As we enter Q2 2021, we’d like to start on a positive note. Despite the challenges we’ve faced here at InTWO, we’ve become closer, more transparent, and connected as a business. In the spirit of goodwill to all, we thought we’d share some thoughts on how we’ve kept our staff engaged, motivated, and healthy whilst working from home.
Maintaining a work-life balance whilst working remotely is harder than it sounds. You now have to contend with so many other external factors – barking dogs, screaming kids, technology issues (and no IT department in the spare bedroom), or your significant other asking you for help with a 10-minute task that will inevitably take 2 hours.
Plus, employees no longer have that cut-off point between leaving the office, traveling home, and then entering a more restful mindset. This itself can contribute to heightened stress levels.
Here at InTWO, since many staff members couldn’t enjoy our new office renovations, we allocated them a budget to upgrade their home office instead. Having a designated workspace continues to help employees create a clear divide between home and work.
We also encouraged them to establish clear routines – such as honoring non-work commitments, taking regular breaks, getting outside and exercising, and turning off their work computers and phones at the end of each day.
We’ve found that having a virtual open-door policy, where employees and managers can communicate easily, helps everyone feel less isolated, more valued, and gives teams a clearer understanding of what is expected of them.
If employees are left feeling like they are on their own and unsupported, they are likely to become overwhelmed – which will undoubtedly impact the quality of work they produce.
At InTWO, we have a flat team structure, so communication and feedback can take a 360-degree view so that everyone has a voice. To aid this, we have our weekly check-ins using 15Five software and we also have periodic employee satisfaction survey. By offering a platform for continuous feedback, we can help our leadership teams improve operations and staff morale.
We also run the weekly All-Hands meeting, which is our show and tell day (through Teams) which keeps everyone posted about our latest innovation developments, new projects, customer feedback, new hires to the companies, etc.
We also stay social through Yammer – a collaboration tool that helps us all connect and engage – wherever we are located. It’s our internal social network where we can share the inspiring, funny, human and personal stuff that’s going on across the business with our international colleagues.
Glistening lights and over-sized baubles hanging from the rafters, staff decked out in Santa hats, Mariah Carey playing over the speakers, that holiday party that everyone talks about for months after is a scene we’re all familiar with. But this year wasn’t quite the same.
Instead, we decided to bring holiday joy to our people at home. Originally, we had a corona-proof Christmas drive through planned, but with new lockdown measures we decided to cancel it and instead deliver the Christmas gifts by-hand (where possible, and of course keeping social distancing in mind)… and of course there was the holiday bonus!
In the past, we operated an annual bonus structure based on performance agreement, where everyone received a percentage based on their personal goals and KPIs. But when the pandemic hit us last year, our leadership changed course. Now, if employees hit their individual KPIs, employees take home a bonus every quarter instead.
We recognize that the shift to home working has been, and continues to be, a stressful experience for many, so that’s why we feel implementing these initiatives has helped our team through these difficult circumstances.
We are also currently working on our 2021 plans to make InTWO an even better place to work- stay tuned!