All articles

How volunteerism can inspire employees and boost work performance

February 06, 2018

How volunteerism can inspire employees and boost work performance

It’s not uncommon that we all feel stuck at some point in our work. We lose track of the meaning and significance of what we’re doing; we feel disconnected from the larger world around us. For a company, this can result in low employee morale. Or the loss of outstanding workers who feel the need to radically change their situation. But Octopus sees these moments as an opportunity for employees to accept new challenges, gain experience and skills, and return to work with fresh insights, motivation and a greater sense of purpose.

“I don’t think making a difference is something people should only do in their weekend ‘real life’ rather than their ‘work life,’ stated Simon Rogerson, CEO of Octopus. “I think the divide between the two is becoming increasingly blurred.” And the result of this blurriness, according to Simon, can have an amazing collective impact on a company when pointed in the right direction.

With the help of The International Exchange programme (TIE), Octopus employees are getting a chance to break out of work ruts, engage with the world and create a broader sense of meaning in their lives. TIE takes bright minds from companies like Octopus and marries their skills with a project in a developing country that really needs them. This results in a better world and a greater feeling of meaningfulness among skilled professionals.

Amira Mansour and Chloe Allan are two Octopus employees who will soon be sharing their expertise abroad. Amira, a Learning and Development Trainer at Octopus, will leave London to work with with Joy Street, an education company based in Recife, Brazil that works to transform the educational system in Brazil through technology and games.

“The opportunity to use my skill set but develop new skills whilst helping other people gives me a massive sense of fulfillment,” stated Amira. “I feel honoured to have had different experiences and would love to draw on these to help someone else.”

Chloe, a Senior Business Development Manager at Octopus Investments is off to Malawi in April to work with Chance for Change. Chloe will help them develop their enterprise strategy and program, empowering young offenders to become entrepreneurs and take charge of their future.

Chloe spoke about her reaction to the programme. "Octopus revealed the news last summer that they had partnered with TIE, and I had to apply!...Volunteering in a developing country has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember, and I feel honored to be working for a company that shares this passion with me.”

Leading up to their departure, both Amira and Chloe have been organizing fundraisers for their volunteer programmes — starting with a bake sale, followed by a “Man versus Food” speed eating competition. You can find out more about their volunteer programmes and help support Amira and Joy Street here, and Chloe and Chance for Change here.