The Adlucent culture is a huge part of our company, and our team has been figuring out how to continue connecting as we all shifted to working from home. Adlucent also has a dedicated Culture Council, which meets monthly to plan unique events and opportunities for our employees.
Social distancing and shelter-in-place orders have posed challenges. Adlucites, as well as our clients and connections, have felt the impact in business and on a personal level. But crisis and chaos also leave room for creativity, and our team has truly gone above and beyond to bond online while we can't see one another in person.
Throughout the second half of March and into April, enthusiastic Adlucent employees have gotten to work on maintaining our sense of culture. We enjoyed a "Winning from Home" weekly competition, created a #wellness Slack channel to share useful tips, and started a #gamers channel to join nerdy forces. Coworkers participated in virtual lunches, happy hours, and a Q1 team "inning" (instead of outing!). We made time to learn some origami over Google Hangouts on a work break, flowed through a Livestream yoga class with our office's regular yoga instructor, continued our movie club with Kast, and even shared gifts through a secret snail mail exchange. And, all this is just a few weeks into our work-from-home adjustment. Who knows what we'll come up with next.
Of course, we're tackling the current situation for our clients as digital marketers and recalibrating our own routines as well. Meanwhile, we wanted to take the time to highlight some of the amazing things going on virtually as a result of having a strong, interdependent staff at Adlucent. Hopefully, you can use some of these ideas for your company, too, and take the chance to have each other’s backs as we navigate through this thing together.
Winning from Home (WFH) Competition
As soon as shelter-in-place orders hit, The People and Culture (P&C) team at Adlucent knew they’d need to get creative in finding ways for employees to engage with each other despite having a completely remote workforce. When they ask people why they love to work at Adlucent, the two most common responses are "the people" and "the culture," so Adlucites couldn’t let those two driving forces fade into the background.
“WFH = Winning From Home” has been a weekly event in which some coworkers share a photo on a particular theme, and the rest of the company votes on the best example. The initiative rolls a lot of our uniqueness and core values into one consistent event, with a variety of topics like selfie or dress-up competitions, as well as cooking contests, etc. So far, it's been an enjoyable new way to get to know each other better and has provided a spirit-boost we can count on each week.
#wellness Slack Channel
Allison from our People & Culture department created this Slack channel to consolidate our favorite health resources in one place, explaining in the description, “Lots of us are looking for recommendations on how to keep up our mental and physical health. Feel free to take all of your meditations, workouts, tips for self-care, etc. here.”
Some of the most popular resources we've shared there were online yoga and workout classes. One Adlucite shared a daily email subscription on stoicism for controlling how you respond to your environment. And, we relished in uplifting content ranging from Betty White to Tim at the Cowboy Museum and penguins roaming an aquarium. Adlucites linked to free Ivy League classes and digital books and offered helpful video tutorials on working from home, too.
#gamers Slack Channel
In addition to the #wellness channel, Juan started a #gamers corner to share our favorite video games and start up team sessions, with a goal to: “Share cool games, play together, etc.” From swapping friend codes for Switch to individual game recommendations like Ori and the Blind Forest, there’s no shortage of nifty nerd knowledge circulating through Slack these days.
Team Hangouts Lunches
One of the perks of normally working from the Adlucent headquarters is the stocked kitchen and eating lunch in “Moontower Saloon,” our dining area, as a team.
Before we started working from home, Adlucites who worked at our office enjoyed spending social time with coworkers over lunch, taking a break from the grind, and getting to know the humans we work with, with all of their individual quirks.
Now, to keep that gathering time going, many of the Adlucent “pods,” the smallest versions of our teams that are comprised of about 3-8 coworkers, have often been meeting on Google hangouts to chow down together from afar.
Virtual Happy Hour
Sarah Flynn from our Client Services team put together a weekly virtual Happy Hour. For the first installation, about a fifth of our Client Services team was able to join, as well as Kathy from People & Culture, Matt from Sales, and Dan from dev. Our regularly remote workers, Olga, Alex and Sarah H., were all excited for the chance to connect with coworkers they usually don’t see in person. It was a perfect opportunity for the team to get together virtually.
We got to check out video home tours, sneak peeks at our creative cooking experiments, and learn things about our coworkers we may never have found out outside of this unique situation. Sarah learned she and Dan even have the same pullup bar installed over their doorways.
"I am so proud to work with such generous, hilarious, creative people, and watching you all rise to the challenges we're facing, both as professionals and as individuals, is nothing short of amazing. You're all welcome in this club. First one's on in the house."
– Sarah Flynn
Creative Team Q1 “Inning”
Once a quarter, most Adlucent “pods” go on a “Pod Outing” for team building, which can range from an afternoon at Top Golf to a weekend craft class. The Creative team tends to favor a fairly artsy activity. And, since we missed our chance to get out and about in Q1 this year, we instead took to the web for a virtual Adobe Illustrator typography print effects class. Creative media company Brit + Co, which usually has paid online tutorials, opened up their classes to everyone for free for a short time. So, the Adlucent creatives hopped on video chat to design our masterpieces in tandem.
Our living rooms were not quite the Upstairs Circus of Austin (where we did our last pod outing!). But, we were pleased to have the opportunity to flex our creativity outside of our day-to-day work and keep honing our skills as we exercised our imaginations.
Origami Social Break
A similarly crafty crew took a brief break to put together some origami butterflies, using a handy Youtube tutorial and encouraging one another through the twists and turns, folds and creases of their team project. Shannon’s pod had a lovely time crafting together, and it helped their team feel re-energized for the rest of the workday.
With enough practice, origami can become a great method for focused attention meditation, so these Adlucites were able to brighten up their home workspaces and take a positive step toward supporting their mental health as a team.
Livestream Yoga Class
In Q1 of 2020, Adlucent was hosting monthly yoga classes in our office yoga room with instructor Kaylee Nelson. Once we all began working from home, we moved the vinyasa class online, and Kaylee guided us through a challenging, yet relaxing, 45-minute lunchtime class where about 20 Adlucites joined from their living rooms. It was an ideal way to release some stress and get our bodies moving in the middle of the day.
Kast Movie Club Meetup
Sean, Steven, Shelby, and Marshal from Client Services had started up a Movie Club for Adlucent cinephiles earlier in 2020, and the team worked with Brittney to bring the big screen to everybody’s homes as the monthly meetup moved to a digital watch party. The first screening was disaster classic, “Shaun of the Dead,” and the film buffs are considering watching one of the new releases that were set to be in theaters online next. Onward, perhaps!
Snail Mail Gift Exchange
Adlucent hosts an annual Secret Santa around the holidays, coordinated by Anthony in Client Services and run through a platform called Elfster. To drum up a little holiday-level heartening in our new situation, we organized a snail mail gift exchange, reminding everyone to practice sanitation protocols in their giving. Presents ran the gamut from posters and succulents to locally sourced sourdough starters, nerf target games, cold brew kits, and a variety of craft beers and hand sanitizer. It helped our team feel interconnected and special, as we shared all our unboxing photos and videos in a group chat.
Apart, but Not at Heart
It may sound cheesy, but all the earnest effort from the Adlucent team to support one another has been a big part of helping us keep things together and move forward in the best way possible, both as professionals and as people. No matter what your company’s culture is about, we’re grateful to be in an age where technology is bringing us together, even when we have to spend a bit of time apart.