Here at Statwax, we’ve always been fortunate enough to have the option of either working from home or in the office. Having operations in two states, we’re accustomed to a virtual company culture. Our days are often filled with Zoom meetings and conference calls. Our mission has always been to make sure every team member feels connected to a truly cohesive company, no matter the location.
When COVID-19 hit, our entire team shifted gears and immediately started working from home exclusively. From the first day of #WFH, our culture team, known as the Statwax Squad, leaped into action to help all Statwaxers stay connected with each other, personally and professionally. The Squad centered their ideas around human connection and interaction to fill what was missing from this new normal. The Squad was able to take our usual office camaraderie and regular team-building exercises into the digital world, creating opportunities to interact, learn, grow, support, and share.
Here are a few remote activities our team has implemented into our digital company culture while living in a work-from-home world amid the pandemic.
Weekly all-hands Zoom team meetings
Our team has traditionally had weekly all-hands meetings each Monday. The meetings typically have special themes or are centered around a particular topic. Depending on the week, these all-hands meetings could include anything from updates about account services to having a team brainstorm.
With shelter-in-place orders keeping our team remote, we decided to take these meetings a step further by implementing an exciting theme to our video conference calls. This extra twist on a traditional meeting has spiced up our regular routine, creating an entertaining conversation starter before getting down to business. These themed meetings have included:
- Donning your favorite sports team regalia
- Statwax spirit day
- Team color day
- Dressing up as your favorite holiday
These meetings are a fun way to kick off our work week. They also give our team an early connection point for the week, so we can give people a chance to talk about how they’re doing and what’s on their professional plate.
Work From Home Bingo
A few years ago, a team member had the idea of professional development bingo in which each employee receives a personalized “bingo card” (translation: Google sheet) with 25 professional-development-centric challenges. These tasks include attending conferences, leading lunch and learns, and meeting with other industry professionals. As an added bonus, our people are incentivized with a cash bonus for completing rows on their card.
We soon realized that several opportunities would be unavailable for a while due to the pandemic. Conferences, meetings, and in-person events have all been canceled for most of 2020. Thus, Work from Home (WFH) Bingo was born. Instead of centering on professional growth, this remote work bingo card is based on fun, self-care, and personal growth while working from home. Some squares include:
- Sharing a pet photo
- Rediscovering a childhood activity
- Participating in an online challenge
- Rediscovering childhood hobbies
- Donating to a cause
We highly encourage sharing photos when completing a bingo square. We even created a Slack channel just for that purpose!
This remote work activity has helped our team members do some things for themselves in quarantine and provided plenty of quality moments of laughter and relaxation.
Zoom board games and happy hours
Our team loves, loves, loves board games! In fact, we’ve had a highly competitive year-long board game challenge for the past three years.
Most board game challenges were played in-person, with an online option so folks in both offices could participate. In quarantine, we’ve taken both the fun and competition fully digital, creating our Statwax Thursday Activity.
Every Thursday, we all gather (adult beverages optional) on a Zoom call. The goal is to enjoy an hour of fun as a team and wrap up the last hour of the workday. This time is often spent playing board games with each other virtually. With the help of mobile apps, websites, and creative people who have digitized physical games, we don’t run out of ideas.
Thursday Activity provides a dedicated time with each other that isn’t about work — it’s about interacting with the people we work with while having a little competitive fun. We’ve found out who is really good at reading lips, who knows coworkers well enough to make up fake facts about them, and who is a wordsmith.
As you can probably gather from our passion for board games, we like friendly competition overall at Statwax. In 2019, we started a monthly bracket challenge for the company. Past brackets have determined our team’s favorite donuts, pizza toppings, and Disney movies.
As we moved into remote work, we decided to bring bracket challenges into quarantine with us. We expanded on past topics and made new brackets from hot conversation starters.
How do you choose the best movie franchise when your heart is torn between Marvel and Star Wars? Team members vote and make their cases for what should move on to later bracket challenges. We usually do a remote teambuilding activity themed around the bracket winner.
Since we already love online challenges, we also decided to take part in the “This or That” craze. We developed our own list, based around digital marketing of course. It’s currently up on Instagram and making its way through our team. Results are still coming in, but so far we know for sure that fun was the overall winner.
We’ve now marked more than two months since working from our own homes. And we believe that the workplace of the future has shifted for the foreseeable time to come. Many companies are looking to work remotely all the time or offer more flexible options. However, companies must also ensure they don’t lose their identity as both a business and a team. Just because the office landscape looks a little (socially) distant doesn’t mean the team can’t be connected.
Now, more than ever, it is critical to maintain your team culture and stay connected with employees. As we look forward to the future of the virtual workplace, we hope our remote team building activities have given you a few ideas to share with your teammates.
Want to learn more about the ideas we came up to keep our team together during quarantine? Check out our social media channels to keep up with our latest team activities.