Putting Our Well-being in Focus

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All about Agoda’s first global well-being festival

Your wellness – physical, mental, social, nutritional – has a powerful influence on your approach towards life. Naturally, your wellness also outlines how you collaborate, create, and chart your career at work.

At Agoda, we acknowledge the significance of this with regular well-being initiatives all around the globe. People are at the heart of everything we do, so in a year that has been physically and mentally taxing for the world at large, well-being has been an even higher priority for us.

We also recognize the value of stopping to reflect, aligning with larger goals, and moving forward with renewed energy.

Varuntida Varutbangkul, Vice President, Customer Experience Group

With that in mind, our teams from all over the globe got together (virtually and physically) in October to celebrate Agoda’s first global well-being month – a 30-day festival full of activities focused on mental, physical, social, and nutritional wellness.

4 weeks, 4 themes for employee well-being at Agoda

An important goal of the well-being month at Agoda was to drive positive behavioral change. We strongly believe that the right skills, motivation, tools, and education can alter existing behaviors and introduce positive, beneficial new ones. In turn, this leads to lower health risks that are critical for everyone’s success.

Here are the four ideas we chose to celebrate the well-being festival, why we chose them, and how we introduced them to Agodans.

#1 Physical

Your physical well-being serves as the fuel for your energy levels. However, in an uncertain situation, it may often feel like you are sapped out of energy. You’d experience varying levels of energy – often gravitating towards the lower levels – and it may affect how you approach life and work.

It’s thus crucial to put emphasis on two things: restoring your physical wellness and sustaining it for longer periods of time.

To highlight how you can restore your physical wellness, we had our COO Omri Morgenshtern share his learnings, via a virtual “Leadership Lounge,” on the importance of re-charging to be his very best. He also shared all the challenges he faced and offered valuable advice on overcoming them.


sleep statistics from Agodans
Agodans took on the get-a-great-nights-sleep challenge


We also put the focus on a crucial – albeit often ignored – aspect of our physical well-being: sleep. The quantity and quality of your sleep play a big role in your overall physical wellness.

To educate our teams about this, we organized a session on how to master your sleep, based on the much-acclaimed book “Why We Sleep?” by Matthew Walker, which we highly recommend reading. We also asked Agodans to put their learnings into practice with a challenge to get a great night’s sleep.

#2 Mental

The year 2020 has been unpredictable and rough on everyone, which brings us to the second important idea: your mental wellness. With uncertainty around the future, it’s easy to get stuck in an endless cycle of emotions.

However, it’s important to fight your way out of it and be grateful for the positive aspects of your life.

To equip Agodans with the right tools and education around mental wellness, we shared how gratitude can drive change, and how building mental resilience is the key to fighting uncertain situations.

For example, Agodan’s shared what they are most grateful for virtually and on our “grow gratitude tree”.

Grow Gratitude tree

Our leaders stepped up and shared their own struggles and how they practice gratitude in their life and work on their mental resilience. We also had a virtual workshop on the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) which is a simple method designed to calm the central nervous system which reduces mental, emotional, and physical stress.

Here’s a good read for learning more about it.

#3 Social

In a matter of a few weeks, our world went from an open community to a closed block. Our offices had periods of WFH (with many still in that situation) and we had a firsthand view of many Agodans – a connected, diverse group representing 90 different nationalities – suddenly going through a new reality.

The global challenge to solve now is how do we ensure that the social fabric stays intact and that as we move forward in the future, we can connect on the same (or better) levels than before.

Agodans making new friends over coffee
Virtual conversation with fellow Agodans

We aimed to solve this by inviting all Agodans in 32 countries to be a part of virtual or in-person (where safe) coffee conversations. The idea was simple: invite someone you don’t yet know for a coffee and share what’s on your mind. We also prepared a conversation menu, for those unsure where to start. Here’s an incredible TED talk on 10 ways to have better conversations that serves as a great resource.

It’s all about building relationships at Agoda and one of the quickest ways to do this is via a shared interest.

So, we invited all Agodans to join an Agoda Life Group, which are shared interest groups that empower people to interact with and support each other. (Read: How Krisztina and Nakkapat connect with other Agodans through their hobbies)

#4 Nutritional

A healthy body creates a healthy mind. While physical fitness plays a great role in achieving a healthy body, your nutritional intake is equally important in ensuring you build and sustain it.

MS Happy Kitchen sharing some cooking tips

During the well-being festival, we heard inspiring stories from Greg Wong, Managing Director, and how he used the lockdown to focus on his health with amazing results.

Our internal social media platform was certainly colorful with Agodan’s sharing their healthy meals, championed by our Agoda Colors LGBTQ+ group.

We also heard from Nutritional Expert, Laura Martin from healingtohappy.com on how to look after your gut health with practical guidance and tips. Besides, we also partnered with our Bangkok office’s neighborhood restaurant Roast and local health food provider MS Happy Kitchen for some cooking tips and discounts for our employees.

Discover the stories

Well-being isn’t an event; it’s a habit. As we move forward, it’s important to keep our wellness in check by way of reflection and accountability. At the same time, it’s important to learn about the stories that can inspire and empower us.

So, in the next 4 weeks, we’ll share the incredible stories of how Agodans came through and put the focus on their well-being. Stay tuned!


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