Companies have realised that an important part of their employees' sense of engagement is in fostering the opportunity for staff to feel that they make a difference and are able to give to the community. As commitment to a company's "triple bottom line" a Corporate Social Responsibility agenda is established, which may include a blend of workplace giving, pro bono work or skills-based volunteering, as well as general "hands-on" volunteering activities for the company employees.
Some approach this as a once per year type of team building concept. Where once a group of employees may have gone paint balling, abseiling or played games as a team building day, they may now find themselves with paint brushes and rollers, painting the outside of some crisis accommodation buildings, or helping to establish a community vegetable garden.
In the area of education, a contribution is commonly made through people from companies volunteering as mentors to build life skills, career skills and provide social interaction with people from the business world.
Of course, you can always volunteer outside your work, if you wish. Voluntary work can be very rewarding, help you to enhance your skills and connect you with other like-minded people.
More information: Volunteering Australia and Volunteering WA