Feeling the New Hybrid Vibe
“With the move to the hybrid office environment, trying to understand everyone’s vibe has been one of my top challenges,” says Aberin. “We used to have chess tournaments every day at lunch and boba tea always drew a crowd. When we were all in the office you could really feel what it means to be an employee at Shippo, but now with everyone in remote mode, it’s harder to feel the vibe.”
Now she doesn’t know everyone at the level she used to, but works to find things worth people’s time, particularly when potential burnout is at an all-time high.
There is also the matter of pre-pandemic versus post-pandemic culture. “For those who have been through the pandemic until now, of course our relationships are strong. But for those who joined during the pandemic, the only people they know are the 5 or so people they work with everyday on Zoom. That’s it!”
Meanwhile, the company continues to be in hypergrowth mode with a dozen new employees joining every week, all working in a hybrid environment across 13 metropolitan areas.
Shippos in the Wild! Physical & Digital
Aberin got to work to solve the problem of not having a physical community and built a whole series of creative events, including Shippos in the Wild!
“Our CEO wanted our people to get out there and find ways to connect with their local teammates outside the confines of a computer screen. She wanted to see more photos,” said Aberin. “So we grouped people in 13 cities and empowered them to meet up with each other in their local communities. Rather than designating specific activities, we gave each group a budget and gave them the power to use it in a way that worked best for that local team.”
Just launched 2 weeks ago, “Shippos” (as they call themselves) already self-deployed with 4 organic employee events across different cities.
Employees share “Shippos in the Wild!” photos on Slack and on their central employee experience hub. Aberin also posts the photos on her wildly popular internal newsletter, “The Shipment”, where she chronicles all things culture focused – the week’s recaps, new hires, anniversaries, engagements, cute kid photos, and other genuine moments. Aberin says it’s the internal content piece that gets the highest engagement.