With companies like ours implementing social distancing as a preventive measure against COVID-19, social media feeds are filled with best practices and advice on working from home and staying connected across an organization.
As a company that already straddles teams across two continents (and opposite time zones), we thought we’d share some of our tricks of the trade when it comes to working with remote teams.
Using WhatsApp as a Social Channel
When it comes to the workplace, a great office culture revolves around socializing just as much as working. At Observe.AI, we make an effort to stay connected with our global team through our WhatsApp channel.
Now with everyone working from home, we’ve gone to WhatsApp to share even more celebrations, family pictures, and encouraging notes (along with some playful banter). We make it clear that work-related stuff doesn’t happen on WhatsApp. But fun happens every day, and you can optionally participate.
Leveraging Zoom for Big Announcements
We recently called an all-hands meeting via Zoom to share some exciting news on a major deal that had just been closed. Our Senior Leadership Team put together a fun, engaging slide deck with gifs and pictures to keep folks on the call engaged. They also gave away special thank you gifts to those who played a special role while reminding the entire team that we all won.
While we already used Zoom for twice a quarter “All-Hands” meetings and “Founder FAQS,” we are using it a little more to keep our bond strong in place of our regular trips to India and the U.S.
Starting a Pet Slack Channel
Because, who doesn’t like sharing photos of their furry friends? We named ours Pet-servians.
Mailing Gifts as Special Recognition to Employees
For International Women’s Day this year, senior leadership made a thoughtful gesture to recognize the women of Observe.AI, mailing each one an individual bouquet of flowers with a personalized note. It went a long way to not only recognize the women on our team, but it also set a great precedent for providing that personal touch on special occasions, especially given that in-office congratulations aren’t an option.
Finding a Cause to Rally Your Company Behind
There’s nothing more powerful than getting your team to stand together behind a cause that positively impacts those in need. At Observe.AI, we’ve chosen to support San Francisco’s elderly, one of the most vulnerable populations in the face of COVID-19.
We’ve partnered with the Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly, a non-profit, volunteer-based organization committed to relieving isolation and loneliness among the elderly. If you’re interested in getting involved, here how:
- Give your time by signing up for a phone visit. With people staying indoors, this can be a great way to volunteer without having to leave your home. Phone visits typically last between 30 minutes and an hour and go a long way to help reduce elder loneliness. Some elders even FaceTime. Learn more here.
- Give an elder a care kit. These kits will be filled with the essentials elders who live alone need as they are asked to stay at home more, including toiletries, cleaning supplies, medications, and treats (everyone loves chocolate!). You can donate in-kind, choose a giving level, or enter your own dollar amount. Donate here.
We hope sharing how we’ve stayed connected as a global team gives you some fresh ideas to bring to your organization. To stay up to date on the latest news regarding COVID-19, visit www.who.int.
About the Author
Gabi Contreras handles social and partner marketing at Observe.AI. You can learn more about Gabi here.