For those of you who follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook, you know we take our commitment to fun very seriously. But, just like everyone else, #ImageSoftLife has looked quite different since practicing social distance.
For 25 years, we’ve been razzing one another with playful banter across the office, swapping family pictures with our colleagues and customers at community events and, most importantly, sharing meals during our frequent in-office showers and book club meetings. If you follow our monthly “Images of Us” staff spotlight series, you will often share in someone’s recollection of their favorite (usually hysterical) #ImageSoftLife moment.
It’s true – our staff, partners and customers put the lively “people” in our slogan “The Paperless Process People.” So when the necessary social distancing guidelines took effect, it’s safe to say our entire team was a little disheartened by the uncertainty of when we would all be together again, or if the new normal to come would even allow for our traditional comradery practices to carry on.
One thing we knew for certain, however, was that our sense of community would not go stale. With their extra time, so many of our team members have voluntarily stepped up to the plate to maintain not only ordinary contact with one another, but to sustain the #ImageSoftLife we all know and love through creative outreach.
Inspired by the heartfelt efforts of our team, we wanted to share how they’ve applied their innovative principles to every-day communication. If your organization is looking for some fun ways to stay in touch, please feel free to borrow from one of the ideas below. Or, if your team is also getting creative, we’d love to hear about your ideas in the “comments” section below!
Through MicroSoft Teams, we launched a company-wide team chat affectionately referred to as “The Breakroom.” Throughout the day, our colleagues post funny memes, videos (SGN with John Krasinski is usually a go-to), riddles (do you know how many folds are in a Chef’s hat?), and other interactive conversation starters (pet photos, please). Not only does it allow us to stay connected, but helps us to pick right back up where our office banter left off, reassuring us with the funny-loving character of so many of our co-workers.
Honestly – is anyone surprised we still found a way to continue sharing food with one another?
The first-ever ImageSoft cookbook is in production and showcases a variety of favorite recipes from all our colleagues. The recipes range from quick and easy go-to’s to comfort foods and especially generationally-passed family recipes, all accompanied by a photo from the foodie contributor, of course!
ImageSoftCARES and ImageSoftWellness
We want to give a special shout out to our two, staff-comprised community groups that, in addition to their day jobs, volunteer time and talent to ensure the success of all our #ImageSoftLife events. While our typical baby and wedding showers, potlucks and quarterly get-togethers have paused, our CARES Committee and Wellness team has gone above and beyond to uphold our team’s morale.
In addition to its routine newsletter, the CARES Committee also began issuing a special “social distancing edition” that circulates all the positive, socially distant happenings of our colleagues. Ideas from our team include Zoom sessions with friends, loved ones and pets (sometimes even in a formal, dressed-up fashion!), home improvement projects, baking and delivering cookies to the community, and creating and donating home-made masks to local hospitals.
And while CARES is helping us exercise good works to uplift spirits, the Wellness Committee is encouraging our own physical wellbeing. Not only does its monthly newsletter share tips for destressing and financial wellness, healthy recipes, at-home workout opportunities and more, but our entire company has been invited to compete in a “Race for the Ribbon” walking challenge. Not only does the challenge incentivize every-day activity, but it encourages overall healthy lifestyle maintenance, which we could all use while staying home.
And last but certainly not least…
This last one is especially powerful since it has not been an officially organized activity.
The overall tone of our emails and messages has noticeably softened. Suddenly, quick emails requesting information transpire into catch-up between colleagues. Smiley face emojis are in abundance, and so many of our team members take the extra minute to write something kind and encouraging back to a co-worker – sometimes even entire departments.
We leave you with a sentiment that was shared with us in a colleague’s “Images of Us” feature quite some time before the pandemic. More now than ever, though, we believe this quote to ring true:
“Smiles are contagious – be a carrier.”