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January 21, 2021

Keeping Culture Alive: Volume 2

Monica Bischoff

With the holidays over and the whole country heading into the 11th month of a global pandemic, Zoom happy hours with coworkers and friends can start becoming stale. At Fieldtrip, our company culture is an essential piece of motivation, morale, and our ability to stay sane during all this. While video happy hours are still a weekly thing for us, we have been working very hard on other ways to keep morale alive while we can’t all be together during the year.

Thanks to some very dedicated team members, we can still feel connected to one another while physically apart. Check out some of our tips below:

  1. Don’t abandon traditions, adapt them.

    At Fieldtrip, we have a lot of traditions, especially around the holidays, like our themed white elephant or our annual soup off. Instead of just throwing those out the window, we adapted them for the virtual age.

    This year, we did a secret Santa and sneakily delivered our presents directly to our recipients. We were flexible with company time for deliveries, and everyone gets the added bonus of a little fresh air.
  2. Embrace the rabbit holes and odd conversations.

    Our team is VERY opinionated. This means our Slack threads can get quite lively when discussing the best Disney movie or uncovering the latest “long Furby” subculture (don’t ask).

    Conversations and debates like these bring back the days of eating lunch together in the office. Plus, it gives everyone a laugh (and break) in the middle of those extra long days!

    One of Fieldtrip’s longest-running traditions (and a good way to settle some intense debates) is to turn to Instagram for a good old fashioned bracket. This year we voted on the greatest Christmas Movie and Christmas Vacation (unfortunately) came out on top.
  3. Don’t make meetings all business (let’s involve some babies or animals)

    Family is important in our office and video meetings have become a family affair at Fieldtrip. We now know what each child wants for Christmas, how to talk right past a toddler meltdown, and pause a meeting to greet every kitty or puppy appearance.

    In some ways, having all of our meetings virtually has allowed each of us to get to know each other better. We’ve even asked each team member to give a “Cribs” style tour of their home, something we would have never seen under normal circumstances.
  4. Party like it’s your birthday

    Birthdays were a big deal in the office. Desks were always decorated with streamers, banners, and confetti. We passed around a birthday card for everyone to sign.Now with all of us being at our own home offices, those things aren’t as easy to do.

    We now send special deliveries to each employee’s home, whether that’s a massive cookie cake, a package of 10 different hot sauces, or a variety of house plants. The key is to surprise our co-workers with their favorite, or unexpected gifts.

While this year has been, should I say it? …unprecedented… Our team has found ways to maintain friendships, stay engaged, and still create awesome work from the safety of our own homes.