How to Maintain a Company Culture in a Crisis

Acrylicize’s company culture has always been the most important aspect of our studio. 
 
It underpins both the work we make and the way we make it. Anyone who has spent time with us will be able to testify to this.
 
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, physical distance has been forced upon our team in order to protect their health and wellbeing. However, the culture that we’ve created has really begun to pay dividends for us as an organisation and for our clients, who rely on us to make the best possible work we can.
 
In fact, I would argue that London’s lockdown has brought the team closer together, despite the fact that we are further apart. Everyone has rallied behind one single goal – to look out for one another. We’ve had incredible fun rising to the challenge of how to stay connected, and I wanted to share a few things that we’ve been up to in the hope that more businesses see this time as an opportunity as much as a challenge. 
 
Monday Morning Creative Challenge (MMCC)
MMCC is an initiative that’s been going on for years and it’s great way to start the week. Every Monday morning at 9am we gather around the table as a studio and everyone embarks on a creative challenge together as a team. It may be as simple as a drawing exercise, or it could be an opportunity for the whole studio to help a colleague with a problem that needs solving. Either way, it means that we start the week by coming together, connecting, sharing and learning from each other before getting on with our day. For the past two weeks, we’ve moved this to Zoom and this coming Monday (6th April at 10am) we’ll be opening it up to the world via Instagram live so that anyone can take part!
 
Working from home insights
Every morning since the team began collectively working from home, a member has been nominated to share insight or a top tip via email on what they are doing to make the best of the situation. Nothing major, just a small thing that may help you throughout your day. We’ve had everything from recipes, dance moves, to how to keep your workspace tidy, to meditation tips. Again, it’s just a nice and simple way to look out for each other.
 
Tuesday Club
Another staple at Acrylicize is Tuesday Club – our weekly studio-wide get together where we share work, achievements and lessons learned, always accompanied by a visual presentation. Again, we’ve moved this to Zoom and now we do it collectively with the US team in Seattle. A great way to keep up to date with what’s going on across the business.
 
Tea Break
Exactly what it says on the tin. Via Zoom, no agenda, no obligation to join, just a place to go and have a cuppa and a chat with who ever is there. Everyday at 4pm.
 
Friday drinks
Each week we grab a drop of whatever makes us happy, down tools at 4.30pm and come together to mark the end of the week and beginning of the weekend (if you can call it that at the moment). This week, our Studio manager Fi spiced it up with a virtual ‘pub’ quiz using an intricate tech-stack including Zoom, WhatsApp and her home stereo. It was amazing.
 
So there you have it, five small ways you can bring your team closer together at a time where we need each other the most. From our experience, anything you do to foster a positive culture in your business will provide the foundations for great relationships with both staff and clients. This prepares everyone for meaningful work, infused with genuine passion, creativity and engagement.
 
Just before you go, I mentioned earlier that we’ll be hosting our first Monday Morning Creative Challenge on Instagram Live at 10am, Monday 6th April (GMT +1). We have an exciting brief based on ‘maps’ to share, join us on @acrylicize to find out more!
 
Stay safe,
 
James Burke
Founder & Creative Director
 
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