Like every other business, MediaMint has been working remotely since the beginning of the pandemic. As an organization, we’ve taken a conservative stance, which means the health of our employees comes first. Thus, we are putting safety ahead of speed as we consider any return back to the office.
Fortunately, WFH (working from home) is working for us. We are just as productive as we’ve always been, and we’ve got appropriate tracking mechanisms in place.
Business as Usual for Now
For us, Covid-19 is part of business as usual, except that we aren’t constraining ourselves to specific locations in our hiring. We’re spreading our recruiting net to places we hadn’t talked about before. That gives us much more choice for talented new team members, which has been an unexpectedly welcome change from our earlier mindset.
The Corporate Culture Conundrum
When our leadership team has discussions about how long we can continue to work completely remotely, the only question we really have is one about corporate culture. We are now spread out all over the world, and in some countries questions about mental health are not as openly discussed as they should be. Because we want everyone who is part of MediaMint to feel like family, we’re waiting for the evidence to get a bit more clear so we can decide whether tweaks in the way we operate are necessary, and if so, what they are.
In the meantime, what we hear the most when we inquire is the difficulty of tuning out the work mindset during non-work hours. Our teams say that because of the time differences, most people effectively start their work hours earlier and end them later, as the “incoming” doesn’t stop the way it used to when an employee left the office. We need to find ways to encourage people to unplug.
Work vs. Non-Work Mindset
Our HR department and our communications department have been developing creative ways to make our corporate culture thrive during the pandemic. As we have grown, many of our people have been with us for a long time with 60% of our managers coming up through the ranks, giving them a deep understanding of our corporate culture.
These homegrown managers are the culture drivers, since we have been an open door organization from the beginning. We have no barriers to communication. Early on in the remote work journey, we tried some familiar tactics like team exercises, that were familiar from before the shift. We have also held virtual yoga classes and a virtual dance therapy class.
We think we’ve done a good job, so far, but how it evolves remains to be seen. Every company is in uncharted territory. Our HR and communications teams are organizing events by month and quarter. This is a centralized and significant effort. But team leads and managers are also holding events for their individual groups, such as “fun Sundays,” where employees bring their families and non-work things are discussed.