I think “context” is really important for people to do their jobs well and, more importantly, to be fulfilled and energized. Looking for new and better ways to provide more context to the team (the why we do what we do) has been a key to maintaining engagement.
Context is about understanding the overall mission and direction of the business, and how an employees’ work and role fits in. Context sharing often happens in the water cooler conversations in the office, and I was concerned about the impact remote work would have on such context-sharing opportunities.
To maintain the ‘context conversations’, we send a monthly round up email that, with honesty and good humor, provides a summary of our goals and achievements as a global company. Our Global All-Hands meetings are also thorough; we really want to make sure everyone has full and clear visibility of the company strategy and roadmap, and we’re in the process of updating a company-wide KPI dashboard that anyone can access at any time.
Another really key point is the importance of creating spaces for learning, sharing, and discussing issues that impact our team. WiredScore can and should be a place for both professional and personal development and for exchanging of ideas.
Through workshops and discussion sessions we respect the need to explore more non-work topics, creating space in the workplace to bring personal experiences into the conversation, allowing us to strengthen both personal and professional bonds.
For example, engaging with key global movements like Black Lives Matter and International Womens’ Day have been critical, and we have encouraged company-wide discussions centering on worldwide events—a really important thing to do always, but especially when living through a global pandemic.
For the most part, navigating WiredScore’s remote working journey has been smooth sailing. I think there were pressures to do remote working well for the main reason that we want to continue on our stellar growth trajectory and remain a really great place to work. It wasn’t about expectations being any higher because we’re a startup, it was about staying on the path to reach ambitious goals together as a team.
As a leader I’ve learned a lot through the process, and I’m pleased to say that we are way more adaptable than I thought, and I’m shocked by how easily we adapted to a new model. This was because we already were a multi-office/country company (we expanded to the UK before we had 10 employees, so this is part of our DNA). This gives me more confidence to explore new ways of working in the future.
On a personal level, I was surprised by how much I actually missed my commute to the office—never thought I would say that! Many people rave about the extra time unlocked by no commute (and I do appreciate that too), but I really love the opportunity to change location, listen to a podcast or 90s rock playlist en route, and have a coffee outside (even during the cold NYC winter). To make up for it, I’m taking many more random walks/jogs to get changes of scenery.
Remote work has also taught me the power of in-person collaboration. There are certain types of team and one-to-one interactions that we simply haven’t been able to replicate as effectively in a remote environment, and this is one of the main reasons I’m excited to get back to the office. In the future, I’ll be more deliberate about carving out time for these interactions (e.g. white boarding sessions, or sitting in on random meetings to learn something new) because I better-understand their value.