As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps the world, many organizations are requiring or strongly encouraging their employees to work from home. Firespring has nearly all of its team members at home right now, and we stand in solidarity with organizations facing these uncharted waters. How do we maintain a connected company culture in these isolated times?
Social distancing for the greater good requires a certain amount of sacrifice—we definitely won’t be taking a face-to-face meeting for granted anytime soon. When isolation is the name of the game, connectedness can be elusive. Still, we make do with what we have and rely on our secret weapon—technology—to communicate as normally as possible. Company culture is one thing we can’t sacrifice right now. Honestly, it’s more valuable than ever.
So, let’s focus on how we can foster connection, teamwork and fun through the coming weeks. With technology as our greatest asset, let’s dig in to a few ways we can use it to maintain positive company culture from home.
See Eye to Eye
There is an entire world of difference between a phone call and a video call. Phone calls are great in a pinch, but nothing compares to talking to someone face to face. Video conferencing is a WFH essential—it makes you feel more connected to your team members, and provides helpful nonverbal cues that you can’t get from a phone call.
Our chief technology officer, Jason Wilkinson, says it best: “The number one thing is video, video, video—wearing a headset and with cameras ON. It really is amazing how much more of a relationship you can have when you can see somebody while you’re talking to them. I’ve done it for years with my counterparts at the St. Baldrick’s Foundation for our weekly meetings. Video calls are always more effective than phone calls and help people stay connected.”
Keep Your Traditions
If your organization has any kind of daily ritual or occasional tradition, find a way to maintain those habits. Traditions help us feel grounded and give a sense of much-needed normalcy as we work in a different environment.
At Firespring, we have an all-company meeting at 11:11 a.m. everyday to celebrate successes, unite under our goals and learn more about each other. That meeting, the Firestarter, moved to Google Hangouts when we started working from home. Each day, we’ll get over 100 people in one video conference and conduct our meeting as usual. It’s an amazing time to stay close with team members, keep our goals and meet coworkers’ kids and pets.
Even if you don’t already have any rituals or traditions, you can create one for this unique time. Who knows, maybe it’ll become a hallmark of your organization.
Let Communication Flow
No one is seeing their team members as much as they used to, but that doesn’t mean your team should feel like they’re working in a bubble. Combat isolation by using your resources to keep communication open.
Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype or any video conferencing app are excellent ways to keep your usual one-on-one and team meetings. Messaging apps like Slack are extremely effective for communicating absolutely anything. At Firesping, we use Slack for pretty much everything. We send important updates to the entire company, share pictures of our pets and check in with our coworkers on projects.
By prioritizing open communication, we make more room for productivity and fun while minimizing isolation and miscommunication.
We all need a little connectedness right now, even if it’s through a screen. Hopefully, by using our tech resources and staying dedicated to communication, we can soften the blow of this strange time. If your organization could use a strategic helping hand right now, our team is offering free, virtual 30-minute strategy sessions. Reach out to us and we’ll help you discover your best path forward. And get some WFH tips from one of our remote team members for insider expertise.