What is one of the things that makes Davis & Company a great place to work?

My colleague Courtney says, “I love the small agency culture we have. We say good morning, celebrate milestones and achievements, have potlucks and happy hours, and play games!”

And I feel the same way. We’re a tight-knit group with a strong sense of community. So when the pandemic hit, our culture helped us face the uncertainties and many challenges, including big changes in how we work together.

Working remotely isn’t a new thing for us. We’ve been using Zoom for over a year now and we’re great at it, thanks to our tech director, Casey.

But you need more than just great technology to connect employees. You need continuous support from the whole team to motivate and lift each other up when we need it.

So we channeled the spirit of our little community to find creative ways to make the transition to a new way of working a little easier. Here’s what we’re doing:

Rethinking staff meetings
Instead of jumping into work, we start our staff meetings with a group activity. For example, we asked everyone to use a mobile app to submit one word to express how they’re dealing with working from home. The app then generated a word cloud which sparked a good discussion.

Hosting weekly get-togethers
Our team meets every Thursday night for a virtual happy hour. And since we haven’t dressed up in a while, we recently hosted a “Grunge & Glam” themed event where we had to wear something glamorous AND something grungy. We awarded pride points for the funniest combinations and extra points if your drink matched your look.

Buddying up
To help folks feel more connected, we randomly paired up each member of our team with a buddy. Then we encouraged buddies to touch base often; share how things are going at home or chat about what shows they’re binge-watching. It feels good to have someone to lean on.

Working our social network
We use our social media platform (Yammer) every day to share company news and schedules and to recognize colleagues for great work. But we also like to share fun stuff, like memes and photos of our families, pets, favorite pastimes and more. For example, our colleague Kim took a mid-day walk and posted a picture of the beautiful nature trail by her house.

Making it personal
Our CEO, Alison, mailed a handwritten note to each person in the company. The note expressed her gratitude for our dedication and support in helping the team get through this difficult time. It was heartfelt, sincere and very appreciated!

Embracing the community
To thank essential workers in our communities, we all teamed up to create a thoughtful and personal video. We each took a selfie holding a handmade thank you note, and one of our designers compiled the photos in a video to share on social media. It was a great project that brought the team together and meant a lot to colleagues who shared it with family in health care and other essential services.

It’s tough not being able to see our co-workers each day under the same roof. But as long as we stay connected and support each other, we’ll continue being a strong and productive team!

My colleague Lorraine summed it up well: “What makes us special is our talented people, the incredible work we do and how much this company cares about our employees.”

And I agree!