Our culture at Narrative Science is one of my favorite reasons for working at our company. And I bet if you asked others, they would say the same. We have people from all backgrounds and interests, everyone is willing to help when you need it and it truly feels like a community.
It’s also the reason why I wanted to join our social committee – to impact the culture and make sure that our unique spirit carries on over time.
Prior to becoming a remote-first company in March, Narrative Science’s Social Committee, which is employee-run, put together larger events such as our annual holiday party, a summer party, and Oktoberfest. Along with that, we had smaller events each month including gatherings after all-hands events and impromptu hangs. Needless to say, we are a social group and we lean into activities. When we started to work remotely, the challenge for us, as many other companies can probably relate to, is how do we keep this culture going when we can’t be face-to-face? Through research and conversations with other companies, as well as surveys of our employees, we’ve been able to host some great events.
Here are some creative ways we have been staying connected in a distributed workplace:
- Virtual ‘Drop-Ins’: Each week we have a calendar invite that is open for anyone to join. We all miss the casual kitchen conversations, or catching up with others outside of our teams. We found this is our best way to emulate the office feel and connect with others. Pro-tip: We found that it helps to reach out to a few people to sign up prior, then others can join and there will always be someone to chat with.
- Trivia Night: We created our own version of trivia, pulling from themed questions and Narrative Science facts, and made a Google Doc with all of the questions. We split into teams via breakout rooms in Zoom and then came back as a group to reveal the answers. Pro-tip: Zoom breakout rooms are a great feature to create smaller more meaningful discussions in a larger group setting.
- Virtual Classes: We offer virtual classes each month via Airbnb experiences, Eventbrite, or local companies. We’ve had workout and meditation classes, a coffee masterclass and chocolate-making class to name a few!
- Pet Awards: Before we all went virtual, how many of you have seen your coworkers pets?! We turned this into a fun competition and had employees show off their pets via Zoom. It was fun to get to know our coworkers a little better and break up our day with some pet cuteness. Pro-tip: Have different categories of winners because the creativity will surprise you.
- Virtual Escape Room: We partnered with Wild Goose Events to put on a virtual escape room. The escape room was hosted through an app and asked various trivia questions to unlock clues. This was a fun and unique way to problem solve with our coworkers.
- Company Swag: To celebrate the launch of our product Lexio, we sent Yeti mugs with branding via Swag.com to everyone’s homes as a thank you to our employees. Pro-tip: Companies like Swag.com can help add branding and assist in shipping items to multiple addresses.
These are just some of the ways we’re staying connected and we’re constantly trying new things and getting feedback from our team. We hope that these ideas inspired you, and that you’ll implement a few at your company! Let us know if you have anything we missed.