Staying Connected and Supporting Sertifi Employees Through COVID-19
Staying connected while remote
It’s been over 2 months since we closed our office and transitioned almost overnight to working remotely. While we already had a flexible work-from-home policy that many took advantage of, there’s a whole new set of challenges that come with 100% of employees working remotely without many of the tools or workspace needs they’re accustomed to. Many of us were setting up makeshift desks and establishing new routines, parents attempting to juggle work and take care of their children, and others getting used to the isolation of living alone in quarantine. COVID-19 has impacted all of us and how we approach each day.
As our team has quickly adapted to the ever-changing world around us, we wanted to share how we’ve stayed connected and supported each other through all of this.
Traditionally, our approach to keeping employees connected has centered around physically bringing them together for in-office events. Eating lunch together in the kitchen, gathering for town halls, or spreading the word about happy hours are easy when you can walk by your colleague’s desk. However, when you’re fully remote, it presents the challenge of figuring out what initiatives will be impactful and planning around different work schedules. We’ve had to get creative and shift our focus to connect employees virtually.
One of the first virtual events we planned was a lunch and learn about all things remote work. We made it a panel discussion about tips, tricks, best practices, and lessons learned. Our panelists included Sertifi’s Chief Revenue Officer, Engineering Manager, and Product Marketing Manager who all have unique experiences with working fully remotely or managing remote teams. We learned the value of creating routines to begin and end the workday, shifting work hours to accommodate the new norm, taking breaks throughout the day to recharge, and using tools for productivity and collaboration.
We also created a new Microsoft Teams channel early on called “Enjoy the Journey,” one of our core values at Sertifi. The purpose of this channel is to build community and have a fun way to share posts of our new normal. Anyone can post questions of the day or challenge team members to share photos of their new work spaces, cute “interns,” and furry, four-legged assistants.
We planned a Sertifi Spirit Week to keep the fun going and encouraged everyone to dress up for their meetings each day. We held events throughout the week including a guided lunchtime meditation, a Netflix watch party, and a virtual happy hour to end the week.
And even with these additions, we know some people can get “Zoomed out” or tired of constantly being on video for virtual events. So, we started a company-wide Music League which has been a hit – pun intended. We have a new theme each week and employees submit songs, vote on favorites, and create a company playlist.
Throughout the uncertainty of this pandemic, we’ve taken a people-first approach in our response. Our employees’ suggestions and input have been instrumental to how we’re navigating COVID-19. We don’t have all the answers, and nothing replaces the value of in-person connections, but we’re continuing to move forward, finding new ways to support each other, and trying to bring a little joy into our daily work.
Interested in seeing how we’re stayed connected when we’re all remote? Check out our Instagram.
About the Author:
As the Director of HR and People Operations, Olivia is passionate about the employee experience and ensures the people and culture initiatives align with business goals. Outside of work, she loves to watch her favorite baseball team, ski the Rocky Mountains, and listen to pop culture podcasts.