Tech-enabled hospitality start-up OYO (www.oyorooms.com) has announced a ‘Work from Anywhere’ initiative for its UK team members to put employee wellbeing at the heart of its operations alongside productivity and efficiency.
OYO partners with independently-owned, small and mid-sized hotels to provide services including technology, revenue management, customer management services and brand. As such, its employees are mostly based in central offices and not at hotels.
OYO UK employees have been working from home since late March in line with government guidance, but prior to that, its UK workforce was spread across a number of regional hub offices as well as having a substantial proportion of field-based team members.
The UK team works closely with colleagues based across other countries including Spain and India, so ultimately, remote collaboration, cloud-based services and tech-enabled communications have always been part of the company’s fabric.
Through enhanced technology processes and platforms introduced since spring, OYO has even managed to continue onboarding new partners, roll out new hygiene-focused operating procedures to its hotels and audit properties via remote means during the pandemic.
Dan Godfrey, VP of HR for OYO UK and Europe, said, “The past few months have shown us that employee productivity and efficiency is driven by more than just actual physical presence, so with the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues in mind, we are pleased to introduce the ‘Work from Anywhere’ initiative to suit the evolving needs of the team.
“We recognise that a conducive working environment is not the same for every individual, so as well as offering the choice on where to work, we are providing tips and tools for our team members to create their own inspiring workspace.”
Employees, known as ‘OYOpreneurs’, will be given the choice to work from home, to work from OYO’s hub office in London, or choose another solution that works well for them, which might include basing themselves at a public space such as a library or cafe. OYO will support with initial set-up costs up to the value of £100, which could be used to buy a new chair, a headset, back support, wrist rest - even a plant or picture to make desk spaces more comfortable and inviting.
“Flexibility is key to the ‘Work from Anywhere’ initiative, so we are not setting a policy on where our colleagues must work or asking them to declare their long-term intentions,” said Rishabh Gupta, head of OYO UK and Europe. “Some may wish to conduct important meetings or zoom calls from an office environment but work from home on other days to fit around childcare. We are offering OYOpreneurs complete freedom to make choices and change their minds as they go.”
Since OYOpreneurs began working from home, OYO has encouraged flexible working patterns and has communicated the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance when work and home life have been more integrated than ever before. OYO has provided advice on everything from balancing the working day when working with a global team to the correct seating posture and desk-based stretching exercises, particularly in consideration of home-based workers without an ergonomic office set-up.
Furthermore, OYO is encouraging its team members to consider their physical and mental wellbeing by finding their passion and practicing it and the company will contribute £30 per month towards any hobby or interest they decide to pursue outside of work. This could be put towards a gym membership, a cookery class or an online language course, for instance.