The daily afternoon flash mob at Canon India helps re-activate people at an hour when most tend to get lazy.
We went to meet with Shikha Rai, vice president HR, Canon India at their head office in Gurgaon. It was at 3 in the afternoon! As we walked in, expecting a bright yet silent and serious looking environment around, we were taken by surprise when suddenly some peppy, aerobics-like music started playing in the background. Smiling ear to ear, we wondered what that was meant for as we waited at the reception area. “Why would a workplace play such music? What had it got to do with Canon’s business?” we wondered!
Within seconds, we saw people standing up and dancing to the tune!
Adapted from an interesting Japanese concept that factories have been following since long to rid people of the usual afternoon lethargy, the daily afternoon flash mob at Canon India helps energise and rejuvenate people at that hour, when people naturally tend to get a little lazy. Rai says, “We’ve been doing this every day for some time now, and it really helps people shake off any lethargy, and lose their inhibitions.
According to Rai, this little initiative goes a long way in letting people break the shackles of sluggishness and feel re-energised to work in full swing. While the Japanese may have been doing it as a form of exercise in the workplace, to kick off their mornings, it’s a great start-off for the remaining part of the day for people at Canon in India.
The song that goes something like, ‘let’s stand up for the march, move to the left and then to the right, take your hands in the air and clap…’ makes each employee at Canon cherish their afternoons, and gear up for the remaining part of the workday. The dancing that lasts all of a minute and fifteen seconds, not only peps up the staff and fills them with vigour, but spreads a fun and positive vibe in the office.
In addition, Canon organises ‘good morning walks’ daily, wherein a certain team goes around in the office, wishing each employee a ‘good morning’ as they pass their desks, with the Canon anthem playing in the background. Rai tells us, “HR assigns one division every day to take up this walk, meeting and greeting people across the office.” Explaining the idea behind this, she says, “While we have so many people sitting in this office, not everyone would know each other, and hence, this initiative helps people connect with each other on a regular basis. Additionally, it provides us all a great start to the day.”
Celebrating the core of its business —photography—Canon India also recently launched the ‘Big Smile’ campaign under which the ‘good morning walk’ was accompanied by people carrying smiley placards encouraging colleagues to smile more. Rai says, “Photography has mostly been associated with smiling faces and we being in the business, wanted it to reflect in our workforce as well.”
The ‘good morning’ walks and afternoon dances are small yet unique practices that make the workplace more fun and engaging. It is not only helping bring people together, irrespective of their roles and levels in the organisation, it also makes the whole work environment cheerful and active. Last but not the least, we are sure that such initiatives put a big smile on the faces of each employee at Canon, every day, like it did on us on that lucky day!