The global pandemic has caused businesses to move their operations from a centralised office into their employees' homes. Businesses have been pressured to speed their digital transformations to meet their employees' expectations. To facilitate this transition of clients all over the world, Equinix needed to ensure that data centres and connectivity services were always accessible.
Managers want to be able to lead, manage, and support their teams digitally while also maintaining team productivity. As HR, we have the opportunity to create a large impact on employees by addressing their concerns. We’ve devised new ways to engage employees digitally for events, coffee breaks, Zoom celebrations, and group chats.
Equinix grew better at being employee-centric by tackling the challenges of the pandemic. Our learnings, presented below, drove people's strategies and added more business value:
Flexibility is key
The sudden onset of the pandemic brought ambiguity and the need for quick adoption of digital alternatives. A one-size fits-all-approach would hinder productivity because of the unique requirements of different roles. Providing the workforce with flexibility and empowering leaders to nurture a flexible working environment, has been a key goal for us. Although the International Business ExchangeTM (IBX®) data centre employees need to be present at the facilities, we have regulations in place to keep the number of people on-site to a minimum. Certain teams, including the go-to-market, corporate, product and technology teams have greater flexibility to define how and when to use the office hubs while being inclusive of permanent remote employees.
Prioritizing employee well-being
It is important for me to emphasise on employees’ physical, financial and mental well-being, especially during these demanding times. We have embedded well-being directly into our business operations by launching six new “Finding a Better Way” initiatives. The “Better Way Day” supports a meeting-free Wednesday and meetings are usually kept under 25 or 50 minutes long to allow people to take short breaks in between. During meetings, I started walking on the treadmill, and the trend caught on among my juniors. This led to “Movement Meetings” being launched in April 2021, and we encouraged the staff to turn off their cameras and move around during meetings to prevent video call fatigue. Over the course of the year, 24 employee volunteers’ facilitated more than 700 well-being breaks for global colleagues. We produced webinar series covering personal development, mental well-being and work-life topics via partnership collaborations.
As a mother and a daughter, I appreciate the time spent with my daughter and my parents. This is not just me. Every employee feels the same. We believe it is important to spend time with loved ones and take care of family. So, we offer several country-specific programmes to ensure that our employees have the resources they need to succeed and attend to their families.
Clear guiding principles
We’ve devised a set of guiding principles to enable executives to quickly make informed decisions relating to employees. At Equinix, people strategies are anchored by the convergence of diversity, inclusion, and belonging, as well as community and wellness programmes. We’ve tried to establish a culture of trust and respect, in which all opinions, strengths, and contributions are valued. Employee resource groups, business events and partnerships with diversity organisations have been established to make everyone feel safe and respected. We encourage respectfully conveyed differences and disagreements, regardless of your position and seniority.
These initiatives and strategies have contributed to Equinix being included in Glassdoor’s “2021 Best Places to Work” and “Top CEOs 2021,” both of which are influenced by its workforce.
Leaders must focus on employee satisfaction holistically to create an inclusive atmosphere. We consider every aspect of becoming a part of an organisation and encourage work-life balance through training and development initiatives.
At Equinix, we have strived to create a work environment where everyone feels that “I’m safe, I belong, and I matter.” We will continue our journey to support and improve the well-being of our employees. If you are looking to join a company that allows you to thrive at work and life, come explore a role with us.
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