Culture is a part of any office environment — and you work hard to promote your firm’s unique culture. It plays a role in how you recruit and retain talent, whether that talent resides in the office or works remotely.
For remote workers, culture boils down to the little things you do to empower staff to socialize and share ideas. Below are a few things we’ve had success with, things that have helped us stay connected as a company. Hopefully, there’s an idea below that you can steal!
Daily video coffee talks
Every morning each department joins a video call with their team to say hi and enjoy their morning cup of coffee like we would getting settled into a workday at the office. Love it or hate it, this also helps you get out of bed and get put together for the day. No one needs to know if you’re still wearing sweatpants, but at the very least, this gets you on track for productivity and feeling better embarking on your day.
Google Hangout water cooler chat
As you know, things can get twitchy when you’re stuck inside all day, and you may need a break or a new face to talk to. We organized an all-day Google Hangout for people to come and go when they need a break from work and want to socialize. Many people join at lunch as a nice way to have a meal with someone, albeit virtual – it beats TV.
All company Friday lunches
Transparency is especially important across departments and with leadership. We make sure to dedicate time to this by hosting all-company lunches. The topic and presenters vary week to week, but every Friday employees are able to order a company-provided lunch and eat together on a conference call.
BigTime Fun printable activities
For many, trying to get work done with kids at home can get a little crazy. We put together printable activity books, including a coloring book and scavenger hunt, to give little ones some “work” to help parents catch up on emails or just enjoy their coffee while it’s still hot. It’s been fun to see everyone’s kids’ artwork, and quite a few of us have even downloaded the pages ourselves to enjoy some fun breaks. Download your own copies here.
Giving kudos and small incentives
Initially, the Sales team started giving away small weekly prizes (Amazon gift cards, picking a theme for the daily team call, etc.) to the top-performing Account Executive that week. After seeing how a dose of healthy competition sparked enthusiasm, we extended the idea to the whole company and set up a Kudos Slack channel for employees to give a shout-out when someone goes above and beyond to help a teammate or client. Everyone submitted then gets to spin the virtual wheel for a prize that week.
Kids and pet social hour
Adorable kids and cute pets are a no-brainer for a morale boost. Just when it’s reaching the 3 PM slump, a couple of times a month we’ll have a kids and pets social video call for people to stop in with their families and hang out. Something that wouldn’t be possible in the office, it’s a nice plus getting to know our coworkers better and meet the important friends and pets in their lives.
Wellness slack channel
Our office loves Slack as we typically have a mix of full-time remote workers and in-office employees, but recently we’ve really stepped it up a notch by adding new channels to build remote communities. One of the best ones so far is our wellness channel where people are sharing mindfulness tips, at-home workouts, and new recipes to try.
We hope you found an idea or two in this post to borrow from us. For more on running your firm remotely including establishing long-term work-from-home standards, strategies for keeping the team on course, and more, visit our remote firm management guide.
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