Four weeks later from the start of series one and we’re logging in for our final episode of this series, hosted by Kavita Kapoor; Technologist and Founder. This week we’re discussing how to maintain team morale whilst working from home and ensuring our culture doesn’t get lost behind our screens. For Kavita it’s an interesting topic as she is at the early stages of setting up her new business venture and building the team around her. Under discussion today is ,creating a company culture and maintaining morale is incredibly important - now more than ever - but can we do it without any physical interaction or ‘social’ element? Over to the table…
Joining Kavita we have Sam Black, Support Specialist at Beam and Asma Bandey, Founder of Kashmiri Tea House. I’m thrilled to have Sam and Asma joining us this morning as both their companies are new partners on the Juno platform and a recently developed direction for us.
Beam is a crowdfunding platform built to support homeless people through training and into stable paid work. We’re very proud to work with Beam, our first company in the new category ‘Giving’, which allows users to redeem their points towards donations.
Asma founded Kashmiri Tea House, included in our new category of ‘Food’, an area that our users have specifically asked for. Healthy eating and drinking continues to be a driving force in an overall strong wellbeing, and Asma’s botanical cold brews inspired by ancient Himalayan tea blends are a wonderful option for our users to experience.
Kavita begins the session with a simple question, ‘how are you adapting?’ Both Asma and Sam have similar responses, ‘the conversations we had before were more or less all business, but now they are personal and the biggest question we ask each other is ‘how are you?’ Asma begins, and it’s wonderful to hear! For Sam, he’s taking it back to the old school way of working; ‘I’ve gone really old school and I’ve ended up building stronger relationships over the last few weeks. I’m having long conversations with stakeholders and colleagues but just to find out how they are. It doesn’t feel right to push a work question right now, we need to take a little bit of time to adapt and just found out how we are all doing.’ It’s great to have the conversation start so positively and feel the support through the call.
The sense of community and united society has come across in all of our episodes, and here it’s no different . For Asma it’s been a moment of reflection; ‘although everyone is so separated there is also such a growing sense of community. It was probably always there, but we never had the time to spot it, notice it and reflect on it.’ For Kavita, this new way of living has expanded her network and connected her to far more people. ‘Every conversation I have, I’ve ended it with asking that person ‘who should I speak to now?’ It’s allowing me to carry on the conversation, speak to more people - it’s even taken the conversation global.’
Around the table one thing is for sure, sustaining morale right now means being open, honest and personal. Whilst we’re quick to feel negative around Zoom (and rightly so after 6 hours of back to back video calls) Kavita gave a different perspective on the platform and how to use it more productively. ‘Video conferencing can be exhausting, but it can also be a wonderful way to feel connected and have fun. The weekly quiz I do with my sports club has been wonderful and hugely entertaining.’ Sam agreed, ‘having video calls to just chat about how we’re all doing has fulled so much positive work, it’s generated a 1 to 1 personal connection.’
Another greatly informative episode came to an end, with the table giving off such positive vibes and thinking. Team morale, personal wellbeing and ways of working all feel the same right now - muddled! Not in a negative manner, but in manner that we should embrace. The main thing is that we are checking in on each other and we understand the importance of having that personal moment, because... we’re all in this together!