress and uncertainty that pushed businesses to take drastic measures. This Diwali, it’s time for businesses and the HR leadership to reflect on making their employees feel secure, happy and hopeful by ensuring financial support if needed and recognizing and rewarding their employees.
Taking a leave has been a rather sensitive topic of discussion in the year 2020. While some were asked to be on a leave without pay, some struggled to get even a single day of leave approved. However, with Diwali around the corner, and an opportunity to reset the morale and reward clock, with a much needed time-off, some organizations are stepping up to the occasion and offering an extended off to their workforce to give them adequate time to relax and celebrate the festivities with some family time. While Diwali falls on a Saturday this year (oops, another holiday lost!), organizations are giving an extra day-off on the day before or the Monday after, providing employees a little breather amid an otherwise taxing year. Diwali is celebrated as a mark of homecoming of Lord Rama after 14 years in exile, and despite having been working from home all of 2020 with being barely available for family, it’s time for a homecoming in the true sense, for one and all.
From physical gifting to digital gifting
While there is a sense of fatigue that has set in with most of the festivals being celebrated at home by all, Diwali will be the first in a long time that people would want to celebrate, though in a very controlled manner as opposed to the aplmob that comes with the festival every year. However, given the effect of the pandemic on life, even gifting this Diwali is bound to be very different from all these years. Just as every section of society has today accepted the new normal of a socially distanced living, the same seems to be catching up in festive gifting too. Physical gifting has been replaced by digital gifting. The traditional sweets or dry fruit boxes accompanied by gifts are now being replaced by very user-friendly Digital Cards which can be utilized for buying what one wants. Card companies who have been in this segment have now begun customizing cards according to the needs of their corporate clients offering pre-paid options to balance spending.
Most employees aren’t fond of soan papdi as a Diwali gift and they look forward to something beautiful and amazing. This crisis brought a lot of change this year and Diwali will be a different affair for sure. With everything virtual, a gift is something that can’t be replaced but yes, wellness gifting options are being discussed across the industries. Multiple surveys have suggested that employees are going through a tough time and remote working is taking a toll on their mental and physical health.
This Diwali, employee gifting is more personalized and the talent leaders are taking extra care of their employee’s health. Employee wellness has become a priority, because when the employee health improves, so does productivity, morale, and revenue. Many companies are choosing to give health insurance, paid mental health check-ups and consulting, fitness products, and books on wellness as Diwali gifts.