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CSR in Barcelona – 4 Benefits of Getting Involved

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Does your company participate in any kind of Corporate Social Responsiblity (CSR) program at the moment? Today I had the privilege of going on a tour with Feeding Spain, an amazing organisation here in Barcelona, that donates one meal for every meal purchased from their restaurant and online delivery kitchen. I went today with one of my co-workers on behalf of Akommo, and got to learn not only about the logistics behind running a restaurant, an online delivery system, and a donations system to the local homeless shelter, and about how to balance a business under a budget, with very few workers to help. Apart from the business side, I also had the fortune of witnessing how compassion can drive people to reach new heights - so much so that compassion even drove the owner, Daniel, to hire one of the men he met at a homeless shelter they support.

I was overwhelmed with emotions after the visit, and I went to work full of inspiration, motivation, and even a new appreciation for my company that not only lets me get out of the office to get involved, but encourages participation in a CSR project. On top of feeling great the rest of the day, let’s state the obvious benefit to be reaped from CSR: free, positive, and organic PR for both your own company and the organisation you are supporting. Here are some of the perks that CSR can bring to the office, both for employees and employers.

1. Change

For employees: how often do you find yourself getting that bored, listless look in your eye while staring at the computer screen? Probably more often than you care to admit, and unfortunately that is a daily reality for many people. A benefit to having an outlet, such as a homeless shelter, working with an NGO, or whatever it might be, is the change of pace it brings. Being able to look forward to a new experience of any kind is stimulating, and it gives us a motivational boost. It is crucial for workers to have this type of outlet as it lets them feel proud of where they work.

For employers: workers who experience the occasional change of pace at tend to feel more satisfied.

2. Perspective

For employees: being in a new work environment gives you insight into how the rest of the community lives outside of your office. It is so easy to get sucked into the bubble of your commute, your office, and the occasional lunch outing, that you start to forget that there is an entire world happening outside. Bursting that bubble is a great way to give yourself a healthy reality check and a whole lot of perspective. My job became exponentially more important yesterday, and I realised that because of Akommo, I am able to give back to my beloved community.

For employers: take advantage of the new perspective your workers gain, and use that towards making something collaborative and creative for your company.

3. Inspiration

For employees: any time I change up my routine I feel inspired, but I especially do when participating in something that requires stepping out of my comfort zone. I felt so motivated by the work ethic of every person we met, and how incredibly big their hearts were, just to better their community. The concept behind Feeding Spain made me feel excited to do more, work harder, and one day create something that can help those around me.

For employers: I can’t think of a better way to get your employees to be more productive than finding ways for them to be inspired!

4. New Skills

For employees: there is something truly unique about working with your hands - and typing withthe computer definitely does not count. Yesterday when I was in the kitchen preparing the food for the homeless shelter, I felt a different sense of purpose. Jobs where you can instantly see the fruit of your labour are incredibly satisfying, and you can even learn a few new skills at the same time (i.e. I now know how to make a kick-ass lentil stew to feed 40 people). On top of that, I was able to learn how the owner manages everything, runs his business efficiently, and directs the logistics.

For employers: take the newly-acquired skills learned by your employees and see how they can be transferred and applied to your company!