Adjusting Our Company Culture Amid COVID-19

by Nathan Halnin

Jun 17, 2020

Photo by Simon Abrams on Unsplash

Over the last four months, many companies have changed course and began the process of working from home as a result of COVID-19. In the previous blog, we discussed the ways in which companies are shifting to this new reality given the current events, and how they are adjusting their company culture to keep employees engaged.

At Qode Media, the parent company of Qode social, we value the importance of company culture because it is what defines our identity. We believe that finding new ways to strengthen our relationships together as colleagues is beneficial in fostering a healthy work environment for everyone. By building an environment that makes everyone feel welcome and included, we believe that it brings out the best in our team to put in their best work forward.

In recent months, our company has made a few changes to make our team feel more connected, despite not being able to work together in the office. Some of the activities that we traditionally did were adjusted, while also introducing some new initiatives to bring our team closer together. 

Here are some of the activities that we engage in every week to maintain our company culture.

Lunch & Learn 

This is one of the new initiatives that was introduced by our recently appointed Culture Manager, Claude-Dee Laguerre. Every Wednesday, our team takes a lunch break at noon with a guest who speaks on a specific topic that is beneficial to our team. These meetings are conducted through Zoom, which allows everyone to listen in, while being at home. 

Our team has had four of these sessions so far, and each one has been very well received. On one occasion, we had Katherine Prior, a fitness instructor who showed us techniques to stretch and exercise while being at home. In another, we had Francis Choinière, the President and Production Manager at GFN Productions who discussed effective ways to be a strong leader. Whether it be a morning stretch, a discussion on new digital marketing trends or a motivating chat, we are delighted to be able to virtually learn from others while engaging in an activity that brings our team together.

Morning Meeting Questions

During the work week, our team engages in a daily morning meeting that has a central question for discussion. Our team follows a daily rotation, where one team member asks a question for the day, and everyone, including the person who proposed the question, has the chance to answer one by one to ensure that everyone is involved. Every member of the team gets a chance to ask a question eventually, and the question put forward can be about any topic. 

Generally, most of the questions tend to be casual, such as past experiences and memories, or they can be career oriented, asking about things we have learned recently. While our office tradition was to pass around a ball each time a person answers, this has now shifted to our virtual chat channel where each morning is still opened with a question, and our members type out their answers in the chat.

Photo by Thomas Lefebvre on Unsplash

Wine Wednesdays

Prior to working from home, our company has always had Wine Wednesdays where the end of work on Wednesdays were concluded with a glass of wine, enjoyed together by the team. While it was named Wine Wednesdays, it was completely optional to partake in, and we ensured to have a non-alcoholic selection as well. Before, the team would select a bottle of wine to be shared with everyone, but since our team members are apart, this has now shifted to a “beverage of choice” every Wednesday afternoon on Zoom. Since this occurs after work hours, this is a more relaxed environment where our team members can talk about matters unrelated to work.

Other Initiatives

One of our popular company initiatives is known as No Train, No Gain. These were weekly presentations that were coordinated by our fellow team members that explored a topic regarding digital marketing. Each week, an individual would come up with a PowerPoint presentation, and everyone would stop their work to learn about a topic being presented. These were effective in not only bringing our team together, but strengthening our digital marketing skills as well. 

The other initiatives are more leisure-oriented, but they are designated to keep our team morale up. When work becomes stressful, it’s important to take some time off and have some fun. Which is why at Qode Media, we take part in monthly outings, as well as annual trips to reward employees for their hard work. 

As a result of working from home, some of these activities had to be paused for the time being. While we certainly look forward to engaging in these eventually, we are still exploring other options to keep our employees connected and engaged with one another in the company.

At Qode Media, we believe in the importance of working in harmony, and this can only be achieved by creating a work environment that shows appreciation for its employees. As a workplace that embraces diversity and inclusion, our unique characteristics and experiences shape our company culture, and we continue to have open ears to improve upon our actions. We believe this will strengthen our relationship as colleagues, and as a company. Even with COVID-19 keeping our team apart, we continue to be together through these initiatives. 

Qode Social is a Toronto-based social media marketing agency that specializes in community building, account growth, ad analysis, Facebook and Instagram support, and more. Led by experienced social media experts, Qode Social has worked with companies such as Gay Lea Foods, Days Inn Canada, TP-Link and more. Qode Social is a division of Qode Media, which is the parent company that focuses on SEO and graphic design.