Stay Home. Stay connected.

Today we’re joining a slew of other companies who are all working to try to reduce the rate of infection for COVID-19. Google, The Ad Council, the ANA, and many more are banding together to encourage folks to #StayHome whenever possible. 

Connecting during Stay at Home

While we’re all home, though, it can be easy for your community (whether it’s your coworkers or your family) to feel the distance. At Chef we are actively countering that distance, and are continuing to build connections between our people (both internally between employees, and externally in our own communities). Here are some ways that our team is working to stay connected here at Chef:

Video coffee chats every day (any time is fine)

Seeing faces is essential. These department-wide hangouts are optional, but they do a great job of providing the ‘around the coffee-pot’ chats that normally happen as you start your day. These are the conversations that build true connections between coworkers and make the person on the other end of the video a real human. For us, it’s a completely open forum: We talk about everything from what we’re watching on Netflix, to how our pets are doing, to actual work, and it gives us all an anchor to the day.

Social and offtopic chat channels

Keep up the normal banter. Another thing we’ve added is a separate team-specific social chat channel. It allows us to continue conversations that we were having during the coffee chats, while not spamming the still-important business-centric channel. Folks can still easily find what they need in the business chat, but we have a place to share our stories, memes, and lunch pictures.

Emphasizing wellbeing

An honest and open leadership team is essential. From the top of Chef all the way down, our entire leadership team is vocal about making sure each of the members of our teams are taking the time they need to be okay. Every one of us is impacted by this situation in a different way, and to a different degree, and the leadership at Chef isn’t avoiding talking about it. They talk openly about their own mental state and encourage others to be honest with themselves, too. 

Constant communication

Frequent communication prevents stress. As soon as it became clear there would be huge impacts, the leadership team began a routine of weekly updates around the business impacts, guidelines, and expectations as a result of this situation. As humans, knowing what’s expected is hugely important to a feeling of stability. It’s important to remain communicative, even if the only update is “Same as last week, we care, we’re here, and these are our guidelines.”

Encourage helping

Humans feel good when they help each other. Many of us feel compelled to help folks wherever we can in this situation, and we’re finding creative ways to do it. For us, helping has taken a shape in things like making fun zoom (or video chat application you’re using) backgrounds, or discussing what crazy (creative or complicated) recipe we’re trying this week. We are also sharing internally ways to donate our time and resources to help the folks impacted.

We miss you!

With all of the industry events being canceled or moved to digital (including ChefConf), we’re missing all of the in-person interactions that we normally get with our beloved community. We have added digital meetups, and are working on more virtual ways to connect with the faces we normally see in-person. If you have ideas, definitely let me know! 

In the meantime, join us weekly for our Twitch stream, or come say “Hi” in #DevRel in the community slack. Most importantly, stay safe, and take care of yourselves. As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out if Chef can help with anything at all. You can email or slack me, or contact your Customer Success Manager, because while we’re alone, we are #AloneTogether.

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benny Vasquez

benny has been building communities for nearly her entire life. Her passion for technology is rooted in customer success, but she's done everything from managing a specialty toy store to technical support.