Maintaining a sense of community while working remotely

Maintaining a sense of community while working remotely

June 1, 2020 Nani Laaksonen People & Culture

It has been 70 days since Anders' office doors were closed due to security reasons regarding the corona situation. These 10 weeks of working from home have certainly caused all kinds of feelings for every one of us: frustration, moments of success, joy, yearning for colleagues company, some peace and time for oneself, but possibly also loneliness.

Remote work brings some challenges 

In the IT-industry remote work has already been ordinary for a long time, but also in many other industries remote work is certainly becoming the new normal. Trust is strongly associated with remote work - one has to trust that things get done even from home or from the summer cabin's couch. This trusting atmosphere has always been a strong part of Anders' working culture and work has been carried out normally despite the exceptional situation.

The present situation in the world and the long period of remote work have also brought challenges, since normally our staff spends a lot of time at the office despite the available option of working remotely. We do a lot of things together and this makes us so comfortable at the office. One of the best moments of our work day is when you can pour a cup of coffee, praise a colleague and hand out a Pätkis-chocolate bar as a marker of a colleagues' success.  We have shifted our usual habits online: daily virtual coffee breaks on Teams and handing out virtual Pätkis-bars with praise and applause on our Slack-channel.

Andersians and remote work

Activities as a part of everyday life 

Even though at the moment we only see our colleagues' faces through a computer screen, our communal atmosphere has persisted exceptionally well. We have organised all kinds of activities to our staff! After works have had a different theme every week and among other things we have presented our pets through Teams, told about our favourite house plants, had gaming nights and roared with laughter while playing Kahoot-quizzes. Also our Friday bottle lottery draw has been organised as an exciting live-video.

Daily coffee break calls together were also quickly adapted as a new habit and every afternoon a group of smiling and beaming Andersians gather together to the Anders-channel. It has actually been surprising how fun and easy it is to enjoy your colleagues' company and connect with each other also through videochat!

Well-being as an important theme

In addition to sense of community, well-being has become another increasingy important theme in our everyday life. We have invested in weekly yoga classes and stretching exercises and we have been sharing break-tips with colleagues. The Recovery and Stress Management as a Daily Resource Webinar organised by Lifted gave our staff a lot of tangible ideas for coping and recovery in everyday life. Many have noticed that the importance of taking breaks has increased greatly while working remotely.

Summer is almost here and the sun is inviting us to spend our days outside. Let's enjoy the possibilities of remote work!


Writer:

Nani Laaksonen
HR Specialist