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Culture Continuity

Posted on Categories Culture/Employee Engagement, Internal CommunicationsTags

How do you keep culture continuity when your whole workforce is at home?

All over LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram people are sharing all of their work-from-home tips. How to stay productive, how to set up timers to take breaks, how to utilize different tools to stay in touch with co-workers, and how to set boundaries. But what I have not seen is how to stay fully connected to your team and get the socialization you are missing from the office.

Most of us are dealing with the anxiety of the COVID-19 outbreak, concern over our parents’ health, long lines and outages at our local markets. Add to that the lack of real connection from your normal circle of cohorts and we are facing some real emotional issues. So, how do you keep in touch with each other in a meaningful way? How are you working on giving everyone a break from the news cycle to focus on each other?

Our Fun Committee has come up with some amazing ideas and we wanted to share them with you so you can take them back to your team and keep the fun going, remotely.

  1. At our office we are competitive and have competed in a Scrabble tournament for several years (for charity and bragging rights). A WORDS WITH FRIENDS tournament is right up our alley! Set up your bracket in Google Drive so people can sign up, and let the games begin. Offer any prize you like for the winner, but a package of toilet paper will probably beat anything!
  2. Create a “Co-worker” Slack channel where everyone can share what their new office mates are up to. By replacing the words pet, dog, cat, spouse and kid with co-worker in any sentence about what they are up to, hilarity ensues. “My co-worker just threw a tantrum because her coworker got more applesauce”
  3. Send out care packages to the team! Whether it is a virtual gift card for delivery or a real care package with hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes, it will make your employees feel remembered and cared for.
  4. Group exercise classes are a big hit right now with all the gyms closed. We have two yogis’ on staff, so a virtual yoga class is in our future. And you can do them with the camera turned off so no one will see your downward dog.
  5. Share your home office with virtual tours! Every week allow someone to show where they are working. It will help you picture them when on that long conference call and make you feel a little bit closer. Mine will be in the style of MTV Cribs.
  6. Working from home may not be as ergonomic as the office so sharing tips and tools on how to sit up straight at home is key to stopping bad habits from forming!
  7. Share daily gratitude, self-care practices, and selfies daily! Having a thread of positive reinforcement will help anyone smile during this crisis.
  8. The Japanese coined the phrase “on-nomi” for having drinks virtually with friends, which is why we moved our Happy Hours to video chat. We split up into smaller groups because Savages love to talk, and after a few Quarantini’s we will talk your ear off!

Whether it is one of these ideas or some of your own, taking the time to build a culture outside of the office with your co-workers is important and critical to keeping business continuity. Giving everyone a place to vent and share their experience will bring you closer in the long run. Not everyone has a someone at home. Not everyone has a fur baby. At this time the isolation could be more traumatic than the crisis itself. Take time to check in on everyone and connect personally. Together, but apart, we can get through this.

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