Staying Connected as a Remote Team During the Pandemic

Laura RogersBlog

The way we work and stay connected has drastically changed over the past month. Our organization physically closed our office space’s doors due to the spread of Coronavirus, and remote work has become the new reality for our R&D Team at FiscalNote. It is an ongoing challenge to keep our team well connected and build the same sense of community that was once thriving in our company’s culture that was present in a physical office space.

Our teams have shifted to create remote work practices, setting up our new offices in our homes. We are finding new ways for communicating effectively, documenting meaningful work, staying productive, and striving to maintain a balance between work and personal lives.

Design team members collaborating in our office space pre-pandemic

Design team members collaborating in our office space pre-pandemic

Our immediate teams follow weekly and daily meeting cadences to check-in, while broader teams have monthly and quarterly touch points to ensure people have touch points to their work and feel a sense of connectedness.

Slack emojis are used as a way to express ourselves remotely

Slack emojis are used as a way to express ourselves remotely

Slack and video conferencing are our usual modes of staying connected. I work on the product team and we have a very collaborative culture. We use Slack channels to get real-time feedback on design work to iterate on product decisions quickly.

In our office, we would take walks and coffee breaks to catch up with our colleagues

In our office, we would take walks and coffee breaks to catch up with our colleagues

As for now, we no longer have access have our physical office space where we used to freely interact with our fellow colleagues. Many people miss the opportunities to connect with their colleagues that our physical space once allowed. Our teams have been getting creative to find ways to bring us together.

In support of our team members and their families, our R&D Team at FiscalNote observed Mental Health Day on April 10 by recognizing the difficult time we live in and allowing team members to take the day for themselves. World Mental Health Day is observed on October 10th every year, with the overall objective of supporting and raising awareness of mental health issues around the world. Our newly minted Culture Committee organized some recreational activities to bring us together amidst a time that can make people feel alone and isolated.

Outdoor Photo Competition

Outdoor Photo Competition (via Slack) Categories:

  • Best photo of how you’re keeping busy with your kids
  • Best outdoor food photo
  • Best photo with company swag in it
  • Best outrageous ‘do it for the gram’ photo

Outdoor Photo Competition Submissions

Outdoor Photo Competition Submissions

Netflix Partys

Netflix Parties

Netflix Parties

Other Activities

Murder Mystery Party Jackbox Game

Murder Mystery Party Jackbox Game

Jackbox games have a number of different multiple choice & fill-in the blank type of games. Each person playing inputs their answers on their phone or computer via a URL, and the meeting host shares their screen with the game and the audio to play along.

Throughout the activities, team members made creative lenses using Snap Camera along with clever Zoom backgrounds to express themselves.

Fun lenses and backgrounds

Fun lenses and backgrounds

While nothing will replace the power of being able to build the types of relationships that happen organically in-person, our team is finding new ways to stay connected in these unprecedented times.