As the countries first hit by the COVID-19 pandemic start to ease restrictions and head towards a so-called new normal, people have begun to wonder how different their workplace will be once they go back. But this ‘different’ will quite possibly transcend any physical adaptations, as many companies have experienced a cultural shift that will likely stick around when the pandemic is finally over.
In this article, we will take a look at some of these initiatives that not only helped people to keep working efficiently during this period, but also contributed to enhancing their connection with each other.
Getting communications right
The pandemic presented the concept of remote working to some companies that may have never thought of work outside the office environment. To us, the first thing to get right is internal communication.
This is something that varies a lot depending on the nature of the business, timezone, team and even the worker’s position. Some need to keep in touch very often while others don’t, so instead of trying to tell you what the ideal is, let’s just talk about what we do here.
At SwiftComply, we use a combination of tools including Slack and Google Meet, while email is mostly left for external communications. For day-to-day conversation, every team has their own Slack channel to enhance that collaborative nature of communication, as well as the ability to talk directly to anyone, anywhere in the company.
Pets are welcome
Working from home presents challenges for all dwellers, including the furry ones. Pets that were not used to seeing their owners so often likely became confused with the new routine, with some using their spare energy to externalise this confusion.
Something we did here at SwiftComply was embrace this situation. Instead of trying to hide our pets, we acknowledged that dogs will bark, cats will jump in front of the camera, and that’s fine. We even created a Slack channel to share pictures and videos of our pets and hosted a pets meeting.
If people can’t meet to socialise after work, we socialise virtually. We have been hosting monthly game meetings that include everybody in the company. Operating on two halves of the world, this often creates a funny situation where our UK team are ready drinks in hand, but sadly for the US team, it’s coffee.
We’ve experienced an abundance of games that can all be played in a group online, from Heads Up, Scribbage and Drawful. One of our most successful events was a virtual pub quiz, which we combined with a team bonding activity where we learned new and fun facts about each other, including some FOG-related questions, naturally!
Group walk, remotely
Lastly, our UK team had the idea to start a virtual walking group. Using an app called World Walking, the entire company can participate by logging in the steps they take when exercising, doing groceries, etc.
This is a great, healthy way to get everybody involved. So far, we have already finished a 142 km walk through the Yorkshire Coast from Staithes to Withernsea. At the moment we’re halfway through our walk around the entire isle of Ireland.
Put in place as a response to the reality brought by the pandemic, these initiatives will certainly be useful once things get back to normal. We learned interesting ways to bond with workmates and how to better adapt to new work environments.
Has your company started any processes during COVID-19 times that you think should be kept for the future? Follow us on LinkedIn and join the conversation.