Though the pandemic has changed the way we used to celebrate festive occasions in the workplace, it didn’t take away our Raya spirit—and here’s how we made sure of it.
In the first six months of 2020, the world saw huge shifts in the social, economic, and public health landscapes. For Raya this year, most Muslims didn’t get to return to their hometowns, and certainly, there were no huge gatherings or feasts. At Forest Interactive where it used to be a tradition to dress up in baju melayu, baju kurung or kebaya during open houses, this year’s Hari Raya was definitely the ‘new normal’—or rather, a special one.
Physically Distant, Socially Together
We’ve been reminded to keep our distance at least six feet apart from each other during this time. For many of us, we’ve missed trips, birthday parties, get-togethers, and certainly, festive celebrations. Acknowledging that humans are social beings, our group Hari Raya photo this year turned somewhat “physically distant yet socially together”.
Thanks to the Forest Interactive’s Creative Production team, everyone had their chance to dress up in traditional clothes and partake in a fun Raya photoshoot, playing different “roles” such as cooking ketupat and rendang, peeking out of the window from a stilt house, playing fireworks, and waving their hands from the car window. These individual acts were then edited and printed on a card before it was sent to each employee.
Raya Spirit in a Box
This year’s Raya campaign by the Corporate PR team, led by Community Relations Specialist Arief Irsyad, featured a heartwarming surprise for Forest Interactive’s talents in Malaysia. To uphold the tradition and, at the same time, abide to physical distancing recommendations, the team presented a specially crafted gift box of homemade Raya cookies, washable face masks, a sanitizer, as well as a personal note handwritten by Johary Mustapha, the CEO himself.
“It was a challenge for us to come up with ideas on how we can celebrate the day while practising physical distancing and being fair to everyone,” recalled Arief. “Initially, we planned to do a virtual gathering where talents who were working from home would turn on their webcams and enjoy their Raya feast together in front of their laptops while those who were in the office can don their traditional attire and enjoy a Raya potluck at the office.”
“But after careful consideration, we realized we could make a bigger impact, and find a better way to celebrate the Raya spirit. That’s why we planned this surprise instead, to give them something to remember for a long time.”
A Moment to Remember
The Raya gift boxes were personally delivered to the doorsteps of each and every talent. It was a touching moment, when the team arrived at their houses with the gift boxes. If words can’t describe it, let these pictures speak a thousand words.
“Seeing them smile at us and truly appreciate the gift boxes was such a touching experience. Totally worth the blood, sweat, and tears. Looking back at what we’ve done and the current situation, we realized that the pandemic has somehow brought us closer together, and not the other way round,” shared Arief.
Being adaptive to changes is essential, now more than ever. Forest Interactive has always valued employee engagement and will continue to do so despite the situation we are facing. Since the implementation of MCO last March, we’ve organized various events to encourage employee engagements while adjusting to the new norms—from a Vesak Day event with a virtual lotus origami activity to a product knowledge webinar series to Friday Quiz Nights and International Day celebrations.