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All Together: How Our Employee Community Keeps Us Connected During COVID-19

Written by Elizabeth Bell on April 8, 2020 at 12:48 PM

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Pictured above: Some members of our Higher Logic PRIDE community host their first virtual happy hour.

When Higher Logic decided to go temporarily full-remote on March 11, I think a lot of us thought we’d probably be back in the office in a couple weeks. Now it’s been almost a month, and we’ve had to adapt to the idea of suddenly being a remote company.

Many companies are getting used to this new situation, and we’ve felt especially fortunate to have an employee community where we can connect while staying socially distant.

We love having messaging and video calls to stay connected to our immediate colleagues and teams, but there’s nothing like having the virtual community for staying connected to the whole company.

During this time, when things are a bit scary for everyone, our coworkers have been stepping up to support each other and stay connected when it’s easy to be isolated.

This looks like starting a discussion thread (Thanks, Annie!) where we can share recipes to use up all those beans we’ve stockpiled. Oh, and making sure we have some recipes parents and kids can make together, too.

Staying connected through the community also means one remote veteran sharing tips from her 11 years of experience staying focused at home. It’s shocking to the system to start a whole new routine, so these tips have helped – thanks, Heidi. (If you’re curious, she recommended stepping away and getting outside, being very clear with your family about when you have to focus, and staying connected.)

We also share pet pictures, of course – they’re the only “people” some of us see now, so it’s a given.

Bailey, Tess and Char

Pictured above: One of our employee's three furry coworkers. 

Parents and non-parents alike have shared ideas for keeping kiddos occupied during conference calls and times where you need to focus. (Number one tip? Give yourself some slack and rely on each other for moral support.)

Another fun thing we’ve gotten to do recently are Community Ask-Me-Anything (AMAs) sessions with executive team members. For an hour, they dedicate their time to answering any and all of our questions. It’s insightful to hear from them and see what’s on our coworkers’ minds.

Of course, there are lots of elements to staying connected.

If you don’t have a community, you could try some of these tested-and-tried ideas from all of us:

  • Hosting a virtual happy hour for your team (plan some activities or share some team updates in a fun setting)
  • Sending your favorite playlists around
  • Making sure you check in about life with at least one other coworker a day
  • Turning on your video for conference calls (fine, it’s okay to leave it off when you’re having a truly bad hair day)
  • Showing team spirit by adopting the same Zoom background for a meeting

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Pictured above: Our Australian teammates bring some beach fun to their call.

On a more serious note, these crazy times have brought us all a little closer together. Hopefully, these examples of hope help you think of some ways you can learn from, share with, and support each other, all together.

This time has also challenged us to think about community: When we return to the office, to the gym, to our routines, to "life as we know it," will we continue to work at staying connected? I hope so.

For more community inspiration, check out how organizations like the Educational Theatre Association have used community to support their members during a crisis.. 

 

Topics: Online Community, Company News, Company Culture

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