Here at Teamwork we have a very special culture. This is created by the amazing people that work here, they are what make Teamwork a great place to work.
Like everyone, 2020 has been a tough year for our employees, dealing with everything from a global pandemic to our companies first ever change program. This year it has been more important than ever to look after our people.
Prior to March 2020, we had 20% of our workforce working remotely. We were very lucky that overnight, we were able to adapt to our entire company working remotely and this is a credit to the amazing people in Teamwork. While the technical transition to remote working was seamless, for many it was a complete change to their day-to-day routine. Colleagues were now trying to parent and work from home all the while dealing with a heightened sense of anxiety from living through a pandemic.
With the move to remote work already bringing its own challenges, we didn’t want their workload to be an additional factor. We developed a number of initiatives to ensure we were contributing to the health and happiness of our employees rather than creating additional pressure and unnecessary worry.
The first thing we did was remind people of the flexibility they have. If people needed to homeschool their children or if they just needed to take a break we ensured that they knew they had the freedom to do so, and it was more important than ever that people utilized the flexibility that they required.
When it was clear that this pandemic wasn’t coming to an end any time soon, we asked clinical psychotherapist, James P. White, to talk to our people about what was going on in our minds at this time and how to help reduce the effect that this pandemic was having on our mental health.
It was really important that, throughout the time we were all working from home, that we continued to feel connected. We held weekly coffee mornings/afternoons, photo competitions and had regular catch ups on our chat channels on everything from ‘what we are reading’ to ‘what our work space looks like’. Our own products were key tools in helping to bring us together — from communication to alignment, workload management to transparency. We also held weekly All-Hands calls where the entire company got together once a week to discuss the business updates, watch product presentations and have some fun — each meeting concluded with a Kahoot quiz or another form of entertainment like a member of staff playing their guitar playing — anything could happen on these calls!
Back in April, we held a spirit week with a different theme each day. Here are some of the initiatives we held that week:
Dress in the decade you were born in
We also took part in the National Workplace Wellbeing Day, by hosting an online yoga class and a mindfulness session, and running a photo competition where staff shared pictures from their outdoor excursions on the day.
The biggest annual event in the Teamwork calendar is the Grand Council. Once a year we bring everyone together in our Cork headquarters to catch up, bond and do ‘some’ work. It was really important to us that our iconic event still went ahead, so we held our first 100% Virtual Grand Council — titled ‘Almost Grand Council 2020’. This was a week-long event including everything from team building exercises, to strategic planning sessions. We also invited journalist David Rowan to talk to our people about “How to stay resilient in a time of disruption”. And then true to the Teamwork style, we finished the week off with a massive online party.
In September, we ran our Focus Ireland Challenge where we aimed to raise €10,000 for the homeless in Ireland. The aim was to run/walk/cycle 10,000 KM in the month of September. Lots of fun was had as the team not only smashed the 10,000 KM target but more importantly, our amazing people at Teamwork decided to donate €25,000 of the ‘Teamwork gives back’ fund to Focus Ireland. This means Focus Ireland could leverage this donation to buy a home for a family.
Staying mentally and physically healthy
The motto, mens sana in corpore sano — A healthy mind in a healthy body — is evermore applicable today and to help our people maintain the good habits they had developed we brought in Mark O’Reilly from Fit Vision who spoke to us about making better nutrition choices and remaining active through the winter months. Our Teamworkers appreciated the talk, and took many of the tips and tricks away with them to apply to their own wellness routines.
In addition, we hosted virtual quizzes after work where colleagues could virtually mingle and wind down. We also held a Mental Health Awareness Week - each day had a theme: connection, learning, giving, being active and taking notice. Throughout the week we had coffee mornings, HIIT classes, yoga, and psychologist, Avril Ivory spoke on Positive Mental Health.In the midst of this we took time to stop and appreciate our co-workers so we also had a day where we just recognized each other and stopped for a moment to say thank you.
Winter is Coming…
As the days grew shorter (and the national COVID-19 cases grew bigger) we became increasingly conscious that this winter could be very difficult for people with restricted movements and the lack of meeting loved ones. In our Mental Health Awareness week we launched our Teamwork Revive and Thrive Initiative. This is our programme to help keep our peoples mind, body, and spirit healthy throughout the winter months.
We have gifted our people 30 mins per day to focus on themselves. It is time for them to go for a walk, have a phone call with a friend or maybe to chill out and read a book — whatever they feel they need to do to be the best version of themselves. On top of this our Leadership team gifted everyone in the company a Mental Health Day between the 2nd to the 6th of November, the only caveat was to share a photo of what you got up to — whether it was a walk or a duvet day.
We aren’t finished there though we have got a series of wonderful events coming up over the next few weeks of 2020. We are taking part in Movember throughout November, Brent Pope spoke with all our staff last week on mental health, and this week we are moving our annual Hackathon online for the first time ever. December will be a month of festivities with a kids Christmas party, 12 days of Christmas leading up to an online Christmas party for all our staff.
2020 has been a tough year for all, but at Teamwork we have really focused on pulling together to help each other get through the year and we are already excited to plan how we build on this for 2021.