Tatari has been named one of Inc. Magazine’s Best Workplaces for 2020 out of 3,000+ submissions. We are honored to be recognized for our familial culture, employee engagement, and benefit offerings. In order to be considered for this award, Tatari employees took part in a survey conducted by Quantum Workplace that focused on a variety of topics, some of which were: trust, management effectiveness, perks, and confidence in the future.
This week begins the 9th week that all Tatarians started working from home (“WFH”) as a result of COVID-19. It’s surreal to be notified of this tremendous award during this time and not being able to physically celebrate with each other. However, it’s providing us the opportunity to reflect on just how much “work” has changed for each of us, and what we have done—and can do—to ensure that Tatari culture continues to thrive, and also how things may change as we all face the challenges at some point of returning to the office. Here’s five things that stand out to me:
1. Transparency and communication are still paramount. These are unprecedented times and the first few weeks of navigating the business in this new environment was stressful for everyone. But through it all, we never lost sight of communicating with our employees. We implemented weekly all-hands to discuss our business, changes that may be taking place, and of course left plenty of time for questions. We’ve even asked for everyone’s input on what we should be focusing on or what opportunities are presented. Sometimes, the best ideas result from trying times!
2. Keeping 1:1 communication consistent. Having regular 1:1 has alway been important at Tatari and they are even more prominent at this time—if anything, some bi-weekly have turned into weekly. Having genuine interactions are important particularly given the combination of WFH and social distancing. Even if there’s no work-related topics, 1:1s are still being held so we can listen and be there for each other.
3. Everyone has chipped in during these times to ensure that WFH doesn’t mean we lose contact with each other. Last week we kicked off Donut on Slack where our employees will be randomly matched to grab a virtual donut/coffee/games and anything you can think of. Slack channels have also been revamped and new ones created, to name a few:
#foodies became #foodies_aka_wfhlunches;
#ferment that was previously focused on alcoholic beverages have been replaced with sourdough experiments and planting herbs;
#watchthis was dominated by Tiger King the first few weeks and continues to lead non-work-related message with a 66% increase in the last 30 days;
#mad_gainz for weekly workout challenges; and
#vhh created to track all the fun virtual activities we’re having.
I want to especially note #tatari_kids, aside from all the additional adorable WFH photos, Tatari parents share useful practices, books, and shows with each other (non parents are sharing too!). We know that these times can be particularly hard for parents and it’s good to see the support they have for each other.
4. I also want to recognize Erica, our HR manager who is relentless in working with others to execute weekly virtual activities. When it comes to friendly competitions, we’ve already played trivia, Drawful, Codenames, Ride the Bus, GIF battles...and a bunch more coming.
Erica is also extending this virtual effort to non-competitive activities...not to provide spoilers, but personally I’m really looking forward to “WFH Concert” by Tatari musicians, Brian our frontend engineer leading a cooking class, and 4-minute workout by Joel our co-Founder. Erica also peruses all the Slack channels during the week and posts a weekly wrap-up on Friday so we can all catch-up on the ruckus we may have missed. We’re also reaching out to organizations that we have planned volunteer events with in 2020 on how we may still conduct some of them virtually.
5. We’ve instituted a mandatory 1-day PTO. WFH can sometimes equate to more hours worked. While we have unlimited PTO at Tatari, we know that vacation plans are cancelled or postponed. To make sure that everyone is taking time for themselves, we recently implemented a 1-day mandatory PTO from April 27 - May 8; there’s a Google Doc that tracks and makes sure everyone does!
To our amazing employees...while WFH is not a new concept at Tatari (we already provide everyone the flexibility to do so), being required to WFH is new to all of us. Thank you for supporting each other, the resiliency you have shown, and keeping your spirit up.