My husband's company boasts a 1-1-1 philantropy model which means that it dedicates 1% of its assets, time and technology to non-profit organisations. He therefore has the opportunity/obligation to work several days per year during working hours on "volunteering time off". I've learned through his experience how beneficial local community work and volunteering can be.
Also within Heineken it was a habit to dedicate some time to community work during a project week once a year: painting classrooms, cleaning up roadside garbage, ... Due to my commuting role going back and forth I somehow always missed the opportunity to participate and the Belgian company did not organise such activities. Philantropy and social engagement in local communities doesn't seem to be high on the Belgian company's priority list.
My current employer has a very strong culture with values that boast among other respect and local initiatives. Although our company's foundations invest each year money in local non-profit projects, I was very excited to hear that our management had made an agreement with a nearby home for children that we'd all come and work half a day to help develop their garden.
I was assigned this afternoon with 3 of my colleagues to complete a slide extension that other colleagues had started building in the morning. The sun broke through and we had a very nice day outside. The wooden constructions were quickly finished but the challenge was to liberate the slide on its own position from a cemented fixture and move it and dig and create a new concrete base. The nearby donkey kept an eye on us and approved of our work.
As it was Friday evening, the other colleagues came over from the office and we all had drinks and dinner at a foodtruck and we visited each other's work (a fitness track, apple orchard, a feeding installation in the stable, swings, a shade rood above the sand playground, .....).
It was a really great day and fun to do some manual work outside for a change. I hope we'll continue to use teamwork now and then for improvements in the local communities nearby our company.