Even though the chaos caused by Corona Virus has put the world into a state of unease, we must all do our bit to stay safe and be responsible. Washing hands regularly, social distancing, wearing a mask when going outside, and working from home (if it’s an option) are good practical measures to follow.
But of course, life goes on. Businesses must function and people still need to work.
At Homelike, we have recently implemented a Work From Home (WFH) policy as a precaution to keep everyone safe. And while the concept of a home office isn’t new, having a whole company in the same situation is a little different, and it’s sparked new thoughts on how to maintain a healthy company culture.
This post is for other companies who are undergoing a mandatory WFH policy to be inspired and for any potential Homelikees to get a taste of the Homelike culture.
5 tips to maintain a healthy company culture when everyone works from home.
1. Utilise online chat to keep things fun and collaborative
Online chat tools are already a common thing for many businesses. They are incredibly useful to share information and collaborate in real-time, particularly for information that typically doesn’t warrant the need for an email or face-to-face interaction.
At Homelike, we use Slack. It’s become an essential part of how we communicate with each other. However, most of the time we are all working from an office, which means alongside Slack, we are always conversing at the coffee machine, having lunch together in the communal kitchen, and gathering for important meetings and our all-staff ‘Demo Day’.
While we are all working from home while the world tackles Corona Virus, we’re utilising a few channels that help us keep the situation both productive and light-hearted.
Channel 1: #homelike-team
Our #homelike-team channel is used for all general company communication. Here we share things like when Homelike gets featured in the press, when we receive 5-star Trustpilot or Google Reviews, when we achieve significant company growth milestones or announcements from our leadership team.
Channel 2: #[event]-initiatives
When something like the Coronavirus pandemic hits or another important event that affects our customers, we set up an event-specific channel to share the initiatives and progress from each department. While we’re all working from home, this line of communication has become even more important as things are evolving quickly, so it allows every member of the channel, including our CEO, an opportunity to keep abreast of all that’s happening.
Channel 3: #random
While the sound of chats and laughter have left our offices for now, at Homelike we’ve compensated with the use of our #random Slack channel. As we all go about our daily tasks, when we find something interesting, funny, or simply random, we share it to our #random channel. Posting something on here leads to emoji reactions or a comment by those who appreciate it.
2. Hold virtual "Kitchen Talk" meetings
Even though Slack plays an important role during WFH isolation, we give further thanks to technology to allow us to hold meetings online. Just because we can’t all be together in person and drink coffee together, doesn’t mean it has to stop now!
So, one of our Homelikees (Eike) came up with this idea recently to hold what’s been named ‘Kitchen Talk’ meetings via Google Hangouts. Read how it works via the Slack post below:
This genius idea turned out to be a great way for us to catch up on things other than work, to check in on each other, how we’re all adjusting to a WFH environment, and how we’re struggling to find toilet paper at the supermarket right now 😂. The initiative really lifted the spirits of our Homelikees in that it showed that we’re all in this together and social distancing doesn’t have to be a lonely experience.
3. All-staff Virtual Meetings
Normally on a weekly basis, every Homelikee gathers for an All Staff meeting, or what we like to call ‘Demo Day’. ‘Demo Day’ is a way for each team to share what they have been up to in the past week, what successes they’ve had, what challenges they’ve faced, and what everyone should know in the coming week. It’s a great way for everyone to stay connected, be informed, and of course, enjoy a Kölsch or two.
While we are all working from home we have sensibly moved ‘Demo Day’ to Google Hangouts. It does feel a bit strange to have around 100 people all on the same call, and there will always be the odd technical issue to deal with, but it’s so far proven to be an effective way to catch up on the important things from the week.
4. Virtual Yoga Classes
To encourage good health at Homelike, as a Homelikee you receive a discounted rate to become a member of JustFit gyms. But, while all the gyms have closed down for the foreseeable future there are still no excuses to skip leg day or think laying on the couch is considered stretching.
So, we are setting up a Virtual Yoga class run by some of our Homelikees where anyone can log in to a Google Hangout and take a home-run class together.
For more tips on how to stay sane and active during social distancing, check out this handy article: 10 WAYS TO STAY SANE & ACTIVE WHILE SOCIAL DISTANCING
5. Be transparent with your Work From Home policy
As events unfolded with regard to the Corona Virus pandemic, it became necessary for us to provide our Homelikees with a suitable Work From Home policy.
Sometimes when policies are put in place by organisations the approach can be very authoritative without collective much or any feedback from the people who are affected by it. At Homelike, however, we wanted to take a more modern approach with our WFH policy.
To do this, our HR Team and CEO presented the policy via an All-Staff meeting. While being completely transparent and explaining the ins and outs of the policy, it was encouraged that we ask any question or share any concerns so that everyone was comfortable with the changes. One of the important factors, for example, was to ensure every Homelikee had access to the internet, a laptop, and a computer monitor, so they could work comfortably and sufficiently.
By implementing a policy in this way makes everyone feel more included in the process and that we’re all in this together.
Want to become a Homelikee?
We’re always looking for talented and enthusiastic individuals who have passion and want to join our fast-growing company. If Homelike looks like a place for you, check out our job board and get in touch!