In 1982, Oldenburg and Brissett coined the term “Third place”, referring to the places where people meet to enjoy each other’s company. While home is the first place and work is the second, being able to go outside and hang out freely allows us to seek out our “third places”; places where we feel a connection and a sense of belonging to something other than home or work.
Throughout the pandemic, normal human interactions have been severely restricted, and slowly but surely, we have all experienced some form of emotional isolation. Now, however, for the first time in a long time, the situation is stabilising, and we are starting to feel a glimmer of hope and a sense of excitement for the new freedoms and socialising opportunities that are again becoming available.
Today we hear from CLBS, a Chiang Mai-based company that has been the “second place” for their employees from Europe and around the world, for the last 16 years. Hearing what they have learned from their experiences, when trying to keep their employees feeling supported and connected, even when the world was an unpredictable place and the usual “third places” were no longer accessible.
“We always try to offer our team members a broad range of activities, both in the office as well as in and around Chiang Mai, throughout the entire year. By organising events, we give our employees the chance to experience something with us, other than just working. We inform and encourage them to integrate into local communities, both Thai and expat, with the goal of them experiencing a sense of belonging, and hopefully, finding a new “Third Place” within these communities.”— said the CLBS Corporate Branding team.
One vital insight the CLBS team has offered is how important it is to maintain a sense of community and strong supportive bonds between all employees, regardless of whether they are in the office, an ASQ hotel, or at home. They organise and encourage employees to attend smaller, more meaningful social gatherings, with the hope of strengthening these bonds and building friendships.
CLBS are currently expanding their existing office space and workplace facilities, by filling yet another floor in Airport Business Park. They are always seeking out new and cosy accommodation for their new employees, which is provided free of charge for any new employee’s first two weeks in Chiang Mai, to give them a good start and the time they need to settle and find a home. Every step they take is to provide the smoothest and most supportive onboarding process for new recruits.
“We put a lot of time and energy into giving our employees creative, relaxing, and joyful outlets. We did some small things like making snack packs to mail to our new employees during their 14-day quarantines in ASQ hotels, holding ‘workshop weeks’ to provide a space for our employees to share their passions and hobbies with their colleagues, providing intensive Thai language lessons and even offer to cover costs of other online courses that will further people’s careers. During all of this, we used online platforms to collect feedback about everything, giving our team members a chance to take part in future decisions and to know that they are being heard.”
“With ever fewer restrictions for the fully vaccinated entering Thailand, we look forward to welcoming many more people into our CLBS community. We are very excited to see our team continue to grow, and to see new members truly enjoying life in Thailand, and the many perks and benefits of working with CLBS. Our goal is to hear them say, or even just to know that they think, that working with CLBS “is more than just a job”.
If you are a German, French, Italian, or Spanish native speaker who is looking for an opportunity to live and work in Thailand, with visa and work permit, in a caring company that can be your future second and third place, check out WWW.CLBS.CO.TH/JOBS or visit them on https://www.facebook.com/clbsjobs.