Last month, ApplyBoard’s Canadian office transitioned to working from home in light of the current health crisis. With over 460 employees (and growing!), working in more than 20 countries, some of our team members are used to working remotely. But for the 350+ employees based at our headquarters in Kitchener, Ontario, working from home has been a new experience.
While where we’re working has changed, it has become clear that our core values and company culture are more important than ever – and ApplyBoardians have been finding creative ways to keep those values alive at work each day! We wanted to highlight some of the ways our team members have been able to keep our company culture and core values strong during this time.
Maintain Office Rituals
Maintaining in-office rituals may seem challenging if you’re not physically together. Still, our teams have done a fantastic job keeping the culture we feel each day in the office, online.
One of our most essential office rituals is Wednesday lunches when team members at our Kitchener headquarters gather together for a catered lunch. We needed to keep this ritual alive while remote, which is why we’ve taken our weekly lunch virtual! During lunch on Wednesday, all team members are invited to a video conference, BYOL (bring-your-own-lunch) style. By taking a break in the day to see and speak with each other, we’ve been able to keep everyone’s favourite lunchtime tradition strong!
Formal Fridays have been a recent tradition at ApplyBoard HQ, and working from home has allowed participants to step it up a notch. From old wedding dresses and bridesmaids gowns to suits, participants have been sharing photos of how they’re getting out of their pyjamas (at least on the top half!) and dressing up for the day.
ApplyCommittees are an essential way for our team to celebrate and embrace our core values every day, especially those focused on making work fun and caring about each other. Our committees, ApplyFun, ApplyCare, and ApplyCulture, are employee-led, hosting events and activities for team members that give back to our communities, celebrate the diversity of our staff, and make work fun!
While transitioning to working from home threw a wrench in some event plans, members were quick to rise to the challenge and plan virtual activities to keep us connected. ApplyCommittees have been busy hosting trivia games (with awesome prizes!), cultural lunch ‘n learns, and even a fundraiser in support of the organization ‘I Love First Peoples’, where employees wrote letters to indigenous youth and raised money for care packages.
During a regular day at the office, it’s common to see members of our ApplyClubs meeting together during lunch or heading out somewhere together at the end of the day. There are more than nine clubs at ApplyBoard, including the Running Club, Dog Club, Beer Club, Happy Hands Club, and more!
ApplyClubs are a chance for team members to connect outside of work and take their hobbies (and friendships!) to the next level. In some cases, working remotely has made club members more connected than ever, as people dig into their hobbies with the extra time they have at home.
Coffee Club members have been sharing photos of their favourite mugs and home coffee stations, making it feel like they’re still sharing a coffee. The Happy Hands Club, who meet to learn and practise American Sign Language (ASL), has been sharing video tutorials, giving members the chance to practice their skills with their extra time at home. And lastly, nothing brightens a day like pictures of cute dogs, and members of the dog club have been sharing photos of their work from home companions to keep spirits high.
Maintaining ‘Water Cooler Conversation’
ApplyBoardians connect through Basecamp, project management and communication platform. While Basecamp plays an important role in our professional communications, it’s also the perfect place for us to connect on a personal level. In team chats, we can share interests, celebrate birthdays, organize game nights (D&D and JackBox are team favourites!), and post selfies. It has been an excellent place for team members to pop in and say hi to one another.
While this is a challenging time for everyone, we’re proud of how our team members have adjusted to working from home, and continue to demonstrate our core values and culture each day.