Los Alamitos, CA (April 2020) – We are in our seventh week of shelter-at-home orders in California amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and that has been a drastic change for Frieda’s Specialty Produce, where the culture is fueled by face-to-face communication and connection. Many office employees are working from home and the warehouse is abiding by new social distancing regulations that make it feel a little strange at work every day.
It has become increasingly clear that the joy of working from home is wearing off quickly for office workers. Small spaces and the reality of having kids and parents home together brings more pressure to the day, and we all know that people were already stressed out before COVID-19 came onto the scene.
Being in a warehouse environment is no picnic either. Standing 6 feet apart and having a masked conversation with a co-worker feels distant and lacks a human touch. Taking breaks alone feels, well, lonely.
The leadership team at Frieda’s was worried about the impact on employee engagement and decided to do something about it. “We have a new practice of meeting as leaders every morning on Zoom. We spend A LOT of time talking about how the employees are feeling, and we thought if only they could see us in action, just like before COVID-19 hit,” says Karen Caplan, president and CEO. “We wanted to ensure that they know how truly grateful we are for everything they are doing to make sure that our retailers are fully stocked with our fresh, delicious produce.”
So, the Frieda’s leadership team followed in the footsteps of “Saturday Night Live at Home” and the “One World: Together at Home” concert and used their Zoom meeting to record themselves working at home. They first rehearsed as a dry run but the first take was so sweet, simple and sincere that they decided to go with it. “If there is anything this crisis has taught us, it is that sometimes imperfect is absolutely perfect,” Caplan notes.
The video seems to have worked and brought similes to the faces of Frieda’s. “THAT. WAS. BRILLIANT!!! Really made my day!” said Tricia Gil, executive assistant.
Enjoy the video here.
About Frieda’s Inc.
Frieda’s Specialty Produce has been inspiring new food experiences for friends, families and food lovers everywhere since 1962. From kiwifruit and dragon fruit to Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes and habanero peppers, Frieda’s has introduced more than 200 unique fruits and vegetables to the U.S. marketplace. Founded by produce industry trailblazer Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, subject of the 2015 documentary “Fear No Fruit,” the family company is owned and operated by Frieda’s daughters, Karen Caplan and Jackie Caplan Wiggins, in Orange County, California. Find Frieda’s on Facebook, @FriedasProduce and Friedas.com. Inspire. Taste. Love.