How Recur used Campfire to improve remote culture
Recur is a fully remote company with 140+ employees. They’ve benefited from remote work by having access to a diverse talent pool across many locations. The flexibility and cost savings that remote work provides both for employees and companies adds a lot of value (companies save $11,000 on average by going remote).
One major downside of remote work is employees feeling isolated and not part of a larger community. This is especially a problem with larger and growing teams, where social interactions across different departments is low as people don’t run into each other organically. As a result, employees start to lose their sense of belonging and look for new opportunities.
Recur is using Campfire to solve this. Their goal was to improve employee engagement and morale, and to increase cross-company interactions in order to create a healthy remote culture.
The Challenges: No Scalable Solution
- Large burden of planning overhead for virtual team social activities
- No repeatable and scalable solution that is cost effective
- Team feeling disconnected and not having a lot of cross company social exposure
‘How do you build camaraderie in a remote team?’
That’s the question that many remote teams ask themselves. As a remote-first team, it’s very important to improve cross company engagement and connectedness. But it’s hard to organize activities that accommodate everyone while being exciting for the team to maximize attendance and engagement.
Jayda’s team was always in charge of virtual events, resulting in a bottleneck for time. Hiring virtual event hosts also would cost a lot. Without an easily repeatable process, it wasn’t possible to have more frequent socials.
“I wanted something where people can go in on their own. We will still schedule events, but I wanted people to be able to just hop-in without any prior planning, and for managers to be able to have a place for their team social gatherings. Campfire seemed to deliver this experience!”
Also, running big group socials on Zoom wasn’t optimal as it was a struggle to engage the whole group, and to have meaningful interactions, compared to breaking up into smaller groups.
“We did the traditional virtual Zoom happy hour and trivia where we’re on one call, but the struggle with having 80 people on the call is difficult to manage vs breaking into smaller groups.”
The ultimate goal is to increase employee happiness and reduce turn-over by building a strong sense of community and camaraderie. This is achieved by members of the team having more shared social experiences in order to build more personal connections and trust.
“The more people are engaged and build those personal bonds, the more productive they are and the longer they’ll stay at Recur”
The Solution: the Virtual Break Room
- Virtual social hub that’s always accessible by anyone in the company – the virtual break room
- Many different activities purpose built for teams that are very easy to learn and participate in + breakouts
- Constantly changing dynamics to enable self-initiated utilization without the people team’s intervention
- Lower planning and cost overhead
Being the virtual break room for the team, Campfire quickly became the social hub for different teams and groups, and within the first few weeks, Recur saw more than 50% utilization across the company on a frequent basis – 3-5 social hangouts per week. Jayda immediately saw the value of having this platform where people can just go in on their own to socialize and intermingle across the company.
Jayda created a Slack channel called #campfire, and added everyone to it. People quickly picked it up and started using Campfire. The people team also organized hosted sessions on Campfire to get the team familiarized with the application.
I am not going to give a super in detail analysis of MLE, primarily because it has been done so many times in different ways that are probably better than I could ever explain it.
Campfire is now being used in various different
- Hosting social events on Campfire
- Team managers scheduling their team hangouts and even stand-ups on Campfire
- Give out prizes for competition and challenges (lunch lottery)
- Interns weekly meetup
- New hire onboarding meet and greet
- Coffee chats on Campfire
The success continues, and team Recur is using Campfire to improve engagement and team morale.
“People talk about their experience on Slack after events — they post pictures and reminiscent about the shared experiences, just like the sense of bonding you’d get in an office”