There was a time – not that long ago – where company culture was tantamount to things like cake in the break room on someone’s birthday, a poorly attended summer picnic or a pizza party. We’re now living in a post-pandemic world, where more and more businesses are running fully-remotely; this can often mean less pressure to buy Girl Scout Cookies from your coworker’s kids, but often it’s harder to make real connections with your team. In a remote world, embodying company culture may look different, but it’s never been more important.
Take for instance, this very week: my seven year-old has been home sick for days…sick enough she can’t go to school, but not sick enough to sleep all day – which means she needs my attention. Unfortunately, my work ALSO needs my attention. And while I’d like to think of myself as some superhero working mom, we all have our limits (lack of sleep is my personal kryptonite). The thing that gets me through challenging days like these is my team. If I need to excuse myself for a moment whilst mid-Google-Meet, no one rolls their eyes or sighs in frustration. Instead, my coworkers show patience, compassion and empathy as I pardon myself to find the show she’s struggling to locate on Disney+. And, when my kiddo is well, and insists on making an obtrusive appearance during a meeting, they are always happy to smile and say hello.
Might seem like a small thing, but a positive, understanding environment goes a long way – especially virtually. Any company can write a set of generic values and scribe them on their website for the world to see, but it’s the companies that truly live those values that make the best workplaces. When work/life balance and employee wellbeing are not just acknowledged or aspirational, but truly the North Star, it makes coming to work (even if it’s just your home office or kitchen table) something you don’t dread, but actually look forward to.
I’m happy to have found a work home at Thunder, where our values of empathy and compassion are more than ideas, they are put into action every day – for our customers, partners and teammates. Loving what you do is even more rewarding when you love where you do it, it’s the icing on the cake (I’m still all for cake – whether in the breakroom or any room!).
Excuse me now, as I have an apple juice cup to refill before my next call.