Iftikhar Hamdani, cluster general manager at Wyndham Garden Ajman Corniche (second from left) with Prakash Giyawali and other staff who contributed for his daughter’s surgery. Image Credit: Atiq Ur Rehman/Gulf News

Dubai: For 29 year-old Prakash Giyawali, relocating from his home country Nepal to Ajman without his family, was a necessary move to help save money for his 12-year-old daughter’s heart surgery.

Giyawali who is a house keeping attendant at the Wyndham Garden Ajman Corniche was shocked at the support he received from his work colleagues when his daughter was scheduled to undergo a surgery to repair a hole in her heart back in his home country.

Giyawali’s daughter Sujita, was diagnosed with Heart Severe Supravalvular, a heart defect, at birth and needed to undergo a surgery, which would cost approximately Dh12,500 (NRS400,000), excluding medication and hospital bills.

“We have been waiting for my daughter to get strong enough to do this surgery, and now the doctors have said it is necessary because she has developed a breathing condition,” Giyawali told Gulf News.

His colleagues at all three sister hotels in Ajman surprised him by collecting Dh18,124 to cover the expenses of the surgery.

“My daughter’s surgery is in 10 days and I am so happy. I came here thinking I am alone and no one will help me, but I found another family in Ajman,” said Giyawali.

However, the collection of donations from employees and staff at the hotels was not a first time event.

Mohammad Ribayathulla, Assistant HR Manager for Ramada Beach Hotel Ajman also spearheaded the collection of donations for an employee whose son has leukaemia, last May, raising around Dh19,000.

“We are always ready to help each other and especially staff who are in such situations. This is the fourth time we have raised money amongst ourselves for a cause. We work as a family and you can feel the positive impact this has on the job,” said Ribayathulla.

Meanwhile, Rochelle Morales, Cluster HR Manager for all three sister hotels described the work culture as one “of generosity and compassion.”

“Most of the people who contributed do not even know Prakash personally, as we have more than 500 employees across three hotels. Some of them are also not getting high salary – just enough for their monthly expenses including the money that they sent home. However, this did not stop them from helping their colleague who is in need,” she added.

When it comes to building workplace relationships, research shows that a certain type of friendships can be encouraged in the workplace, said Dr Saliha Afridi, clinical psychologist and director of The Lighthouse Arabia.

“Workplace friendships can be tricky because people still need to have strong boundaries in those relationships or they might find themselves distracted, reducing communication with those that they aren’t friends with, losing objectivity for those who they are friends with and forming cliques, which can compromise workplace efficiency and productivity,” she said.

Dr Afridi pointed out that humans are wired for social connectedness.

“We manage stress, live more fulfilling lives, and thrive in personal and professional realms when we have a sense of belonging and community with those we live and work amongst,” she said.

However, it is important to remember that while workplace friendliness is important, people need to keep some boundaries with their work colleagues.

“People do need to get along and enjoy each other’s company in order to be effective and productive. However, they still need to consider not getting overly involved with a co-worker, and make an effort to maintain a healthy distance,” added Dr Afridi.