It’s been a little over a year since our team started working remotely.
While we’ve always had a work-from-home policy in place, none of us were truly prepared for the shift that came on March 13th, 2020.
This quickly threw a curveball at our highly collaborative, in-person culture. So, we had to begin creating our own new ways of staying connected during this pandemic.
Here are a few of the things we’ve done to continue sticking close together even though we’re physically apart.
Using Microsoft Teams to Come Together
When you think of Microsoft Teams, you think of work.
But Clarus employees immediately went into action and created groups in Microsoft Teams to come together with others around common interests. Little did we know how effective and helpful these would be and for such a long duration.
Motivation Station: This is where we support each other in fitness goals, staying motivated and some friendly competition (with a little smack talk in-between for good measure).
All are encouraged to join, whether your goal is to take a walk a couple times a week, meditate daily, or training to be an Olympic marathoner.
For example, in March we split the group into two even teams. Whichever team achieved the most “miles” at the end of the month got a free lunch on Clarus!
“Miles” were achieved through many different activities like walking, running, biking, rowing, CrossFit, dancing, active gaming, yardwork – And even relaxing/meditation/stretching. And if you participated in something else fitness related, we added that as a mile generator, too.
Pets/Animal Lovers: This chat is like our extended Clarus family where folks share stories and pics and videos of their furry friends.
Clarus employees have shared adorable and funny photos of their dogs and cats. Even a few underwater companions have made appearances.
From sharing moments of them living their best lives, to showing a little sympathy for those wearing cones of shame, this is a place for all Clarus pet people to come together and share.
Un-Distance Parenting: One of the biggest challenges of the pandemic has been childcare. With schools and daycares closing, it has been tough. So, we started this Teams group for sharing tips, tools for parenting as well as stories and pics.
Clarus Cooks: What better way to bring people together than food (even if it’s remotely)?
From fresh baked bread to air-fried chicken wings, this is where folks show off their cooking skills and share recipes. If you like food – Talking about it, making it, eating it (or all the above) this the place to share your favorite recipes, tips & trips and of course pictures.
Clarus General: We use this channel for more company wide current events such as sharing a loved ones pic on Veterans day, your neighborhood pics of the first snowfall, pics of your holiday decorations.
And I cannot forget about our very own resident, certified yoga instructor, Jessica Jefferson. She offers yoga to our team every Wednesday over Zoom. What better way to support your team while promoting health, wellness, and bit of calm during this uncertain time?
Connection Meetings for New Hires
Since being remote, we have hired over 30 employees.
Starting a new job can be scary for anyone, but making the swtich during a pandemic when everyone is remote is completely unfamiliar territory.
While all our new employees go through a great, thorough on-boarding process, they still miss those day-to-day water cooler conversations they would have in person. As a result, Clarus created connection meetings.
In these meetings, we pair 5 new hires with 5 more-tenured employees as a get-to-know-you better discussion. They introduce themselves, share fun facts and some experiences since being remote or because of this pandemic.
We’ve received great feedback and the new hires enjoy getting to know folks they may not otherwise know or see.
It is just one of the ways we have tried to make things a little easier for new employees.
Fun at Work With Virtual Gaming
More recently, Clarus enjoyed the perfect combination of competition, fun, connectivity, and laughter with a new vendor, GoRemote.
This virtual gaming platform allows hundreds of people to connect on line with their camera to participate in a plethora of games. Trivia, Pictionary, name–that–movie, and guess-who fact matching have been a lot of fun, just to name a few.
The result was one hour of laugh-out-loud fun with the team. It was such as hit, we will be doing it again soon.
The Team Stays Close Even Though We are Far Apart
In these strange times, staying connected to each other is the most important thing.
What has been amazing to see is how the entire team has come together to support each other, from something as simple as sharing pet photos to making new hires feel welcome as we navigate the pandemic.
If Clarus sounds like a place you would want to be, we are hiring! Check out our culture video below and head over to our career opportunities page to see current openings.