Maintaining a strong company culture should be a priority for every business. And, while it can be a challenge on its own, it becomes especially difficult when your entire team starts working remotely.
We here at Stack are no strangers to the work-from-home life. With a hybrid remote team and Work-from-Home Wednesdays already on the books, we were ahead of the game when it came time for us (and many other companies) to transition to remote operations in light of the current pandemic.
And, once we traded our Venice Beach views for our own remote digs, we hit the ground running with a number of creative ways to keep morale and company culture high during this new normal.
Now, over three months into this transition, we sat down with Stack’s People Operations Specialist Kerry Milazzo to share these ideas with you:
“Not everyone has a killer work-from-home setup,” says Milazzo “That’s why we encouraged everyone to take everything they needed from the office to turn their at-home situation into a more productive one.”
Some Stackers took home accessories like mice, laptop stands, and keyboards while others went as far as transplanting their standing desks and office chairs. For some, it’s like they never left the office at all!
Fika Coffee Breaks
Fika is a Swedish tradition that involves taking a break during the day, usually with a friend and over a cup of coffee. “Taking breaks and keeping up with peers can be difficult when you’re siloed at home,” says Milazzo, “That’s why we started implementing weekly virtual Fika breaks.”
Each week, everyone is paired with someone new to go Fika with via Zoom so they can connect and caffeinate. “We’ve even gifted our stackers gift cards to spend on an extended Fika lunch to really foster these connections,” Milazzo adds.
For many remote workers, taking time off seems strange when you’re already stuck at home. But, being able to disconnect and walk away from your work every now and then is critical for staying productive and motivated.
“We always encourage our team to take time off,” says Milazzo, “but we went a step further in May by giving everyone a free Mental Health Day off to really disconnect and take time for themselves.”
Virtual Happy Hour
Going to happy hour isn’t quite as easy when the bars are closed and everyone’s staying inside. “To help keep our happy hour tradition alive, we host weekly happy hours via Zoom,” says Milazzo.
Of course, having close to 50 people all on the same Zoom call can get chaotic so Stack structures its happy hours with a prompt or theme for the call. Then, everyone goes around and shares their responses one at a time.
Some fun prompts used in the past include: “What’s something that everyone else seems to love that you don’t understand?” and “Who was your role model as a kid and why?”
The Stack company culture has always been about doing fun activities with each other in and out of the office. “Even if we can’t all get together physically, some stackers have taken the initiative to hold their own virtual activities that everyone can take part in,” says Milazzo, “We’ve had people host virtual sessions on yoga and meditation to help keep everyone connected.”