Creating Culture When Everyone Works from Home

The past year saw many disruptions to how we go about our day-to-day lives. I’ll wager that for anyone reading this, one of the biggest changes was how much less you saw your loved ones, your family, and your co-workers.

I joined Relish in July of 2021, and by that time we had long since switched to working fully remote. As you can imagine, the onboarding process was strange. I was the first new hire Relish brought on since the pandemic, and procedures hadn’t yet been put in place for how our company onboards in a remote context.

While the process no doubt would have been smoother if Relish was still in person, I was surprised how much of the company culture I could feel during my time onboarding. This in turn made me realize how grateful I am to be working at a company that has such a strong culture and can maintain its identity through the splintering of our workforce across metro Atlanta and beyond.

Every company has a culture, and if that culture is not intentionally maintained, it can sour and grow stale. Luckily, Relish does a fantastic job maintaining our culture, and I want to share some of how we do that with you.

We Talk Once a Day, Every Day

Every morning, the Relish team begins the day with a company-wide call. Formally, this is a time for us to catch up on projects and communicate any information across the studio, management, and account services teams. Informally, however, this gives us an opportunity to say hello and fill each other in on our life updates.

It’s not uncommon to hear jokes about what mischief a team member’s kid got into over the weekend or commiserate when someone’s home renovations turn disastrous. Not only does this keep us tightly knit as a team and closely aligned on our goals as a company, but it serves as a team building exercise that brings us together as a group of humans making their way in the world, and that’s what culture is all about.

We Make Time to Meet in Person

While we are working fully remote, we still make the time to gather as a team and enjoy each other’s company. These events, be they lunches or holiday parties, remind us that not only are we co-workers but friends and family as well.

When a team only gathers over work topics, the members will be teammates, nothing more. By adding in these events (which, despite being non-mandatory, we all attend), we get to see each other in a relaxed, social atmosphere, and remember “oh, yeah, this person is also really cool outside of work mode.”

We Understand Each Other’s Strengths

An integral component of any team is how each members’ skills play off of and feed into each other. At Relish, my co-workers have had the pleasure of working with each other for several years (myself, of course, not included). This has given them plenty of time to learn how everyone likes to operate and what they’re good at.

Everyone is allowed to play to their strengths at Relish. In fact, we encourage it. If you’re good at something, we want you to do that as much as possible. And because we have such a strong sense of everyone’s skill set and style, we’re able to work together that much easier.

Companies function best when employees are allowed to be themselves, are encouraged to succeed, and are surrounded by people who understand and support their process. Maintaining this level of company culture can be hard, but by maintaining communication, hosting group events, and understanding each other’s abilities, teams of every size can find themselves moving the rockiest of mountains.