At Coda, we were able to transition our operation to a 100% remote work model pretty effectively, as required by the abrupt changes in the world around us. But some of us wondered: Can our culture really remain in tact during this transition?
The part of our culture that stems from our meeting cadence, decision-making frameworks and alignment around a core mission hasn't changed all that much thanks to tools like Zoom that transitioned things like our Weekly Kickoff meeting from a mostly in-person lunchtime meeting to a video-conference (now, with a new "what did you make for lunch?" show-and-tell component). We've dded a virtual "social" Zoom conference room, and a dedicated Slack channel celebrating our enduring "WFH" creativity and musings.
But what about the late night laughs when you start to crack-up a little bit after word-smithing what feels like the 17th iteration of email copy while your colleague finally unlocks the key to refactoring stubborn code? Or the morning coffee where you discuss the latest show you can't stop watching (my team moved from "Cheer" to "Love Is Blind" astonishingly quickly)? Or the church giggles from your desk neighbor adopting a Victorian accent for no reason other than she wanted to?
While the look and feel of those experiences might be beyond our current grasp, we were determined not lose their Spirit, and so . . . "Keep Your Spirits Up Remote Work Spirit Week" (or KYSURWSW, which is an acronym I just invented while writing this) was born!
What is it?
Each day this week featured a different theme that kept us lively on Zoom & Slack throughout the day, and quite candidly, helped me feel a little less lonely and lot more connected while working solo out of my studio apartment in San Francisco.
The breakdown of our activities was:
Spirit Week Themes
TBH, a lot of us were still adapting to the changing situations of our communities, and needed the day to get set-up, so we forewent activities and took a breath
Dress up your pet (or plant!) day
Slack a picture of your pet or pant dressed-up to the team!
Apparently, yes, oversize potatoes count!
Family participation is encouraged! If your kids, partners or pets want to wear hats with you, please send us adorable family photos!
Feel free to make this an entire LEWK and accessorize
Can you guess who the twins are via your Zoom calls throughout the day?
Slack a random picture with no context day
Slack a photo with no context, and let your fellow Codans come up with the best captions in their threaded responses!
There are no rows in this table
How'd you pick those themes?
We used Coda's drag-and-drop templates to submit and vote for themes
The top vote getters were set as our themes for the week
Spirit captains volunteered to send reminders on Slack the day before and during their day to keep the team hyped up
. . . and that's it! For your own template to organize a Spirit Week with your team, see the next section!