Even when working in the dream job – probably no one would mind a break from the professional daily routine. But how to escape the ‘treadmill’? Sure, taking a day off and relaxing in the spa is obvious. But how about not only doing good to your body and soul, but also to the well-being of others? By using the free day for voluntary work, you do not only get some distance to your daily routines, you are also supporting a good cause.
5 reasons why we should take a day off to volunteer once in a while (instead of going to the spa)
- Doing something completely different opens up our minds for building new and revealing unknown skills that can be imported to both the work place and private life.
- Looking at our everyday work with a healthy distance and gaining new thought-provoking impulses adds a lot of value to our working results.
- Working together in teams outside the work-related context, intensifies the relationship to our co-workers and supports the colloboration at the workplace.
- Having an employer who gives us time to something good during our work hours increases our loyalty towards the company and motivates us to put a lot of energy into our tasks. It’s just a great feeling to work for a social company that cares.
- Last but not least: Volunteering keeps us healthy. People who get involved experience a positive impact on their work-life-balance and decreases the feeling of having no time and being stressed out.
Why companies choose to offer Corporate Volunteering (CV) programs
More than 80% of the German corporates already push their employees’ social commitment through CV programs – a clear answer to their workers wishes: 69% of a Roland Berger survey attendees expect corporate volunteering opportunities; more than 80% consider CV offers as a crucial factor for choosing a job .
CV is usually used as a HR development tool as well as a part of the company’s CSR strategy. On the one hand, CV shows entrepreneurial responsibility and helps to develop the siting region. On the other hand, CV has the ability to foster teambuilding, professional, methodical and managerial expertise as well as social skills.
Depending on whether the focus lays on HR or CSR measures, it can be chosen between several types of Corporate Volunteering.
4 types of Corporate Volunteering
1. The most common way companies choose to push the social involvement of their employees is to offer so-called Social Days. During one day, a big group of employees leaves their work desks in order to help a social institution. Usually, the tasks are rather hands-on (like renovating rooms, doing some garden work etc.), but time and money intensive so that the non-profit organisation cannot tackle the challenge alone. Local „Freiwilligenagenturen“ as well as organisations like Serve the City or Stiftung Gute-Tat and also vostel.de have good relations to local non-profit organisations to plan volunteering efforts, coordinate logistics, provide supplies and more. Purchasing these services can make a community volunteer project much simpler to carry off.
2. A new way to get involved in a group of colleagues is to participate in the Urban ActionDays from vostel.de. A group of up to 50 coworkers dedicate their day to beautify some run-down public space in their city. It’s all about creativity and team work with a visible effect
3. Another way to support non-profit organisations as a corporate is pro-bono engagement: Employees offer specific skills (i.e. marketing, communication, finance) in order to help social institutions to professionalise themselves. Proboneo is a professional partner to match corporates and their employees’ skills with non-profits.
4. There are many companies and initiatives like Stiftung Gute-Tat, Give Something Back to Berlin and Serve the City that offer a selection of volunteering activities where private persons as well as corporate volunteers can get involved. The platform vostel.de also offers volunteering projects especially for employees. Companies can pick from various short-term projects, ranging from handing out food to the homeless in a local „Suppenküche“, sorting material donations at a „Kleiderkammer“ to spending time with kids at the emergency shelter for refugees. The big variety of projects allows companies to adjust the CV programme to internal planning but also to the individual schedule of each employee. Additionally, employers can keep track of their employees’ engagement via the digital platform vostel.de.
Urban ActionDays with vostel
booking.com‘s own Corporate Volunteering Programme Booking Cares allows their employees to take a day off to work on something that matters to the local community. 100 employees got the great chance to leave their workplace to become involved in their city:
Together with the team of vostel, they went to an excursion to Neukölln. What they found there where two places with broken benches, loads of dog poop, and flower beds with no flowers. During their Urban ActionDays, the booking.com employees converted those spots in colourful and green zones by planting, building benches, painting, doing urban knitting and many more activities.
But they haven’t just tranformed the two abandoned places into welcoming urban paradises. The co-workers achieved so much more:
- They came up with a problem-solving attitude in an unknown situation.
- They used their hands and their creativity.
- They got a much deeper insight in Berlin’s urban neighbourhood.
- They team worked with each other and got to know their colleagues much better.
With all this in mind…how about trading a day in the Spa for a day off to volunteer? 😉