Morale has dipped during COVID-19. We’re separated from our friends, families, and colleagues but busier than ever, (especially working mothers). As of April, the majority of workers were reporting higher stress, greater anxiety, and emotional exhaustion. Employers have a responsibility to help workers get through this. Here are five ways we’re creating and bolstering our Clockwise team culture while working from home.
1. Onboarding with style
When I accepted my offer, I could tell our Head of Talent Michael Lipschultz had put a lot of thought into my welcome package. It had literary-themed wine, swag, and Clockwise made a donation to my favorite pet nonprofit.
Remote onboarding with the same flair as in-person is hard. To keep the tradition up over COVID-19, our amazing Office Manager Czar Yarcia has been sending all our new hires (we’re still hiring!) fun welcome packages. “Mine had toilet paper in it!” Designer Raph D’amico said. “How COVID!”
“The onboarding gifts and lunch were all thoughtful touches!” Head of Product Marketing Glenwood Barbee said. “Though the non-profit donation on my behalf was especially great.”
2. Celebrating our team milestones over distance
We recently announced our Series B and Clockwise for Teams launch. To celebrate together at home, Czar mailed everyone on the team individual mini cakes.
“They're actually made by the sister of one of my former colleagues!” Czar said. “Melissa Loar, she went to pastry school and wants to start her own business one day.”
Before that, we surprised Back End Engineer Chuma Kabaghe with custom Stanford-themed backgrounds to celebrate her graduation.
3. Celebrating birthdays and anniversaries
Birthdays are a big deal here at Clockwise, with custom Zoom backgrounds like the one Czar made for Machine Learning Engineer Andrew Israel.
Plus, Czar mails us cake!
We also go all out for work anniversaries. My favorite so far was when Czar put together a "Who said it" quiz. He’d put up a quote from our #quoteboard Slack channel and pick a person to guess whether Front End Developer Danyaal Rangwala said it or our Head of Operations Alex Moser.
Sample quote: “We had a sentient dumpster in the alley the other day.”
4. Fun lunches and demos
We’re also working camaraderie into our weekly schedules with Zoom lunches every Tuesday. To facilitate conversation, Czar breaks the group out into smaller rooms where we can chat and catch up. When we bring on a new team member, Czar takes care to bring them into every room so they can mingle with all of us for a few minutes.
Every Friday we close out the week with “demos,” where Clockwisers have the opportunity to present what they’ve accomplished that week to the team. If we’re celebrating something like a new release, Czar will mail us party supplies like light-up sunglasses, party hats, and mini Lego sets.
For our last Hack Day, Czar chose a Harry Potter theme and mailed us Golden Snitch
cake pops, journals with broom pens, and other Harry Potter treats.
But I’m not sure how we’ll ever top the Goat-2-meeting demos where Clockwisers (and our families) got to meet goats over Zoom!
5. Trivia night
Every Tuesday evening, Clockwisers meet online to play trivia and connect over something that isn’t work. We’ve also experimented with Drawful and other online games. Whether it’s virtual happy hours, games, or even events for employees’ kids, it’s important to get employees talking to each other and having fun to boost morale and mental health.
We onboarded Raph during shelter-in-place. “Trivia was an amazing opportunity for me to ‘hang out’ with folks in the first week,” Raph told me.
We've found a few ways to help keep our culture thriving in these uncertain times, and wanted to share. One more suggestion: remote work apps to help you improve communication and build trust.
What have you been doing to keep spirits high during COVID-19? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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