featured image for post 5 ways to strengthen community on your team while working remote
March 20, 2020
5 ways to strengthen community on your team while working remote

How to support your employees during a crisis

Even the most fearful times come with a silver lining. When our perceptions are heightened, we are motivated to rise to the occasion, get creative, and act quickly.

At Zyper, immediately after we decided to close our office, we actioned a clear remote work strategy. The first thing we did was communicate to our team what this new normal would look like.

Here are a few tips to create normalcy and community while working from home:

  1. Make WFH life as comfortable as possible: Allocate a small stipend to each employee to improve their new work from home setup. We suggested items like AirPods, a laptop stand, or extra cushions but left it to each person to decide on their purchase. Little improvements can go along way to help turn your home into a productive environment.
  2. Create weekly rituals:
    Create structure through daily and weekly events and be sure to commit to them. One of our favorite #remotelife activities is to eat lunch together everyday at noon. It’s a great opportunity for everyone to pop in and get the human connection we usually have IRL. Plus we get to interact with our coworkers' roommates, partners, and puppies in the background which brings us even closer.
  3. Spark creativity:
    As we brace for what’s next in this pandemic journey, we have a rare moment to pause and get creative. We launched a curiosity assignment to help enrich our time at home. The team is encouraged to document their challenge of choice, whether that’s to read a book they've been meaning to read or to learn a new skill. Our CEO even signed up for a Code Academy course so hacking new features might become her new side hustle..
  4. Provide resources for emotional support
    This week we had our CEO’s executive coach host a 2 hour workshop on managing anxiety in a time of unknown. We each got vulnerable and shared our feelings on COVID-19’s impact on a global and personal level. These shares were met with a sense of validation and solidarity. We also were armed with tangible tips for creating healthy routines during the transition.
  5. Ask your team to flex their skills
    Being an early stage startup, we know that our employees love to add value anywhere they can. As a result, we’ve asked them to share their talents and host their own weekly events. We kicked off Monday with an energizing yoga class taught by one of our Account Executives and closed the week with a guided meditation led by our Head of Talent. This grounded the team and drove them to think about what they wanted to teach next.

These activities have been especially helpful for our three new hires who ironically started during our first week remote.

"As a brand new employee, I truly feel part of the Zyper community - there has been a ton of uncertainty alleviated by the actions of the team like hosting virtual lunch chats, today's workshop on anxiety, and sharing photos and videos of your dogs and babies. These little things help me feel grateful and uplifted." - shared by Ritika Pandita, our newest Account Executive

When you look at challenges as opportunities, it allows you to get creative no matter the circumstances. We could have never imagined this reality. But now that we are here, we can use this time to fuel creativity and connection, making our post COVID-19 world even better than before.

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