The Covid-19 concern is forcing a change in how people are working. It’s certainly creating a lot of disruption for employees who are used to coming into work every day and communicating informally to make progress. For those that are now working remotely, it can be quite an impact. At Stride, we are already a 100% virtual company. Our whole accounting team works from home and has done so for years.
As some of you are transitioning to remote working, for the time being, I wanted to share some tips for how to make it work for you. Who knows, maybe this is the future of how your company is going to work! Here are seven things that we do today to bolster culture in a remote workforce.
Video Conference is Essential
All of our employees communicate via video conference internally and with clients. It is so important to see body language and facial expressions to maintain a personal connection. We use Zoom for external meetings and Google Hangouts for internal meetings.
Schedule “Random” Coffee Chats
Because there isn’t as much opportunity to have informal conversations with colleagues, we added Donut to our slack channel that randomly assigns coffee chats between two people every week. It’s a really fun way to get to know people in your organization at an informal level.
Double Down On Your Work Management Platform
We are total, 100% converts of Asana here at Stride. In fact, Asana has profiled Stride as a case study because of our enthusiasm for their work management software. With a remote team, it’s harder to know where people are in their projects and what’s going on. Applications like Asana do a nice job of keeping people focused on the priority projects and communicating within the context of that project toward the goal. Many companies use applications like Asana today, but when remote, it becomes critical.
Structure How You Deal with Conflict
I know this might sound silly but when you’re remote, it’s harder to resolve conflict quickly with colleagues. We have a process at Stride called “Get and Stay in Sync” paired with a really effective framework of working through that with each other. You can check it out and download our framework here.
Have a Monthly Game Time
Everyone loves taking a quick break and having a bit of fun. We use games supplied by Jackbox Games; specifically, our company likes to play Quiplash. These are really fun ways to keep people connected and have a little break.
Set Up “Fun” Slack Channels
A really effective way to continue promoting engagement among employees is to set up slack channels for different interest areas. You could set up a channel for fitness, cooking, or whatever other interests your team has. Essentially you’re creating a bunch of mini water cooler stations.
Celebrate Wins and Celebrate Each Other
We always start every internal (and many external) meetings with shoutouts or successes. It’s a really effective way to get people connected on a positive note before digging into the meat. When it comes to calls, it helps set the tone and break down defensive barriers that are easy to put up when someone is on the other side of the line vs. the other side of the table.
We believe the future of work is to give people geographic independence–the ability to work wherever they want. It does, however, require a different way of managing expectations and building a culture where people don’t feel isolated and can thrive. Our journey at Stride is to be the best place for remote working in bookkeeping/accounting. Maybe you can take a leadership role in your industry as well!