Company replaces ‘quick chat in corridor’ with virtual after-work drinks

A Muntons worker taking part in the weekly desk yoga session Picture: MUNTONS

A Muntons worker taking part in the weekly desk yoga session Picture: MUNTONS - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk firm is encouraging its home workers to try out yoga and take part in virtual social events in a bid to keep spirits up during the coronavirus crisis.

Muntons new product development technologist Richard Platt hosting a 'Come Bake with Me' session for staff Picture: TIM...

Muntons new product development technologist Richard Platt hosting a 'Come Bake with Me' session for staff Picture: TIM SIMPSON PHOTOGRAPHY - Credit: Archant

Stowmarket-based malt firm Muntons — which also has sites in Bridlington in Yorkshire, the USA and Thailand — has rolled out a variety of tea breaks including 10-minute yoga and wellbeing sessions.

Employees have their lunch hours blocked out in their Outlook diaries to prevent meetings being scheduled across that hour.

MORE — Entrepreneurial duo become millionaires - seven years after plotting new business over cup of coffeeThey are also invited to socialise with colleagues at virtual events including post work drinks on Wednesdays, cooking lessons and a Christmas quiz.

“Like many companies, we didn’t envisage the work from home guidance lasting for so long and we’re conscious that this has meant less social interaction for a lot of us during this time,” explained head of human resources Eamonn Sparkes.

“While we’re not making these events or the full hour-long break mandatory, we are asking that everybody makes sure they don’t sit in the same position, facing their screens all day, every day.


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“We’re finding our new virtual socials and sessions are encouraging cross-departmental conversations, which have been sorely missed. That quick chat on the corridor or at the water cooler about last night’s TV seem like a thing of the past, so it’s wonderful to see people socialising once again.”

The firm prides itself on low employee turnover, with the employees averaging 11 years with the firm and some staying 30, 40 or even 50 years.

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