A far too familiar screen for most of us. The online meeting room has become a symbol of our current social climate and the effect it is having on business operations. Like many companies around the world, the Kaizo team has felt this effect by having to transition to a completely remote workplace. Whilst we count ourselves lucky that remote enablement was a smooth transition for us, what’s important now that companies are settled, is to remain engaged. Engaged with our work, with our colleagues, and with our personal lives.
Although there are a lot of challenges with the current work from home situation (WFH), there are also some benefits. If we can pull one positive from this, it has brought to light, even more so, the importance of team building and establishing a strong company culture. When it comes down to it, the extra efforts that companies put in now to forge this strong culture digitally will pay off in the long run. After all, happy, engaged employees are better performing employees.
Here’s a look at what we are doing at Kaizo to make sure that we are engaged whilst working remotely.
From team strategy meetings to coffee machine chit-chat, something we believe is crucial for a team’s success is clear communication, especially during this time of isolation. Whilst we’ve kept up our usual forms of internal communications we’ve added some new processes to make sure our team is well connected.
- Morning coffee: Every morning at 9 am our team gets together on Zoom to share our morning coffee and chat about all things non-work related. We even made a little game out of it with those that are late receiving an ‘x’ next to their name and the winner at the end of each week receiving a prize.
- Global COVID update: Having a global team based around the world (Netherlands, Ukraine, Egypt, Brazil), we feel it’s important for us to share the current situation as it is unfolding in each of our home nations. We dedicate 15 minutes each morning for everyone to share any updates regarding their situation.
- Reflection time: At the end of each week during our 2 pm daily meeting we reflect on what we are grateful for. Whether that is our health, our family, our team or the fact that we are still able to work in such trying times. It’s important to put daily challenges that may seem overwhelming in isolation into perspective and remember how lucky we are.
- Camera rule: With a massive increase in the number of calls we have to make on a daily basis, we have implemented a strict rule to always have our cameras on when talking to one another. Seeing your colleagues face-to-face makes such a big difference in conveying ideas but also in feeling like we’re in the same room.
Maintaining the culture
Whilst we normally have a number of ongoing cultural/team building activities in our office, it is often hard to get the entire team around the world involved together. Now that everyone is working remotely, it has given us a chance to get creative and try out some interactive events to keep everyone engaged.
- Friday Breakfast: Every Friday morning we all get together online and have breakfast. Having a team with 18 different nationalities, it’s interesting to share what each of us has cooked and share our cultural differences and similarities whilst reflecting on our week.
- Games night: Whether it’s online trivia with Kahoot, Pictionary on Zoom whiteboard or an undignifying game of charades, every Thursday at 6 pm our team has a hard stop on work projects and comes together for a virtual game night.
- Movie night: Each fortnight someone from the team has the choice of selecting a movie for the team to watch together. We watch the movie on twoseven, a platform that allows you to watch the film together in real-time and chat via an IM window.
We’ve adapted our usual workplace benefits to work remotely so that our team can work comfortably from their new environments. Yes, we know most of them are food 😉
- Lunch allowance: We usually have a catered lunch each day thanks to the chefs at TNW, so now team members are reimbursed weekly for their lunches at home.
- Care packages: For those in the team that fall unwell and are unable to work or interact with their colleagues, we send out a care package to brighten up their day a little. The care packages usually contain all the essentials for when you’re feeling down, some nice tea, paracetamol, snacks and a nice book.
- Pizza night: With the irregularity of remote working hours it can often be hard to find time and energy to cook something every night. That’s why once every fortnight everyone in the team gets the chance to grab a pizza or another meal of their choice for themselves and their partner and are reimbursed in full.
This is just a snapshot of some of the things we think help to keep our team engaged during this transitional time. We will continue to update this list as we come up with new ideas to keep us connected. This has made such a difference to the way we work and our overall happiness as a team, so if you have any other cool ideas please feel free to share!
If you would like to supercharge the performance of your remote customer support team try Kaizo for free today!