To research specific tactics that companies have sucessfully used to keep remote employees engaged, so blog readers may take away definitive actions to be able to use during this pandemic.
The company Automattic, besides having an annual company gathering for creative employee meetings, helps their employees create their ideal work environment by providing them with the tools and money to assist them. A stipend is given to employees to create a workspace that is suitable for their needs, with the company even allowing the money to be spent on coffee if they are working from a coffee shop so there are no worries of being kicked out.
The company Monzo also helps their employees by financing equipment for their home offices. Positive comments on Glassdoor.com show that employees appreciate this aspect, and that Monzo does a great job at keeping employees up to speed by recording all-hands meetings for employees to stream or replay later.
Every Friday the company Buffer has ‘Impromptu Hour’ solely dedicated to social chat on Zoom for employees to form and maintain relationships. The company is very supportive of employees getting the work and life balance correct, putting great emphasis on wellbeing, including providing online access to therapists.
Basecamp also remind employees to strike a balance in work and personal life, while also recognizing the need for employees to get out of the house sometimes. The company nudges employees to find what works for them, such as interacting with neighbors and family.
Zapier believes that "transparency of communication and excellent documentation" are key for ensuring remote workers are engaged and successful. To also keep employees engaged, a great amount of focus on helping employees connect with one another and build relationships is also maintained. The company uses the Slack app Donut to connect up three employees randomly for social chats, with an employee retention rate of around 95%.
Gitlab also consciously schedules time for Zoom meetings and social chat that are not work related. The company also has a large focus on what is called ‘The Handbook’ that helps guide the company and employees, from onboarding, to outlining big issues all the way down to the minutest details. They believe it is easy to just write it down once then everyone joining the company can refer to it, and that keeping things well documented allows information to flow correctly.
MCD Partners, Canvas Worldwide and Jam3 have all launched their own versions of MTV's "Cribs" where staff show off their home spaces in short virtual tours. MCD Partners' Caruso stated that "It's been fun to see each other in our homes," and that "frankly, it’s a little lighthearted break from everything that’s going on. It really underscores how we’re all dealing with the same thing, and that we’re all in this together, while being separated and apart."
The company Help Scout believe planning and effort are key for a strong remote culture, using a monthly “Troop Talk" to bring together groups of 10 or more employees through Zoom. A theme is chosen, a future date set allowing time for thought, and in the meeting everyone takes a turn and speaks. The company also has a “At Home with Help Scout” video home tour for employees to share their day-to-day life with coworkers.
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