Working remotely can be a challenge. Team IZEA works from home in 22 states, 95 cities, 12 countries, yet there are many ways we stay connected.
8 ways IZEAns stay connected
1. Coming together
We provide opportunities for our dispersed team to connect throughout the year, virtually and in-person. When it’s safe to do so, we bring our full-time team members together for two or three company-wide events per year — including a cruise. Plus, our managers have a budget to bring their teams together once or twice per year in addition to the company gatherings for training and team building.
2. Virtual fun
When in-person meetings aren’t possible, we use technology to connect virtually in creative ways.
In 2021 IZEA hired Kaila Kowalski as our first-ever Manager of Workplace, Culture & Communications to oversee company communications/meetings and to help infuse our incredible company culture and promote a healthy work-life balance throughout the virtual workplace.
Kaila believes that “a sense of community among employees is key to our success as a company and one of the best ways to build authentic relationships in the virtual setting is through fun events.”
Kaila has planned dozens of events, from workshops to happy hours, where people can meet others, share common interests, and most importantly — show off our furry friends!
3. Focus on wellness
Our senior leadership holds employee well-being in high regard, providing benefits and different initiatives to help IZEAns prioritize wellness. We hosted a month-long wellness challenge where each day had a different challenge. From adding a vegetable into our meals and decluttering a space in our homes to creating a workout playlist, the challenge had our team connecting with and supporting each other.
And it’s not just physical health. IZEA understands that mental health is vital for every person. Chelsea Riffe, a former IZEAn turned mindset coach, has hosted sessions on wellness, stress management, and mindset management. These workshops opened the door for continued conversations about the importance of mental health.
4. Play games
One of our talented engineers designed his own online games that we can play together when we need a brain break! This is a fun way to get people from across teams and timezones to build relationships beyond the workplace.
5. Using technology to work together
The culture at IZEA is one where we do not hesitate to hop on a quick Zoom call to work together on projects or communicate more effectively. We also use technology to help us give virtual praise to coworkers (#cheers) for a job well done or exhibiting the IZEA values of teamwork, communication, accountability and more. This not only creates a supportive environment and helps IZEAns stay connected, it also promotes transparency between departments that allows for better productivity.
One of #TeamIZEA’s goals is to make everyone feel included, valued and appreciated, and Kaila does so by announcing our birthdays and anniversaries with the entire company on Slack, where we celebrate each other — often with many, many emojis and gifs.
“In a virtual workplace, it is important to show recognition in a way that feels natural and appropriate,” says Kaila “Highlighting special occasions is a great way to remind people that at IZEA they are more than just a Slack username or an e-mail, and they matter.”
At a recent all-company meeting, we hosted IZEA Superlatives, where we voted on who should receive titles like “Most Likely to Talk on Mute” or “Best Zoom Crasher.” And to put a spin on an old grade-school classic, we had teams design a “paper plate award” for each winner. We shared lots of laughs as we announced the winners and saw the interesting plate designs!
And it’s not all silliness, this award was given on the same day as our annual announcement of our President’s Club winners, which rewarded some of our highest-achieving employees with a luxurious vacation.
7. Coffee chats
We’re also encouraged to get to know co-workers we might not have daily contact with through virtual coffee chats. Every couple weeks, we are randomly paired with a fellow IZEAn for a 30-minute Zoom chat. It’s fun to meet new people and chat about our hobbies, experiences and more!
8. Happy mail
It’s not unusual to receive some happy mail from IZEA. This Valentine’s Day, IZEAns received eco-friendly cards with plantable hearts. We can’t wait to see our flowers bloom!
Want to join #TeamIZEA? Check out our openings at izea.com/company/careers.