In this transition to working remotely, our workplace culture is more important than ever. Here’s what we’ve done with our staff to maintain community and combat social isolation.
It’s probably fair to say that at the start of the year, most organizations fell into one of three categories when it came to working from home: mostly (or even fully) remote; entirely in-office; or trying to figure out how to balance the two.
Until recently, CIRA fell squarely in the latter. As the managers of the .CA domain and the operators of mission-critical infrastructure, we have strong business continuity plans that include operating 100% remotely during an emergency. In normal operations times, however, we hesitated to be all in on working from home.
Everyone knew it was fair game if you had a medical appointment near your house in the middle of the day, or a writing project that needed you to be heads down. It was encouraged if you were sick (but not sick enough to take a sick day). But we didn’t have clear rules around working from home routinely.
Like most businesses in Canada, all that changed for us in mid-March when Canada’s massive work from home experiment started to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
We are luckier than most in that our contingency plan meant we had all (OK, most) of the technology in place. All of our employees have laptops and VPN access. Almost all have company-provided mobile phones.