We live in a world of cut-throat competition where almost everyone is running behind success and has plunged into the rat race. Recently, few posts has been doing the rounds across several social media platforms that Indians work for the maximum hours in the world. While we spend most of the time of our day working, the working environment or the work culture becomes very crucial; as it defines whether our work place becomes our second home or a burden. Given the Indian animation industry currently growing by leaps and bounds, the professionals have a hard time maintaining that pace. Unlike other professions, Indian animation artists have to work under strict deadlines and deliver huge chunks of work. In this scenario the better the working environment, the better is the production output. So, we at AnimationXpress take a tour of few well known animation studios in India and talk to people concerned, on how they keep the working environment healthy, jolly and equally productive. 1. Paperboat Animation Studios : Based out of Mumbai, this animation studio is currently on its toes, as their upcoming film Goopi Gavaiya Baagha Bajaiya is going to hit the big screens soon! A well known name in the industry, Paperboat Studios have always gone beyond their abilities to create amazing animated content. Despite all the workload and time crunch, they manage to maintain their motto – “Enjoy |Work| Relax| Repeat”. Paperboat Studios HR Pragati Gurav Kale comments, “Paperboat family builds a strong team spirit. We function as a solid team from the ideation of projects to completion. We work hard during the day & night and party harder after that. Our healthy work pattern encourages our team to act more like a family. As co-workers provide guidance, solutions and motivate each other, it’s easier to find a common ground for everyone. This helps to achieve the objective of the project with a great impact.” The Paperboat team gives quite importance to the employer-employee relationship as it plays a vital role in any organisation. They believe in a long term relationship with the employees and this has been achieved by open door policy and as being a creative design and production studio we discourage a corporate approach. They’re proud that the studio has employees who have been working for six to seven years there. Kale further mentions, “A picnic is a must when it comes to mentioning recreational activities. We have specially designed weekly fun programs related to arts and crafts. We also host stress management workshops for all our employees which helps to promote and maintain balanced mental health. Apart from that, we have activities like- Clay Modeling activity, Draw with your left hand, Secret Santa and others.” 2. DQ Entertainment (DQE) : DQ Entertainment (DQE) is one of the largest animation, gaming and live action entertainment production company in India. The company has an interesting slate of global IPs like Suraj, The Jungle Book Safari, The Peter Pan movie – The Quest for Neverbook and others, as well as co-production projects. DQE human resource and operations president Hatim Adenwala says, “ Boosting work environment helps us to connect more with our employees by promoting a sense of fulfillment and happiness while optimising productivity. We note that the physical and mental space of place of work must be organised, clean, creative and personalised to promote productivity.We have a shared understanding of teamwork and being able to rely on each other. The commitment to fulfill our respective responsibilities is taken very seriously by our artists. People who work for us are happy and proud to be called as DQITES.” The company allows people to perform their work optimally under comfortable conditions. The studio equipped with high-end systems & workstation which are designed on the basis of a level of comfort. “We believe that employee engagement is very important to make our workplace positively. We always come up with employee engagement activities to involve our employees and help them nurture teambuilding and also give scope to maintain a good employee relationship…The experienced and senior artists guide, train and groom the fresh talent who are newly deployed into the production and also helps them to understand the pipeline. There are mentors, supervisors and QI’s who are always available on floor for supporting the artists in shaping their career,” Adenwla added. DQE has very well created a culture where employees share their skills, ideas and thoughts for the benefit of peer employees and organisation. Maintaining work-life balance is their mantra. Apart from encouraging ownership, to motivate and involve the employees they have project vise outings, floor activities and celebrate all the festival irrespective of the culture and religion. They also conduct sport events like DQE Cricket Championship, DQE Carrom Tournaments, VolleyBall Tournaments and DQE Chess Tournament where employees actively participate which boost and it also leaves positive impact to their well-being. 3. Golden Robot Animation (GRA) : Backed by one of the Indian animation powerhouse in IP creation- Green Gold Animation (creators of Chhota Bheem), Golden Robot Animation (GRA) is an award winning full service animation production studio based out of Mumbai. Team GRA has a passion to promote and realise high quality animated content for TV, films, games and digital platforms. With the motto of “Work. Play. Animate”, the studio has a healthy mix of experienced industry artists and young blood who really wants to prove themselves with excellent work. The inclusive culture at GRA helps them voice their suggestions for the betterment of the final output. Also having an open door policy helps in maintaining fairness and transparency in the studio. GRA HR manager Mahar Prasad informs, “We try our best to stand true to our motto at our workspace. We see that physical conditions do not turn out to be a factor that draws back an artist from creating a masterpiece. There is an open garden on our floor for recreation, tea breaks, informal ideation meets and sometimes just for few rounds of game encouraging relaxed and productive atmosphere! The compassion, respect, appreciation and cooperation among the people reinforces the positive environment here. At Golden Robot Animation, the sense of belongingness towards organisation is high which encourages people to go beyond the call of duty.” According to GRA team, there should be a sense of mutual trust and understanding between the employer and employee as well as employees. They aim to produce the best class animated content for which their leadership team tries to align the company’s goals with personal goals of the artists so that they can achieve the bigger picture while following their passion. GRA pushes the boundaries by presenting challenging tasks for them so that they can help raise their quality of work as the industry is constantly embracing new trends, technologies and skills with great ease. All this ultimately adds to the growth of the Indian animation industry. Prasad adds, “Everyone at Golden Robot contributes in maintaining a positive, fun & conducive learning environment. Each senior member of GRA strives their best to support colleagues with technical knowledge required for project delivery and career growth. Managers act as role models and guide their team members in planning their career successfully. To keep our employees stimulated, our team keeps engaging the employees in various activities like Rewards and Recognition program to motivate the team, Bootcamps and competitions and also arranged educational sessions related to mental health, caricature making competition, session on short film screening (we recently had one by Prof. Phani Tetali. We also take up various initiatives like running the ‘Joy Of Giving’ drive, GRA Internship Contest and many more.” 4. Reliance Animation : One of the leading and fastest growing animation studios in India, Reliance Animation whose animated Little Singham has become a household name, has dedicated itself to revive the culture of storytelling by characterising animation in the world of fantasy. Reliance Animation HR manager Shashikant Kulkarni reveals, “We have very youthful, creative and transparent work environment. We provide enough opportunities to employees to perform to the best of their ability. Despite designation hierarchy, any employee can directly reach out to top management or vice a versa.Outstanding potential talent is given enough recognition in our company. We have a healthy and positive work culture where any artists – Junior, Mid & Senior level, can share their creative ideas with the company. We always ensure strong leadership values where senior artist mentors their juniors on regular basis as per project requirement which provides very positive and collaborative work culture within the company. Teamwork, task delegation and competitive salaries help us retain workforce.” When it comes to the employer-employee relationships, Reliance Animation believes in complete transparency of communication within the workforce. The management updates the workforce related to current projects, future projects, tie ups if any and delivery schedules, on regular basis which keeps employee morale high and aligned with company vision. “We maintain mutual respectful relationships within office environment, which results in positive, loyal and productive workforce in the long-run.We strongly believe that growth of our company is result of top quality, quantity and timely delivery of projects because of highly motivated workforce. For better productivity recreation is necessary. Hence we indulge in sports activity, annual party, staff picnic, trekking, movie premier show, launch of Little Singham(kids celebration, monthly wellness sessions like Blood donation, Eye Checkup, Cancer awareness, Yoga and others, celebration of festivals, awards, birthdays, Republic day, Independence day, Women’s day and so on,” Kulkarni further states. 5. Toonz Animation : Celebrating its two decade presence in the industry, Toonz Animation is one of the trusted names of Indian animation industry. The company believes that the working environment and culture is as important as the business strategy itself. A positive workplace is one where all the employees are valued, supported and nurtured irrespective of gender, sexual orientation or race. They ensure all employees have equal opportunities to progress and equal access to all the perks and rewards. Toonz Animation India HR head Camilla Mary asserts, “Our culture is a shared set of beliefs, values, behaviours, and attitudes. I would say our culture is the foundation of our success and it is completely people-oriented, touching lives and making differences to employees. Our positive workplace culture attracts talent, keeps our artists engaged and inspired and these result in happiness and satisfaction. Now in our 20th anniversary year, we are very proud of the work ecosystem and environment we have created.” Toonz Animation promotes a positive employer and employee relationship as it is the key to the longevity of the company by creating an energetic, pleasant and productive working environment all round. Mary exclaimed, “Our CEO, Mr. Jayakumar always ensures the people and the management are well in-sync. We have an effective open-door policy, frequent interactions through “Coffee with the CEO program”. We also have new-joiners meet where the employees get the chance to interact with our CEO on a monthly basis.” Toonz Animation have celebrations throughout the year. They’ve sports club, music club, and photography club employees participate very actively besides regional and international festivities like Onam, Christmas, New Year, Anniversary day and the prestigious two-day event entitled ‘The Animation Masters Summit’ which brings together the whole studio, to learn from animation leaders from around the globe, and interact with them. With noted studios of the animation industry promoting and actively participating in creating a healthy, positive and energetic working environment, we can hope to see better productivity from the happier creative minds!