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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.