ESI Group launches a “No Meeting Day”
An unbalanced equation
A year ago, in the wake of COVID-19, companies began adapting to ensure the continuity of their activities during lockdown. With people bound to their homes, the opportunity to create social connections, in a professional or personal context, has strongly been affected. Indeed, as a major component of the life of many citizens, offices and workplaces are and remain a main outlet for socialization. In order to counterbalance this change, companies have utilized tools, like digital meetings, to continue connecting employees to maintain team spirit and a sense of belonging. Companies became one of the last remaining social links things when everything else was put on hold. As a result, teams’ agendas have filled up; meetings now punctuate the day, causing stress, taking away the time needed to perform various tasks and reducing focus time, pushing the workday into the evening or even the weekend.
Time to breathe and take a step back: “No meeting Wednesday”
To enhance the work-life balance and well-being of its employees, ESI Group, a leading innovator in virtual prototyping solutions and a global enabler of industrial transformation, has implemented a "No Meeting Wednesday": one day a week without meetings, allowing employees more flexibility in the organization of their work, pivoting from stressful days to focus and efficiency. Flexibility is key in the goal of this initiative: not in the day chosen – the same for all - but in its application. In fact, customer meetings, candidates’ interview or emergencies, can of course always be held. To be effective, this "no-meeting Wednesday" has to be accepted by all teams and above all, accompanied by complementary managerial actions– sharing of good practices for productive and timely meetings: shortened time with clear and shared objectives, etc.
The pandemic has not only disrupted work habits but also the entire life of our teams. Our role, as a company, is to provide them with the most serene environment possible so that they can fulfill their work while maintaining a work-life balance. Widespread home office has a significant impact on our professional ultra-connection and generates an intensive use of video-conference meetings. Based on this situation, we have set up this day without meetings every week. Reestablish meetings best practices goes hand in hand with it. With this initiative, we want above all to continue to preserve our teams while knowing that the time saved will be a time of focus, restoring the importance of taking time, oriented toward efficiency.Yannick CharronDirector of Human Resources, France and Headquarter, ESI Group
I believe that, despite the difficulties we have to overcome throughout the pandemic, we, as a company, have the opportunity to reinvent ourselves and evolve by being adaptive. We have created a motto to get us through this ordeal and turn it into an opportunity: "Stay in touch - Be agile - Transform". Our group is evolving and transforming in line with our strategy and our corporate objectives, but also and above all because all our teams are encouraged to leave their comfort zone, to take risks and to reinvent themselves. We need to create time in the diaries to allow for a breath of fresh air, which is necessary for everyone's balance, but also for this state of mind.Cristel de RouvrayCEO ESI Group