How to Keep Your Team Engaged When Working Remotely

April 21, 2020

Now that many companies have pivoted to remote work to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, some employees are encountering new obstacles: finding office space in the home, dealing with feelings of isolation, and for some, home-schooling children.

Providing equipment and furniture for employees transitioning to remote work is difficult enough. An even bigger challenge? Supplying the health and wellness resources employees need to work efficiently from home.

Tech tools like Slack, Zoom and G Suite make it easier than ever to communicate virtually, regardless of the challenge at hand. With that in mind, we caught up with few local tech companies to learn how teams across LA are utilizing digital tech tools to support their teams, replicate office culture and foster cross-functional communication. 

 

Lindsay Tripode
EVP of People Operations

How Hawke Media is bolstering engagement and productivity:

“The executive team — the COO, CEO, EVP of Finance, EVP of Services, EVP of Sales and I — are all attending different daily team stand-ups and making ourselves very present in a different way,” said Lindsay Tripode, the executive vice president of people operations at Hawke Media. “The CEO, COO and I also reach out weekly to different individuals and have 15-minute check-ins with them. We’re also making sure that we’re still recognizing members of the team for the great work they are doing at company-wide virtual meetings so that our employees continue to feel as valuable as ever to the Hawke mission.” 

 

Tools for remote engagement:

Tripode said Hawke Media has created Slack channels for wellness, fitness for mental health and is using Donut for randomized coffee dates to help co-workers connect remotely. They’re also leaning on Zoom for virtual events like for Pictionary, quizzes and mediation sessions.

 

How Hawke Media is supporting employees: 

Hawke Media is providing social outlets, meditation sessions and fitness programs to our teams. Employees can also pick up IT equipment to ensure they have the proper tech tools.

“We also have a weekly open forum focused on ‘adjusting to the new normal,’ where people can talk through concerns and general adjustments in business and in their lives in general right now.”

 

Brian MacDougall
Vice President, Talent and Chief of Staff

How InStride is bolstering engagement and productivity:

“During meetings, we dedicate time each week for an InStrider to virtually ‘step forward’ and share their personal story as a way to learn more about each other beyond their professional accomplishments,” said Brian MacDougall, InStride’s vice president of talent and chief of staff. “It seems simple on the surface, but it’s easily one of the most impactful things we do as a company. It humanizes our InStriders, and allows our incredible talent to shine and connect on a personal level.” 

 

Tools for remote engagement:

A survey tool called Culture Amp conducts employee pulse checks. MacDougall said surveys like these provide insight into employee well-being and engagement, which help give InStride leaders the opportunity to understand what’s working well and where they should focus more time and effort. 

 

How InStride is supporting employees: 

MacDougall said the IT team shipped any necessary equipment to everyone working remotely. The company also provided remote working tips and cybersecurity training. Employees are also able to expense home internet and mobile phone costs. 

“We are also continuing to encourage InStriders to participate in our ‘Step Forward’ education program to drive continuous lifelong learning opportunities and professional growth. This means they can apply to earn a degree or credential from a university in our academic network at no cost. Finally, we reminded all InStriders of the healthcare benefits available to them, including virtual options. These resources provide employees peace of mind that they have the best options for service easily accessible.”

 

Virtual event themes to increase engagement:

  • Spirit Days
  • Weekly, randomized coffee chats between employees
  • Lunch and learns
  • Remote scavenger hunts
  • Celebrations for birthdays and holidays
  • Meditation sessions
  • Trivia
  • Happy hours

 

Karl House
Chief Operating Officer

How StackCommerce is bolstering engagement and productivity:

“Each team meets at 9:30 a.m. daily via Google Hangouts and reviews accomplishments from yesterday, goals for today, and any blockers they may be struggling to address. These meetings are short and sweet, and everyone is back to work and in the right state of mind within 10 minutes,” Chief Operating Officer Karl House said. 

 

Tools for remote engagement:

“Asana has become our new whiteboard at StackCommerce. We use it to set goals, assign tasks, and stay productive and aligned as a team. It’s the key to keeping projects on track, especially when multiple teams are contributing.”

 

How StackCommerce is supporting employees:  

“For our leadership team, we’re offering executive coaching to help them lead in a time of crisis. And as always, we sent out our quarterly employee feedback surveys and will use those results to iterate and improve what we do in the coming month to better serve our employees during this difficult time.” 

 

Lee Readman
Chief People Officer

How Zwift is bolstering engagement and productivity:

Chief People Officer Lee Readman said employees at Zwift were given unlimited Zoom accounts, not only for meetings but for connecting with family and friends, as well.

“From a managerial standpoint, we have also added a question to our bi-annual performance reviews specifically about what adjustments employees need help with while working from home,” Readman said. “We want to ensure a conversation happens about working hours, blocked times in the day, exercise and the individual circumstances and household routines to help people make this adjustment.”

 

Tools for remote engagement:

Employees at Zwift received membership to the Headspace app for meditation and wellness purposes.

“We believe this is really important as people adjust to a new normal, a new way of working and are physically distanced from colleagues and loved ones,” Readman said. “We’ve also launched programs and activities to virtually engage with team members such as a virtual breakroom and storytelling. Guided yoga or meditation and classes run by our team members with employees sharing their own expertise and career stories are other examples. It’s important we stay connected and have the space to share thoughts, experiences and ideas.”

 

How Zwift is supporting employees:

Readman said the company shipped desks, chairs, monitors and IT equipment to make remote employees comfortable. Employee are encouraged to spend their fitness budgets on exercise equipment. 

“We’ve also partnered with professionals to run ergonomic workshops followed up by individual consultations on safe, healthy work set-ups at home. We’ve also extended our benefits program to include mental health care to bolster what we already provided in our health care plans.”    

 

Jobs from companies in this blog37 open jobs
All Jobs
Data + Analytics
Design + UX
Dev + Engineer
HR
Marketing
Operations
Product
Project Mgmt
Sales
Content
Operations
new
InStride
Los Angeles
Developer
new
InStride
Remote
HR
new
Zwift
Remote
Sales
new
Hawke Media
Remote
Sales
new
Hawke Media
Remote
Product
new
Zwift
Remote
Content
new
StackCommerce
Venice
Operations
new
StackCommerce
Venice
Operations
new
StackCommerce
Venice
Marketing
new
Hawke Media
Los Angeles
Marketing
new
Hawke Media
Los Angeles
Design + UX
new
Zwift
Los Angeles
Operations
new
Zwift
Los Angeles
Operations
new
Zwift
Remote
Marketing
new
Hawke Media
Los Angeles
Developer
new
InStride
Los Angeles
Developer
new
InStride
Los Angeles
Developer
new
InStride
Los Angeles
Developer
new
InStride
Los Angeles
Design + UX
new
Zwift
Los Angeles
Design + UX
new
Zwift
Los Angeles
Marketing
new
InStride
Los Angeles
Operations
new
InStride
Los Angeles
Marketing
new
InStride
Los Angeles
Marketing
new
InStride
Los Angeles
Marketing
new
StackCommerce
Venice
Developer
new
Zwift
Remote
Marketing
new
StackCommerce
Venice
Marketing
new
Hawke Media
Los Angeles
Data + Analytics
new
Zwift
Los Angeles
Developer
new
Zwift
Los Angeles
Developer
new
Zwift
Los Angeles
Developer
new
Zwift
Los Angeles
Project Mgmt
new
Zwift
Los Angeles
Developer
new
Zwift
Remote
Developer
new
Zwift
Remote
Sales
new
InStride
Los Angeles

Los Angeles startup guides

LOCAL GUIDE
Best Companies to Work for in Los Angeles
LOCAL GUIDE
Coolest Tech Offices in Los Angeles
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Perks at Los Angeles Tech Companies
LOCAL GUIDE
Women in Los Angeles Tech