In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been coming together online to share their stories and advice for dealing with this unprecedented situation. We’re swapping more recipes, coping mechanisms, and virtual game ideas in search of some type of normalcy.
One recurring topic that I see people asking about is how are different companies responding to the crisis — “What is your company doing for its employees during the COVID-19 pandemic?” And as history will teach us, this is a question that hiring managers will be asked for years to come. For it’s easy for companies to take care of their employees during good times but it’s much more difficult when times are tough. That being said, I’d like to share my experiences at Socure.
Our management team began keeping close tabs on COVID-19 in January 2020. First, it was a footnote in our weekly meetings. Then, it became a bigger talking point. Before long, we were discussing the company’s plans for combating the virus. By early March, employees were given the option to work from home and for those of us still opting for an office commute, arrangements were made for a cleaning crew to sanitize our space on a daily basis. On March 12th (more than a week before New York state shut down nonessential businesses), Socure closed its New York and Chennai offices and mandated a work from home policy for employee protection. It was at this point that I began to understand the severity of COVID-19. I can honestly say that I am the type of person who would have continued to travel to the office despite the growing threat of catching the virus. In hindsight, I am glad that our management team took that decision out of my hands for the safety of myself, my wife, and my son.
As someone who has never worked from home before, I quickly learned the challenges that come with doing so. I didn’t have an external monitor (to boost productivity), a computer stand (to protect my neck from the strain of looking downward), or a footrest (to make my seat more ergonomic). Luckily, Socure was better prepared and immediately granted all of its employees a stipend to be used to make working from home easier and more comfortable. I immediately bought a monitor, stand, and footrest, and am so glad that I did.
Closing the office temporarily and providing me with all of the necessary tools to work from home would have been enough to make me a proud Socurean for life; but then this company (and its wonderful staff) went a step further by offering some much-needed distractions during the quarantine. Our People Operations team has organized all sorts of initiatives to keep employees social and give a sense of togetherness during these isolating times. From workout classes and dance lessons, to cooking sessions, game nights, and virtual happy hours, there has been something for everyone to help break up the monotony of working from home.
The final piece to the puzzle (and a tribute to the foresight of our management team) is the fact that Socure has maintained 100% of its workforce at 100% salary. I’m sure I speak on behalf of my coworkers when I say I am grateful to our management team for the strategic financial decisions that enabled Socure to maintain its staff with no plans to terminate, furlough, or reduce salaries for the foreseeable future.
So when all of this is over, and we all return to whatever new normal awaits us, be sure to keep this question in mind. Ask your potential employers what they did for their employees during COVID-19. If their answer doesn’t impress you, then perhaps that company isn’t the right one for you. For me, it’s Socure.