At SimScale, our dedicated Event and Office Manager, Preeti Dabelstein, pays close attention to our team members’ wellbeing. Her main responsibilities, among many others, include creating employee events, offering employee wellbeing assistance, and ensuring the office is a safe environment for everyone.
With her managerial background in Employee Assistance Programmes in London, and experience of providing support to thousands of employees, her goal is to implement a wellbeing program that incorporates a mix of physical exercise mental wellness activities. Essentially, Preeti works to implement a range of initiatives that can enable and empower every Simployee to live and work productively.
I have always wanted to make a difference in a society that, unfortunately, throws many hardballs at hard-working people. I studied Psychology, Medicine, and Sports Nutrition so that I could offer the best quality advice to those who just need some form of guidance. It is so gratifying to see how individuals shine as soon as they realize that there is someone who has the passion, time, and vested interest in helping them overcome adversity, increase their wellbeing, and help them to realize their full potential. So, though my role is to create events and ensure an effective working environment, there will be much more on offer to ensure that the team is supported on all levels.– Preeti Dabelstein, Event and Office Manager
In this interview, Preeti shares with us some insights into her work, responsibilities, her goals within SimScale, and why employee wellbeing is so important.
Why is it important for SimScale to pay special attention to our employees’ wellbeing?
“The cultural set-up of a startup requires always thinking one step ahead. However, this fast-paced culture can mean personal needs are put to one side. At SimScale, I want to highlight the importance of employee wellbeing and give employees the tools to balance their personal and professional goals. I want to ensure that all team members are well, feel a sense of contentment as they enter the office, and realize there is a go-to person for any issues which are of concern to them.”
In our everyday working lives, what are some wellbeing measures that can be implemented?
“At SimScale, we have offered seminars on stress and sleep led by health experts from Techniker Krankenkasse, one of the large health insurances in Germany. Following this, I scheduled one-on-ones with team members to find out what they learned, how much they have implemented their learnings into their daily lives, and if they needed further support.
For 2021, we have even more wellbeing measures that will be implemented. There will be a New Year’s nutrition health day, where interested employees can complete a three-day food diary and receive personalized nutritional coaching, ideal for those wishing to kickstart a healthier eating schedule. Another important health requirement is sleep, so I will be introducing a month-long challenge to get employees paying attention to the amount and quality of their sleep. Last but not least, weekly mindfulness classes, alongside yoga and meditation sessions, will be on offer where interested.”
What can employee wellbeing support for remote team members look like?
“With the current COVID-19 remote working situation and the restrictions that come with it, obviously some of the more hands-on implementations must be put on hold until more regular office attendance is restored. Luckily, the beauty is that our employees understand this delay, and it allows for additional ideation for more wellbeing initiatives.
Yet, despite the pandemic, everyone is heavily involved in their own work, so there needs to be one person who has an eye on the larger picture and can act as the glue keeping teams together even in a virtual setting. So even while I am busy planning in-person events for the future, my focus currently lies in creating virtual events. For example, we created an online cooking session where everyone had the opportunity to buy ingredients for a recipe, and then cook together through video conferencing. It was a great event and showed everyone that we can be together even if we are not in the office.
Additionally, we host “Beer and Numerics” sessions where internal or external guests are invited to present their areas of expertise in a casual setting. My intention is to broaden the scope of these sessions, even more, to include more ad-hoc topics, so that not all sessions are relating strictly to technical topics. Finally, when it’s possible, of course, we will once again set the sessions up in our HQ in Munich, with drinks and snacks aplenty, for people to come together, learn, and enjoy the presentation with their colleagues.”
What makes focusing on employee wellbeing in these current times particularly important?
“Each and every team member needs to realize that they have some presence! We have employees worldwide who are not able to come to Munich as they normally would throughout the year, as well as others who are in Munich and still cannot come into the office. No matter where a Simployee is, they are all just as much part of our organization, and SimScale recognizes and reinforces that. The most pressing employee wellbeing initiative today is to give employees working flexibility, virtual support, and show individuals that they are not penalized for wanting to stay safe and work from home.”
When the time comes that employees can safely return to the office, what events do you have in mind?
“Once we can be together again safely in our Munich HQ, we are planning on a celebratory gathering. In time, I would like to officially form a SimScale band, as there are many musically talented team members who, when given the chance, enjoy jamming together. In order to be productive, our employees need to detach from their screens, relax, and unwind; So while the office has been empty, some of us have been busy adding fun new features to surprise employees upon their return to the office.
Without giving away all of the surprises, we’ve installed a dartboard in the kitchen area and plan to create a “play” area with books, board games, and —the ultimate crowd-pleaser for a company full of engineers— Legos. Another idea we will implement will be ‘SimTalks’, where small groups of people can come together and discuss specific themes or topics. It’s just all about being together —having face-to-face meetings, doing more cooking events or even offering our time to local charities. All of this is a work in progress, which means there is still a lot to come, so stay tuned!”
Thank you, Preeti!
Stay tuned for more insights into SimScale, and see what the team has been up to on our @lifeatsimscale Instagram feed. Want to start your own SimScale story? Make sure to keep an eye on our careers page for possible openings!