Time for take ‘it’ easy policy 

Backaches, restlessness, stress and anxiety are some of the issues IT professionals often complain about. Techies take to music, farming, and filmmaking to beat burnout as they return from WFH 

author_img Steni Simon Published :  05th July 2022 02:22 PM   |   Published :   |  05th July 2022 02:22 PM
ClaySys Technologies

ClaySys Technologies

Now, as Kerala’s IT hubs are trying to break the WFH inertia, several tech firms are focusing on recreational and in-person engagement activities to keep their staff connected and motivated. Many techies’ groups in the top IT parks, too, have come up with innovative ways to keep themselves stress-free. 

Here’s a look at some of them.

Riff-freshing idea
ClaySys Technologies, based in Kochi’s Infopark, knows exactly how to keep its employees energised -- by providing a fun-filled working environment. And adding zing to the workspace here is an in-house music band -- by the employees, for the employees.     

“Ever since work from home was introduced, the employees have been mostly confined to their homes, with little time for recreational activities,” says CEO Vinod Tharakan, who came with the musical idea. “Hence, we thought of introducing the intra-company band so that employees unwind listening to music, and also display their talents during free time. We have provided all the necessary musical instruments to the band, which has performed over 500 songs in recent times.”

The primary members of the band are George Paul (vocals, rhythm guitar), Leon Gaulbert (vocals, bass guitar), Albert A C (lead guitarist), Shiyas Koya (drums) and Jaison Lowrence (keyboard) -- all employed by ClaySys just pep up the workforce with music. 

“We mostly sing the western classics. Of late, we have added some Malayalam, Tamil and Hindi songs to the list,” says Jaison. “Sometimes we do online sessions, too. Other employees of the company also join us during their leisure time.” 

Recently, actor Tini Tom collaborated with the band members and belted out some Malayalam classics. “I have been jamming with music bands for long; I used to do shows before entering films. It was, however, during the lockdown that I collaborated with ClaySys for an online programme,” he says. “When compared with cities such as Bengaluru and Chennai, there are hardly any entertainment avenues for the IT employees in our state. The ClaySys band is an innovative concept that gives importance to unwinding and mental well-being of employees. We are planning another show soon.” 
Start, camera, action! 

Storytellers, actors, singers and what not, techies have donned many roles. Techeela, the brainchild of Technopark employee Anish Roy, has been helping in bringing out the creative side of the techies in filmmaking.

“I started the programme after I saw a lot of creative talent among techies who were interested in filmmaking while I was part of Qisa, a film club of Prathidhwani, a welfare organisation of IT employees,” says Anish. “The name Techeela has been derived from Technopark, and it conceived as a platform for techies to feature their artistry.” 

The creative journey started in 2019, when techies uploaded content on Techeela’s YouTube channel. Now, people from other walks of life, too, are being welcomed, adds Anish. “Initially, we used to meet after working hours. However, ever since the pandemic started and WFH became the new normal, we started meeting during the weekends. We have already completed over 15 projects, which include short films and albums. We are also planning to create more web series,” he says.

Baburaj Asariya, a techie who has won accolades for filmmaking, was among the first ones to release a web series, titled ‘Oochi-Moonji’, via Techeela. The short series dealt with the everyday lives of the techies.

Anish says Techeela has now started collaborating with big names in the Malayalam film industry, such as Mallika Sukumaran. “The plan is to expand the platform. Techies can learn more about filmmaking, and it will also open up opportunities for those looking for a future in the film industry.”

Fresh from the farm
Nirmal V G, a software professional at Infopark, turns a farmer during his leisure hours. While not busy with his projects and clients, he engages in cultivating vegetables in grow-bags at his home garden in Kalamassery. Nirmal is one of the members of Kathirukal, a farming group formed under the Kochi chapter of Prathidhwani, a pan-Kerala welfare organisation for IT employees.

“We had launched the initiative before the Covid outbreak. The initial plan was to launch vegetable farming in micro-plots on the Infopark campus. But it could not be implemented, as the pandemic kept us away,” he says. “Now, since the employees are getting back to work, the group has been reactivated. However, farming activities are being done at households of the employees.” 

Nirmal adds that local bodies, too, have been supportive of the green initiative. “Many of the members have started cultivating vegetables in small spaces available at apartments. Our families also are actively involved in the farming project,” he says, with a smile. 

Kathirukal programme coordinator Anoob Hameed says the aim of the initiative is to promote farming among IT professionals. “Hence, simple farming methods have been taught to the employees of various IT firms,” he adds. “Infopark authorities have allotted 10 cents on the campus. As employees are returning to work, we plan to launch vegetable farming on campus. We will be including aquaponics, too.” 

More awareness programmes will be given to the IT professionals and visits will be conducted to farms to make them understand traditional concepts as well as new trends, says Anoob.

Melody amid malady 
Members of the band are George Paul (vocals, rhythm guitar), Leon Gaulbert (vocals, bass guitar), Albert A C (lead guitarist), Shiyas Koya (drums) and Jaison Lowrence (keyboard) -- all employed by ClaySys just to pep up the workforce. Recently, the band jammed with actor Tini Tom (centre, sitting in pic) below)