Indellient has always been an organization that values face-to-face interaction. Our team members work from the office 3-5 times per week. You’ll hear time and time again how the best part about working at Indellient is the people. We crave connections with our teammates. So, as you can imagine, the global shift to 100% work from home was a big change for us.
With offices in Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, and New York City, as well as customers across North America. We regularly collaborate in distributed teams and remotely with our clients. However, we’ve found that a large part of our success is due to the strong relationships that have been developed through regular, in-person teamwork.
Despite our affection for in-person collaboration, we’ve seen quite a bit of success working primarily remote these past few months. In this post, we’d like to share how we’ve achieved that.
Disclaimer: We want to recognize that this isn’t “work from home” in the normal sense. This is “work from home in an unprecedented challenge”. All of our team members have been affected by these world events.
To communicate with our teammates, we use Slack regularly. Slack enables you to send direct messages, create group chats, and facilitate video calls and screen sharing. This has been key to maintaining regular communication.
What we’ve done differently these past few months is to use Slack to facilitate “water cooler” chats. In the office, teammates typically have conversations in passing or in common areas that foster relationship building. With the absence of physical spaces, we have encouraged these conversations to continue online.
In our General Chat channel, our Talent Acquisition Specialist promotes “off-topic discussions”. A few times a week, he’ll pose a question or challenge for the whole team. Participation is not mandatory, but it is really fun! The discussion topics range from sharing personal projects (we have a lot of handy folks at Indellient!) to favourite vacation destinations to first jobs.
We’ve learned so much about one another through these conversations, and some team members have even requested we keep it going once we return to the office!
Focus on Well-Being
Indellient has always had a focus on prioritizing our team member’s health and well-being. We recognize that our team members do their best work when they are feeling their best! One of the perks at Indellient is a $500 annual fitness reimbursement.
Since gyms closed down indefinitely, Sharyl Jones, DevOps Service & Customer Success Manager stepped in to help! Sharyl is also a fitness instructor, and 2-3 times a week leads a virtual workout class for all Indell’iers! What makes us most proud, is that we did not ask Sharyl to do this, she volunteered her time.
Also, our Wellness Committee offers a 3:00 pm stretch 3 times per week, and writes a helpful wellness tip that’s included in our monthly employee newsletter!
Regular All-Hands Communication
One of the most challenging aspects of this time is the amount of uncertainty. While Indellient has had its fair share of the struggle, what’s always persisted is our commitment to transparent and frequent communication.
Before COVID-19, we held monthly Town Hall meetings where our Leadership team presented updates on the business. Since March, the Town Hall has been updated to bi-weekly.
The feedback from our bi-weekly Town Halls has been overwhelmingly positive. There has been an emphasis on the appreciation for transparency from our President. The Town Halls are also are a great opportunity to get virtual face time with all of our team members!
In addition to our Town Halls, we have a monthly employee newsletter called Inside Indellient. While the newsletter does give updates about the status of the business, the main focus is on our team members. Our newsletter features shout-outs/recognition, birthdays and anniversaries, upcoming events, wellness tips, and employee spotlights.
Although it sounds cliché, our people truly are our greatest asset. That’s why our updates are not solely business-specific, but also people-focused.
While we’re seeing a trend of companies moving toward a “digital by default” model, Indellient is eager to get back into the office! While we have learned that we can work from home – and even do it well, we’ve also learned more about our values. We’ve learned that there is no replacement for the strong bonds we’ve built with our teammates.
While we will continue to offer work from home and flexible work arrangements post-COVID, many of us are excited to get back into the office to collaborate with our teams once again. In the meantime, we will continue to do our part in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and help our team members thrive in a primarily digital environment.