Fun online meetings, why not?

Published August 14, 2020, 6:07 PM

by Jane Kingsu-Cheng

This mom boss makes virtual discussions more engaging

When the lockdown started, everyone had to quickly adapt to working from home. “We had to shift to a full work-from-home policy for our employees. For any MSME (micro, small, and medium enterprises), the priority in times like this is to keep your employees safe. We have to understand that our employees have families and loved ones that they need to protect as well,” says tax filing platform Taxumo’s chief operating officer Ginger Arboleda

Defining workload
With over 20,000 users to date, their clients need her team now more than ever. Ginger, who is also a mom, admits that the days have been busier since quarantine happened. So how does she make sure her staff isn’t overwhelmed with responsibilities at work and at home? We make it a point to communicate to our employees that we do not expect them to work beyond their work hours. We also don’t expect them to work on weekends. It may be hard for all of us since the separation of work and family has become blurry with a full WFH arrangement,” she explains, adding that they check on each and everyone constantly.  

Online meets
Joining Zoom meetings is one way of keeping each other updated. “We have daily syncs for each of the departments, and we also have a ‘all-hands-on-deck’ cross function sync that we conduct on a weekly basis,” says Ginger. Since they go online a lot to meet, this mom boss thought of changing things up a bit by making these meetings fun. “We don’t think only of the financial stability of our people, but they should also be happy and have the right mindset to do their tasks and responsibilities.”

Weekly meetings are now with costume themes, from logging in as your favorite movie character to back-to-school theme, this brilliant idea has proven to be effective as an icebreaker. Ginger has shown up in her favorite Wizard of Oz character Dorothy, Vanellope von Schweetz of Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph, and Margo Gru from the movie series Minions. Other fun themes they did were back-to-school, ‘80s, superheroes versus villains, United Nations, and even aerobics. And every week, they have winners who put in the extra effort of dressing up in theme. She adds, “In a time when we all face a lot of challenges—financial, personal, emotional, and physical challenges, we want our team to feel positive every time we meet each other. Before talking shop, having light and fun moments like these places our team in a positive and happy disposition. We’ve noticed that this makes them more engaged, energetic, and open to interacting and collaborating with the team.”

Go for self-care
Ginger also believes in taking care of oneself. It doesn’t have to be a massage, which is difficult to have now. It’s just giving yourself time to do what you’ve been dreaming of, even if it’s the smallest task. “Communicate with your family so that it’s clear with them and they won’t disturb you,” reminds Ginger who loves reading books and watching videos on business and productivity. She also zones out by writing on her blog
She also stresses the importance of sticking to a schedule that is different from weekdays and weekends, giving us a mental cue of when it’s time to work and rest.
The WFH setup, it seems, will be here for a while. And parents are the most overwhelmed of all the generations, juggling all that needs to be accomplished in one day. “Just take it one step at a time—one task at a time and one challenge at a time. You’ll eventually overcome everything, and then enjoy those moments of peace and tranquility. Life isn’t a race. It’s just about living a life you can say is “well-lived” every single day. Success will eventually come if you do at least one percent better every day. It’s about consistency and not about one massive quick win,” she ends.