Here at Integrity, we’ve been working from home since mid-March and don’t plan to stop anytime soon. We were strong believers in working from home before COVID-19 began its spread, and we were one of the first companies in St. Louis to announce that we would be working from home through 2020.
Just as Integrity is constantly embracing new technology, we’ve embraced the challenge of maintaining our awesome culture in this new normal. Here are four ways we’ve done it:
Pre-pandemic, we had a few social channels on Slack (today’s most popular messaging platform for companies). Since everyone has been working from home full-time, we’ve created more social channels to keep coworkers connected.
Channels like #music, #moviesandtv, and #politics help keep coworkers engaged with each other around topics of personal interest outside of other Slack channels where we communicate primarily about our digital marketing, web development and UX/UI design projects.
The social channels provide a sense of humor, community and solidarity through these — you guessed it — “unprecedented times.” It may not be as good as chatting together in the office kitchen, but these conversations offer a much-needed break in the workday.
For years now, we’ve held a monthly team celebration lunch where we cater lunch to the office and celebrate our employees’ successes — personally and professionally.
It would’ve been easy to continue that meeting virtually and assume employees would eat their regular lunch at home, but we wanted to make sure employees could still enjoy the fun perk of a free lunch.
Since March, each employee is encouraged to order food (preferably local!) on Integrity’s dime for these monthly meetings. Who doesn’t love free food? Instant culture booster.
Happy hours and playing games have always been two big ways our team has fun together.
This year, we’ve combined the two into virtual game nights where we typically play on the platform Jackbox. Since employees are usually chilling on their couches at night anyway, these have been a really fun way to socialize with one another, be creative and most importantly, laugh!
Pro Tip: If you want to have a virtual game night with your co-workers, The Jackbox.TV Party Pack 7 was recently released!
Another way we’ve been virtually gaming together is with our Oculus Quest headsets. These were gifted to employees for Integrity Christmas 2019. Virtual reality gaming takes human connection to another level. We’ve played games like Beat Saber, allowing us to challenge each other while getting a workout in. And we’ve also enjoyed playing RecRoom – a competitive sports game. The gaming options on the Oculus Quest are endless, and we’re loving exploring them together as a team.
Missing seeing your coworkers in person? So were we!
Back in the summer, a group of us took to Forest Park to spread out six feet apart and see each other in person for an outdoor hangout after work. We enjoyed the St. Louis summer weather, drinks and not dealing with Google Meet video issues.
This fall, we reserved a picnic area in Tower Grove Park and held a masked-up, socially distanced Fall get-together. There was Jimmy John’s, music, beer, games and plenty of hand sanitizer. We even had pumpkin decorating and treat bags for our employees’ kids.
Nothing like a safe, outdoor event to boost company morale before we all hibernate for winter.
Pandemic or not, we’ll always be coming up with new ways to keep our employees entertained and appreciated.
If you’re interested in working with some awesome people — who hopefully get to work together in the office again one day — check out our job openings.
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Ensuring the things you rely on will work as expected cannot be a matter of chance, it must be part of the plan. This requires ongoing maintenance, updates and upgrades.