Remote work has become the “new normal” for many working professionals. From remote meetings to remote office parties, companies are trying hard to make sure employees are staying connected (while in a disconnecting environment).
The New Normal
At Recruitics, we have a highly collaborative culture. In our virtual work environments, this means we find ourselves in meetings often for hours with no breaks in between. Our meetings were originally set to 30 mins / 1 hour, which were default calendar settings that auto generated how long our meeting would be.
Over the course of this year, the leadership team has noticed the effect this has had on our teammates and our culture, so they decided to make a change.“Our team at Recruitics is full of amazing and resilient people, but it doesn’t mean what we are doing is easy,” says Josh Gampel, CEO of Recruitics. “Working remotely during a pandemic has come with its challenges, so we are being proactive and trying to reduce the impact and mental exhaustion of our team.”
A Culture of Mindfulness Begins With Empathy
The leadership team at Recruitics recognized that the changes and uncertainty we all have been facing this past year has created elevated stress for everyone. Employers may not be able to control the drivers that elevate levels of stress for employees, but they can make impactful decisions that create positive changes in our day-to-day working environment and ability to maintain a work-life balance.
Our own virtual culture of back-to-back Zoom meetings was actually denying employees the opportunity to take a break between meetings, clear their minds, and step away from the computer.
It was clear that the way we conducted meetings as an organization needed to change, which is why leadership instituted “speedy meetings.” Every team member across the company was asked to update their default meeting times to “speedy meetings,” which is 25 mins / 50 mins instead of 30 mins / 1 hr. This gave teams a time where they can take breaks in between meetings throughout the day. This change can be made in seconds, and in return benefits everyone within the organization and those they interact with outside of the organization as well.
Employees are now coming into meetings with more focus, attention, and clear mindedness - which allows us to set up our clients for success in their endeavors. If we are at our best, we can deliver at our best as well.
The breaks in between meetings is helping to create healthy habits for our teammates. These breaks help everyone take a mental pause, recenter, and prepare to be our best for our next meeting. We’ve always aimed to provide the best work for our clients, and we’ve taken this very unique circumstance to refocus on taking the best care of ourselves -- knowing that the benefits of self-care show themselves in our work.
It’s important to take a break between meetings and take time to:
- Breathe and release any stress.
- Release your mind from the previous meeting and allow yourself to recenter for your next engagement.
- To realign your focus on the opportunity, to bring your whole and best self and whole brain power to the next meeting.
Why Now and Not Before?
Due to our collaborative and communicative culture at Recruitics, many of our employees found that the transition to remote work resulted in meetings frequently being scheduled back-to-back.
Working in an office environment, you naturally take breaks throughout the day, from walking to the water cooler to grabbing lunch with coworkers. In a remote environment, where all of your communication and work related duties take place at your desk in front of a screen, it can be challenging to make time for yourself and step away. With nowhere to physically go, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in tasks and emails that sometimes you forget to take a minute for yourself.
Our VP of People Success Nicole Morris says, “With no break room filled with coworkers or going out to grab lunch down the street, it’s easy to find ourselves sitting at our kitchen tables or home offices for hours upon end. With the institution of speedy meetings, we are hoping to create even a few minutes for people to take care of themselves and mentally reset for the next meeting or task. It further tells our teammates that taking care of their mental health is critical in today’s landscape.”
The collective agreement was that a change to our scheduled meetings was needed, and this change led to a new way to empower teams to do their best work, which is a core objective of our organization.
“I truly feel blessed to log on every day and know I’m (virtually) surrounded by such amazing teammates. The work done by every single team member is invaluable,” says our EVP, in Client Strategy Ryan Christoi. “The change in our meetings is something we are doing to show support and appreciation. That way, all of our teammates are well prepared to help themselves and our clients in the best way possible.”
The impact of having shorter meetings during the day evolved our virtual culture and made an impact on the overall happiness of all Recruitics employees simply by allowing a few extra minutes in our days to breathe. Companies need to create a culture where employees are comfortable with taking time for themselves, and it’s important to have a culture that focuses on maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Your Cultures Impact
At Recruitics, we help companies attract and hire great talent, but we are also an employer of great talent. This is why we thought it would be worthwhile to share (with others) what we implemented, because even if taking a break is not an innovative or new idea, it’s easily forgotten or overlooked in our new remote world. It’s clear how much of an impact the shorter meeting schedule has already created.
Our team believes this simple change can help other organizations and ultimately make an impact on improving the lives of remote working professionals.
Posted by Niki McKee
Niki McKee is the VP of Client Operations at Recruitics. She enjoys creating and improving process to enable an excellent customer experience. When she's not working, you can find her being a mom to 3-year-old Elle and 7-month-old Mack and dreaming about traveling again as soon as she is able.