How do you get 20 geeks to leave their computers for a whole day? It’s not easy but it can be done – especially when you have a really good cause.

And since Telogis launched the Charitable Volunteer Day initiative back in August 2014, the company has been bringing employees and good causes together, with hundreds of hours already contributed to charitable projects in the community.

In April 2016, a group of Telogis employees from the Christchurch office spent their Volunteer Day on a local Habitat for Humanity project. Habitat for Humanity is active around the world, building and repairing more than 100 homes a day in an effort to provide a better standard of living for people impacted by poverty, natural disasters and other adversities.

Christchurch was severely affected by a major earthquake in 2011, resulting in the demolition of thousands of homes and more than 1500 acres of residential land rendered unusable. The effect on the property market became obvious through stories of whole families squeezing into outdoor sheds, garages and other makeshift accommodations to cope with the sudden void of suitable housing.

Habitat for Humanity has worked to ease the burden on those struggling to find a home in the wake of the Christchurch earthquake and one of these Telogis-assisted projects will provide seven standalone homes to deserving families.

Led by Mark Dunlop, Director for Telogis Fleet R&D, the team spent a full day helping with construction duties that included painting, landscaping and cleaning.

‘It’s about seeing the bigger picture’

With hectic work schedules it’s easy to get myopic about the world around us, a trap that Dunlop doesn’t want his team to fall into.

“The best software engineers and testers are those that can see the bigger picture,” explains Dunlop. “Getting involved in a community project like this helps our guys to develop better situational awareness of the world around them.”

“Involving the whole team was a great way to make use of the Volunteer Day program since, as individuals, we’re not always sure how we can make a charitable contribution. As a group, there’s definitely a wider scope of activities open to us – and Habitat for Humanity was definitely one that appealed to me.”

Everyone wins when we give back

It’s not just the families getting a decent place to call home that benefit when we get involved in projects like this. We all win – something noted by one of the Telogis team who volunteered that day.

“Although it was only one day’s work, we all learned a valuable lesson from it – unity,” commented Fangcheng Jia. “Everyone on the team had different tasks but together we made one team.”

“It fits nicely with our motto: ‘One Team, One Telogis.’”

Since the inauguration of the Volunteer Day initiative, Telogis employees have been involved in a range of community projects including preparing meals at the local Ronald McDonald House, caring for sick children and their families.

Opportunities like this are giving Telogis team members the satisfaction of getting involved, and giving back to their local community – it’s part of feeling good about the company you work for, knowing that it’s putting more than just jobs and money into the local economy but plenty of heart as well.