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
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 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
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
Our first activity was an outdoor photo competition, where team members share photos in a Slack channel they take while out and about (but still physically distant from others). At the end of the day, a poll is set up allowing everyone to vote on the best photo for each category. The prize: Glory, fame, fun.
Outdoor Photo Competition (via Slack) Categories:
- Best pet photo
- 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
Netflix parties let you watch Netflix with your friends and chat in a discussion using a Chrome extension. We watched Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
We also hosted two guided meditation sessions, a lunch social, and a series of happy hour games, using Jackbox Games.
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
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.