While we are currently facing unprecedented times, here at Rhonda.ai we are making the best of it all. We want to share what we as a company have been doing to continue business as usual, with a twist.
I don’t know about you, but one of the things I miss dearly about going into the office each day is socializing with my co-workers. I miss hearing about their adventures, how their kids are doing, or the newest series they are binging on Netflix. I spend more time with my co-workers than I do with family, therefore a sudden halt from seeing my second family every day is a huge life change.
To top it off, we were all conditioned to popping in and out of one another’s offices with various questions, having daily board room meetings, and finding solutions to problems instantly by standing up and motioning for help.
We were taught that “working from home” is an inconvenience, and only to be done in dire circumstances.
This “normal” has now been shaken up more than anyone could have ever predicted. I haven’t seen my colleagues in months and have been working from home for over 74 days. But if I am being honest things are still pretty great. Business is as usual; I am in the loop on my co-worker’s well-being and working from home has allowed me the freedom to exercise more often and cuddle my kitten at 2:05 pm just because I want to!
While we can’t currently eat lunch together in the lunchroom, we have a daily meeting at 1 pm to chat, catch up, and discuss our lives outside of work. This provides a social outlet for our team to still have that personal connection that we all lack.
Remote employees are more likely to be disengaged and quit. An easy way to engage employees is through recognition. Here are a few ways you can virtually high-five your team:
- Award employees with a local gift card.
- Recognize an employee on your company LinkedIn page for their hard work.
- Be timely. If you see behaviour that should be awarded, don’t wait.
- Treat the team to lunch from afar.
Rhonda.ai and our parent company IMI provides a ton of flexibility around maintaining an active/healthy lifestyle throughout this remote work transition. Our CEO has repeatedly encouraged us to get away from our desks if we can (within reason of course!) and break the monotony as much as possible.
We are currently leveraging the STRAVA app and encouraging all staff to participate in a 1-mile walk/run every day. We then combine each employee’s distance throughout the week and plot it into Google Maps. The goal: to virtually circumnavigate the continent passing each of our office locations (Ontario, CA – Nashville, TN – Grand Rapids, MI – Ottawa, Canada). Prizes for further distances, etc. are also being offered.
How you communicate with your employees during this time is essential to keeping them safe, informed, and productive as they navigate and adapt to sudden and unexpected changes. Communicate often, remain clear and calm, show you care, and provide 2-way communication.
At Rhonda, we conduct a weekly Town Hall meeting where our CEO debriefs the organization on all weekly updates from the top down. He takes this time to bring everyone to speed on the health and safety measures the organization is taking towards COVID-19 and the return to the office. Providing this transparency lessens the stress and anxiety employees are currently feeling during these unprecedented times.
During our weekly “Town Hall” meeting one employee takes the Zoom stage and presents to the organization their favourite beverage. It’s a fun way for everyone to engage and learn a new cocktail recipe!
My team LOVES fun and games. We have leveraged this time away from one another to play trivia, two truths one line, and scategories. Our next big team bonding activity is to do a companywide singalong to the song “Help Me Rhonda”. Yes, if you were wondering, we got the inspiration for our company name from the famous Beach Boys Song.