I still remember my first video call with Plative, back then called GSD Company. During the recruiting process, I met 5 people across different locations. Throughout the process, the 5 interviewers who are located from different locations, highlighted the importance of the company’s core values and based the interview questions on the values, which are work ethic, dependability, customer vision, passion, and commitment.
I liked how I was purely being assessed on my technical skills and how I fit the company’s core values. Based on the interviewing process, I knew I found a place that I wanted to work for – an environment where people are passionate about what they do, collaborate with others, and work together to achieve goals.
I took a leap of faith and packed my bags and moved to Mumbai, a completely new city where I did not know anyone! This was my first time being away from home but I knew I wanted to face this challenge for the opportunity to work at Plative. I found a beautiful home with a small park that was located near the office and I made wonderful friends in the new office space.
I absolutely enjoy going into the office and starting off the week interacting with my colleagues. On Monday, March 23rd, the company emailed employees about its mandatory work from home policy. The policy was to ensure the safety and health of the employees. At that time, I did not know how the upcoming weeks would shape and transform me.
The first month for me was extremely difficult since I had no one to talk to or interact with. Although I created a routine around exercising, dancing, cooking, and work, it did not replace the human interaction that I needed. At one point, I realized that creating a routine actually made me lose interest in doing anything! The routine itself took away the excitement that I had when I first packed my bags and moved to Mumbai. To combat this, I tried altering my routine by learning new dances, listening to music, doing yoga, and even learning a new language. However, nothing seemed to uplift my spirits or bring excitement. Mumbai was also hit the hardest with COVID so that also added to my difficulty transitioning to this new lifestyle.
At work, Plative launched virtual coffee sessions where employees would get matched with an employee every week. Each coffee session is 30 minutes long and it is used as a platform for people to get to know one another on a personal level. For the first several weeks, I started to feel like a human again. These coffee sessions were the highlight of these weeks!
Plative started having other company events like meditation and dance classes, Plative pets show and tell, and a virtual tour of a llama farm. Plative also observed Mental Awareness month in May and had a fun challenge for the entire company. I built a new routine through this wellness challenge. I learned to cook healthier meals, exercised more, and drank more water. These changes to my routine helped bring my spirits up and I felt like it brought my life back!
Due to the COVID, I decided to come back home and spend time with my family during the lockdown. It took me almost 25 days to travel back home to Delhi due to the lockdown! I researched different methods to get back home and explored all possible routes for travel. After almost 4 weeks, I was finally able to go home.
I reached my one-year work anniversary at Plative in May. During this time, I saw GSD Company transform to Plative, saw the Philippines office and team built out, and also got to experience the continuous growth of the Plative family. Although there were large changes at the company, one thing has remained the same – Plative’s core values. I have been part of projects with different geographical teams and was able to learn the Plative team members’ on a personal level. It has been amazing getting to know everyone’s hobbies, interests, and areas of expertise.
I was able to survive the lockdown alone because I am part of such a great and caring company. Although everyone at Plative comes from different backgrounds, cultures, and countries, we are able to understand and include each other. The company has focused its efforts on making sure that people feel connected throughout these times! Plative embraces diversity, makes me feel included at the company which is why I feel valued.