Staying together while staying apart -Company Culture in the era of isolation

As we delve further into the weeks of imposed isolation, we find ourselves and our teams getting acquainted to this new way of working life. No one gave us a handbook on immediate exile. For many of us, it has involved some serious trial and error. Not to mention a lot of learning of how we interact as a team outside of our office’s four walls.This brings us to our next blog post on how to keep your culture alive in this new world of “working from home” we now inhabit indefinitely.

Culture is what we do beyond the deadlines, it extends past the 9-5 monotony and involves everyone employed by our organisation.We cultivate it and ultimately, it is what makes our teams love being part of the business, curates inter- team interactions and facilitates positive work life relationships. It is an asset that takes time, creativity, investment and can be so easy to lose if left without consideration and care. Therefore we need to treat it as the golden child and MVP of how we keep our teams together, especially when staying apart! Think of this as a manifestation of that cliche that we dare to use –absence makes the heart grow fonder.…so apply this to how you are maintaining your contact and quality time with your startup squad.

The root of this all lies in the mantra of emphasising the SOCIAL in social isolation. Your vibe attracts your tribe so get inventive. If this situation has taught us anything, it is how as startups, we have always thrived on being dynamic and agile, so now is the time to demonstrate your ingenuity. Here are some ideas we have come up with our team that have inspired us to deploy and enjoy.

No watercooler, No Problem 

Gone are those glorious Monday mornings when you break for that sacred mid -morning coffee to gather together to discuss the weekend that has passed. Our solution- make your debrief an informal Zoom call. Our team has been trialing this and it has been really working. It’s an opportunity to show how we have spent our weekends while in quarantine or as some of us have coined it” house arrest” (minus the orange jumpsuit thankfully). Keep it informal. Resist the urge to bring up the impending tasks for the week and talk of targets.Use it as a space of relaxed dialogue and a form of motivational Monday if you will. Anything that keeps the morale elevated for the week ahead and provides positivity, stimulation and inspiration for the next 5 days.

Keep calm as the Quiz Master has arrived 

If you are an aficionado of the Buzzfeed quiz then this will appeal to your existence in seclusion.Nothing says bringing people closer together than crippling competitiveness. Don’t forget also the combat involved in obtaining and basking in the glory of winning. Nothing says teamwork like selection of the sublime and ridiculous when it comes to the questions for challenging your colleagues. Everything from general knowledge to random animal facts are accepted here. Anything goes when it comes to taking down the opposing sides!

Other great ideas that we have seen from fellow teams have been to host a themed quiz where this extends to the backgrounds used on your hangout, to the clothing worn by participants and of course filtered through to the questions chosen for the event! Dust off your metallic sequin jacket and organise this for your team and watch the chaos unfold.

Care packages & Celebrations 

We know business has taken on a different pace. One we are not used to in our constantly moving and often restless startup world. Although the show must go on and so must the pursuit of objectives and targets. This won’t be easily won and therefor we must look at how we can mark these wins from a distance.Here comes our idea of the success “care package”. This can be anything from sending your employee their favourite takeaway to their house on a day of their choice(let’s face it many of us have lost all perception of the days of the week). Or if you would like to make this into an activity we are currently loving the DIY offerings from Platform Pizza and Bujo Burger. This is a double win as it is doing the work for you in terms of sourcing of recipe, ingredients and you can use it as an activity to fill in the evening as well as bringing the restaurant dining experience to your home. Anything that you can do to celebrate and give the recognition to your staff for their performance during this time is worthwhile however you chose to do it.

Virtual Post Work Happy Hour 

Anyone else missing those spontaneous “going for one” Friday evenings? Never fear as this can still happen. Just now instead of having to engage in that inevitable pub selection conversation to please all, the location has now been selected to suit everyone! Put it in the diaries at the start of the week and use it as a way to wave goodbye to the week that was. A  prelude to the weekend awaiting you.

Why not share your favourite Quarantini cocktail recipes with your colleagues to add to your repertoire and share tips on creating the perfect after work drink of choice? If you don’t fancy your bar skills then no problem.The genius people from Catch Events are bringing the bar to you with their delivery service for you and your fellow isolation inmates to enjoy. Make sure to check out their online masterclasses on Instagram titled The Quarantini Series














Let us know what other ideas you have conjured up to keep your team spirit and dynamic alive. We could be in this for some time so anything to inspire and encourage staff sentiment is much appreciated.Keep your eyes peeled for further blogposts on all thing self isolation and working from home related over the coming weeks!

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