Remote work has its perks: employees are more productive, they can enjoy a greater work-life balance through flexible schedules, and they can save on time and expenses associated with commuting to an office.
On the other hand, it’s hard to ignore some of the challenges that may come with remote work. For some, these may include increased feelings of loneliness, communication and collaboration barriers, and fewer opportunities to learn from others.
When I first joined Wrk, I remember a conversation I had with our SVP of Operations, Michael Thompson, about in-person events and how they can be leveraged to maximize the potential of our employees at Wrk.
Goals for in-person events
As a remote-first company with full-time employees scattered across Canada and the U.S., being able to organize events would come with several logistical challenges, but we were determined to make them happen.
Here are the goals we’ve set out for in-person events at Wrk to ensure they are being intentionally and strategically utilized to support our growth:
- In-person events should facilitate learning and development for employees through the use of structured and facilitated activities.
- In-person events should be designed to establish stronger relationships between team members.
- In-person events should reflect the values that are important to us here at Wrk.
About Evolve 2022
At the beginning of 2022, the Operations team at Wrk set out to host our first ever in-person team event, Evolve 2022.
As our team is growing and priorities are continuously shifting, it’s vital to align and ensure we can, as Michael Thompson says, “Skate to where the puck is going (with urgency)!”
Mirroring our overall goals as an organization for in-person events, our goals for Evolve 2022 were as follows.
1. Learning & Development
As stated by our SVP of Operations, Michael Thompson, we want our customers to not just like us, but to love us. To achieve this, we needed to equip our Operations team with a customer-first mindset and teach them best practices for client success. We curated an exciting list of interactive workshops to help us accomplish this goal, focusing on topics such as active listening, empathy, written and verbal communication, and planning and organization.
2. Team Building
To quote Aristotle, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. At Wrk, we understand that there is nothing more important than teamwork and ensuring all of our team members are moving toward the same target. We scheduled activities, both work and non-work related, to maximize our time together and build meaningful connections with each other at Evolve. We also invited team members from other departments to join us for an evening, allowing us to strengthen bonds across the company.
At Wrk, we understand that company culture builds from both directions—top-down and bottom-up. Each and every person in the company plays a role in shaping the company culture, so it is vital that we not only define what’s important to us but also demonstrate what we value through our actions. At Evolve, we promoted psychological safety by welcoming feedback and questions throughout (and even encouraged employees to challenge us!); we equipped employees with new tools and strategies that would maximize their potential at Wrk, but also gave them the opportunity to apply the tools and strategies as they see fit; we facilitated a mixture of individual and group-based activities to create a more inclusive environment for participants; and we live-streamed all of our workshops for the rest of the company to attend, so that no one would miss out on learning opportunities if they wanted to opt-in.
Leveraging in-person events as a remote-first team
Through Evolve, we’ve been able to align our Operations team members on our customer success strategy moving forward. By coming together to talk about challenges we’ve encountered and strategies for overcoming them, we’ve also fostered greater trust and understanding between team members.
Realizing now that we are all here to achieve the same goal—that is, to change the way the world Wrks—we’re all better prepared to deliver a seamless experience for our customers post-Evolve.
On top of this, we’re excited to have inspired other teams at Wrk to also consider how they can best leverage in-person events to elevate their teams. For example, we’re already planning ahead to host an end-of-summer summit to elevate our Sales team and their capabilities!
Beyond Evolve 2022
When we bring people together, we can inspire action, build stronger connections, prevent misunderstandings, and spark new ideas. By ensuring our in-person meetings continue to be purposeful and value-packed, we’ll be able to use them to drive momentum in achieving the Wrk vision.
Are you looking to join a remote-first team that values transparency and collaboration? Visit our Careers page to learn more about our current job opportunities!