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What’s New with Humu—June 2019 Edition

Written by Liz Fosslien

Happy Pride!

In celebration of Pride, our team can take June 28th off using a floating holiday to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which marked the birth of the international LGBTQ rights movement. At Humu, we want to make sure our team can observe events or days that are especially meaningful to them. Last year, we added Día de los Muertos to our list of floating company holidays—and then had a small celebration in the office together as well!

Onto this month’s scientifically-backed tips on how to make work better. The official start to summer is coming on fast. As we head into some of the most travel-filled months of the year, it’s the perfect time to figure out how to make remote work… well, work.

Even if you normally start each morning catching up with colleagues at the office, we all set up shop remotely from time to time. Whether you’re emailing on a flight, dialing in from a hotel, or just WFH because you feel a little under the weather, taking these small, easy-to-implement steps will go a long way in helping you—and other remote colleagues—stay connected.

Emotionally proofread emails

When it comes to written communication, we’re more likely to interpret ambiguity as negative. Before you hit send, re-read emails to make sure your intent is clear. There is a big difference in how “Let’s talk.” and “Got your edits and they look great. I have a few comments, let’s connect to discuss.” will be perceived.

Schedule smart

If your team is spread across time zones, it’s useful to set core hours when everyone will be available. Hold all-hands meetings during these hours to give remote workers an opportunity to connect with everyone in the office. Making information sharing as easy as possible builds trust, helps everyone stay in the loop, and boosts team productivity.

Get goofy

Proverbial water coolers help remote workers connect with colleagues. To build relational trust, start a virtual coffee break or dedicate the first five minutes of meetings with remote workers to catching up on each other’s lives outside of work.

Try it the Humu way

Here are a few things we do to stay connected when we’re not together in person:

Sales colleagues Andrew McKenna, who’s based at our Mountain View office, and Stephanie Crouppen, who leads our Midwestern sales efforts from St Louis, have a weekly phone chat so Andrew can fill Stephanie in on what’s new at HQ. This week’s update? “Kunal is back from his wedding and there is a lot of excitement!”

Software engineer Sophie Alpert is our resident remote worker champion; she always helps us remember to post important updates or questions on Slack for everyone to see.

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers

Last month, we asked you to send us your thorniest work-related issues that you could use some help handling. (The offer still stands! If you have a question, let us know by replying to this email.) One of the responses we received was from Jeremiah, who asked how to help create a culture in which people feel appreciated on a daily basis.

Our CEO Laszlo Bock’s advice? “Tell someone how grateful you are that they took something annoying off of your plate, stepped up when you needed them, or just made work a little better. Whatever it is, be as specific as possible. It might feel small, but this tiny nudge towards gratitude is incredibly powerful. It will ripple throughout your organization. And it will make work better for you and for the people around you.”

What’s happening at Humu:

A lot has happened over the past few months. We moved into a new space, we turned two, and we’ve welcomed several incredible new hires. Which meant it was time to take a more up-to-date team photo.

Our team having fun with photo day, and celebrating Mariana (middle), who just graduated from college!

We’ve had a prolific past few weeks: People Scientist Stefanie Tignor spoke with Knowledge @ Wharton about how we’re leveraging the power of small behavioral changes, our CEO Laszlo Bock argued that culture can make or break your business on LinkedIn and shared why the most boring hiring strategy is best in Behavioral Scientist, our Chief Privacy Officer Lea Kissner clarified the difference between an incident and a vulnerability for IAPP, and Engineer Sophie Alpert wrote about the benefits (and costs) of corporate open source in increment.

On the speaking front, you can find our Head of EMEA Partnerships Kunal Patel discussing how AI is changing leadership development at CogX, and I (Liz Fosslien) be at Town Hall Seattle talking about how the best companies build cultures of belonging.

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