This blog series started last year to talk about Outmark’s core values and how they drive happiness. Given the crisis of COVID-19 around the world, this month we are focusing on community.
Now more than ever, it’s important to remember that we are all in this community together. There are a lot of ways that everyone can do their part during these times like practicing social distancing, greeting others without physical contact, (safely) checking in on your neighbors, staying at home if you’re feeling sick, and only buying what you need—no one likes a toilet paper hoarder!
Maybe your company is like Outmark, with a distributed team that can transition easily into a remote environment. But even if your transition is seamless, there can still be a sense of loss and uncertainty because office spaces are community spaces.
You can still build and keep a sense of community within your company, even from your kitchen table. Consider making check-in meetings more personal with extra time to catch up and laugh together. Remember to take breaks for stretching and water the same way you would at the office. Right now, it can be easy to feel stressed or overwhelmed, so remember to breathe, take in the springtime scene out your window, and post funny memes or uplifting stories on Slack.
But maybe you’re not the typical 9 to 5 office and your job requires interacting with the public every day. If that’s the case, your digital transition will require a bit more creativity. All over the country yoga classes are being set-up online, writing groups that usually meet in person are going virtual, and online gaming is at an all time high. Even late night talk shows are being hosted from home. Humans are designed to seek out others, interact, and create communities. Embrace a digital platform to create community. If you can offer virtual services, go for it! If you can turn your restaurant into a pick-up and delivery place, you should.
There are a lot of factors out of our control right now. Hair salons, bars, clubs, cinemas, brick and mortar shops, and so many more have nothing to do but wait. But there are still ways to keep your company alive. Sure, you may not be selling a product but you can still use your marketing to build your brand and your community. Keep customers up to date with accurate and relevant information. Reach out on social media, and engage with your audience. Consider innovative ways to plan for the future (who had a pandemic marketing response plan in place?). And don’t be afraid to be playful as long as you’re not being tone-deaf in the process (we like this post from Buzzfeed Tasty).
There is no person or company too big or small to create a positive community. Need proof? Check out some of these beautiful stories: