As we enter our one-year anniversary of remote work, ‘Keeters have found a few creative and engaging ways to stay connected with one another and our culture, while we are apart. One of the benefits of a remote work environment in the 21st century is the abundance of inter-office communication platforms and apps. Terakeet operates on Slack to send crucial information between teams, but we also know how to let loose a little on Slack, too. For instance, we have a very active set of social Slack channels where ‘Keeters can discuss topics ranging from recipes to favorite films, to what we’re reading, to how we entertain our kids and pets while we work from home.
Many of our channels offer friendly conversations around niche topics, but there are a few standout channels with tons of teammates contributing to lively conversations that make us feel like we’re still in the office, chatting with one another by the coffee maker. The movie Slack channel is 38 ‘Keeters strong and recently featured a poll for best foreign film, which turned into a great list of new Friday night films for everyone to watch. The recipes chat has 109 members who regularly share their latest kitchen tips and culinary creations which have ranged from the omnipresent sourdough to tamales, olive oil ice cream, and nearly everything in between!
This week we sat down with a few social ‘Keeters who contributed to one or more of our fun Slack channels on a regular basis. These Slack channels have been essential to maintaining our connectivity during this time of physical distance. Let’s hear what these ‘Keeters had to say about Slack.
[Additional note: This week’s participating ‘Keeters are SEO Analyst, Lexi Grafe (SEO Analyst), Caitlin Hoff (Digital Content Specialist), and Jim Plonkey (SEO Manager).]
Q1. What extracurricular Slack channels do you participate in?
Lexi Grafe: I love finding new slack channels to get involved in, so I’m in quite a few! The ones I’m most active in are #garden_club & #teracat.
Caitlin Hoff: Outside of work-related chats, I spend the majority of my time in the #teracat channel, keeping up with the cats of Terakeet.
Jim Plonkey: We have lots of great Slack channels. The extracurricular channel I participate most in is definitely #garden_club. I also hit the #recipes channel from time to time!
Q2. What is the best Slack channel on Terakeet Slack?
Lexi Grafe: That honestly depends on the day! I love both #teracat and #garden_club, because they both are always so fun and positive. Do I want to aww over adorable cats? Or be inspired by incredible produce from gardens? You really can’t go wrong with either.
Caitlin Hoff: Obviously, the #teracat channel. I think the name tells you everything you need to know.
Jim Plonkey: Hands down, the best Terakeet Slack channel is #garden_club. Having stayed at home a lot throughout this summer, I decided it was my time to go way overboard with gardening – including building several raised beds and a greenhouse. It turns out there are a lot of ‘Keeters that love to garden and it’s awesome sharing our experiences, tips, tricks, and of course pictures of our impressive daily harvests!
Q3. Has something exciting happened in your life that you have shared on Slack?
Lexi Grafe: Absolutely! The start of my patio garden was something I excitedly shared with the #garden_club channel. The #teracat channel is going to be witnessing my two kitties getting a new dog brother, so the channel will be heavily updated on how that transition goes!
Caitlin Hoff: I started the #teracat channel after I adopted my first kitten. Shortly after, I welcomed my second (and last) kitten into the family. This, I shared on Slack. I have since posted every major and minor event of their young, fluffy lives on the channel.
Jim Plonkey: The #garden_club channel was actually conceptualized because of some exciting life events! I was talking with Andrew Hagemann (SEO Director) about my garden construction plans earlier in the year and he asked why there isn’t a dedicated Slack channel for these things (good question, right?). The next morning I woke up with an invite to the #garden_club channel!
Construction of the many garden beds we have shared in the channel, progress shots of my greenhouse, and watching everyone’s plants grow is always super exciting. Another cool event was when a snapping turtle decided to lay its eggs right on the edge of my garden. I shared how I covered the eggs with a milk crate to protect them from raccoons and other animals and everyone was hooked. Some were joking that “we need 24-hour surveillance on the eggs,” so… I bought an outdoor home security camera (the turtle cam) and we’re anxiously awaiting seeing them hatch!
Q4. How has having extracurricular Slack channels helped you maintain connections with your coworkers and the Terakeet culture?
Lexi Grafe: As a full-time remote employee, I truly believe having some semblance of human connection besides work-related conversation during 8-hour workdays is so, so important to not get burnt out, or feel disconnected. Especially since I came on board during the pandemic and have never been to the office, these slack channels have been a great way to get to know people that I wouldn’t normally interact with.
#teracat & #garden_club have been an amazing experience to connect with people throughout the company, and get an insight into their personal lives and passions, (Whether that’s cats, plants, or both!) and understand more about who they are outside of work.
Caitlin Hoff: Cats make you happy!
The best part of working in an office is a person’s ability to forge social connections and relationships with co-workers. As a full-time remote employee, I know firsthand how difficult it is to build relationships virtually.
The #teracat channel allows cat people at Terakeet to talk about cats, post pictures of cats, and enjoy the antics of our feline friends during a rather tough time. As any cat person can tell you, we were already documenting the content, we just now have an acceptable place to share it.
From this channel, I have been able to connect with people who work in different roles and departments. Because of our one commonality, we’ve made connections outside of the scope of our daily jobs. I have been blessed to meet so many amazing co-workers through this channel — both human and feline.
Jim Plonkey: Even prior to our entire team working remotely, I was a remote employee. The various Slack channels we have at Terakeet are crucial to maintaining connections with coworkers as well as establishing new ones!
It’s easy to get caught up in the fast-paced work environment from time to time. I believe we do a great job of keeping each other in check and taking the time to get to know each other as people and as friends, not just coworkers.
Extracurricular channels especially provide an opportunity for people to connect that you otherwise wouldn’t. There have been several instances where someone I haven’t met comments on a post and it sparks a whole conversation about things we have in common. From advice on the best curry recipe to memories of seeing a shared favorite band, to friendly competitions for the most impressive garden harvest pictures — I’ve met a TON of amazing people through Terakeet Slack channels.
Q5. If you could start your own Slack channel, what would it be?
Lexi Grafe: I recently binge-watched all of The Office for the first time, due to spending a lot more time indoors due to the pandemic … and I’m obsessed. #DunderMufflin all the way. I need an outlet for all The Office gifs I want to post now that I understand the references.
Caitlin Hoff: Already made it happen with #teracat. But, if I ever decide to branch out, there may be a Great Terakeet Baking Show channel on the horizon. Schitt’s TeraCreek channel anyone?
Jim Plonkey: Personally, I feel like Terakeet keeps a pretty solid Slack channel lineup, so this is a tough question. I think an #eco_friendly channel would be great! We can all share our tips for substituting products or the way we do things for more eco-friendly versions.