Bumping into colleagues in the hallway while taking a coffee break has become, over the last year, only a fade memory. Gone are the days when you could walk over to someone’s desk for a brief piece of information, or chat away during breaks about long-awaited weekend plans.
One year into the coronavirus pandemic, the work-from-home situation does not seem to be changing any time soon – but when you’re in the right company, how much of a problem is that, really?
Maintaining our company culture was paramount for us during these very testing times. It has always been of primary importance for us to build a company where our colleagues are not only productive – but happy, as well.
Over the years, we have organized countless trips (to Paris, Berlin, or Barcelona) and regular fun activities to do together – such as go-karting with the team, Friday drinks in the office, pub quizzes, and countless others.
Faced with a pandemic and with the impossibility to see our colleagues face-to-face, it was initially a challenge to figure out how to maintain the same fun and laid back atmosphere amongst our colleagues – but we quickly found our way.
Maintaining a great connection with our colleagues is the most important thing for us.
1. Weekly All-Hands meeting
- Originally our Engineering Manager’s idea, these meetings were created as a way to keep the team together during these testing times. They are an opportunity for our developers to share and gain knowledge from each other, discuss projects that they’re currently working on, as well as share various performance tips and insights.
2. Sending gifts to people
- People are the backbone of our company, and their well-being is very important to us. That is why, since we were no longer able to see each other face to face, we have decided to surprise our colleagues by sending them unexpected gifts to their homes.
- From Italian packages full of fresh herbs, fruits and veggies for a delicious lunch, to boxes of tompouce for King’s Day and flowers for International Women’s Day, we have always strived to do the best we can to maintain our colleagues happy during these unnerving times.
3. Online social activities
- Pub quizzes, games, competitions, coding challenges – you name it, we’ve done it!
- Our colleague and Senior Full-Stack Engineer, Harijs Deksnis has come up with the idea of organizing a weekly coding challenge, offering other developers the opportunity to compete with each other in a fun, yet productive way, and it has been a complete success ever since!
4. Monthly new joiners lunch
- It is now part of our tradition to organize a monthly lunch to welcome our newest team members. This is our way of getting to know each other, share a great meal and play some fun games together.
5. The buddy system
- We have also implemented a buddy system, which allows every new joiner to have a buddy – mentor – when joining the company. This is not only a great opportunity for people to get to know each other, despite everyone working from home, but it is also immensely helpful for new people to get up-to-speed and have someone to go to for any possible questions that they may have.
6. Completely remote onboarding
- We’ve created presentations to allow for a smoother onboarding process, making sure we cover everything a new joiner needs to know about our company, values, and culture. We also like to set up a monthly meeting, as well as a 6-months-into-your-role meeting, to check in with our colleagues and ensure that everything is running smoothly and they are supported all along the way.
It’s always about the employee.
All of the above-mentioned values have tremendously helped us in keeping our company culture alive through the pandemic. They have also proved very valuable in terms of maintaining our connection with our colleagues, and building a workplace – albeit online at the moment – that is highly focused on people’s well-being.