Staying connected: how Odyssey promotes engagement and collaboration

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Odyssey is a blend of cultures and nationalities,  with team members spread across 13 countries around the world. We may be a fully distributed company, but  we care a lot about staying connected personally and professionally. We recognize that remote work can feel isolating, which is why we have created many opportunities for employee engagement. The ultimate goal is to have our distributed, global team feel a sense of inclusivity and belonging every day at work. 

One of the most important activities we do to achieve this goal is our “Monday kick-off.” The entire team meets and plays a quick 20-minute fun game to ease into the week before diving into company updates. Each week one team at the company is responsible for sharing what they’ve been working on so that no matter where you sit in the company you have a bird’s eye view of all the activities going on at Odyssey. Monday kick-off sets the tone for the week and gives us an opportunity to meet and interact with colleagues, and share excitement for the days ahead.

Wednesday demos are another opportunity to get to know what’s happening at Odyssey. Twice a month teammates come forward and share their knowledge, showcase new features they’re close to launching, or discuss timely topics. One recent demo showcased how employees around the company are using new AI technologies in their personal and professional life. Another one showcased some new planning tools that will soon launch for C&I solar companies. The aim of these demos is to encourage continuous learning and collaboration among colleagues.

Donut calls are another way to foster connections outside of work. Each month teammates are randomly paired up to have a non-work-related chat. It's a chance to get to know each other on a personal level, beyond usual work. 

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, five-minute break room meet-ups are scheduled to allow everyone to casually catch up with one another. We meet in either a virtual gym, kitchen, or break room, with the activity (having a snack, doing some yoga stretches, etc) led by a rotating leader from our team. These brief check-ins help everyone stay connected, and are meant to feel like having a casual chat with someone at the water-cooler in an office. 

The week concludes with the Friday check-out, a relaxed 15-minute chat where the entire team comes together to reflect on their week. During this quick meeting, each person shares one word that sums up their week and shares a few sentences about why they chose that word. We close it out with a little quiz question, and the winner gets to spin a wheel and win an exciting prize. 

As Odyssey continues to grow, fostering a strong sense of connection among our team members is a bigger priority than ever. We believe that the people who work at Odyssey (“Odyssians”) are our most valuable asset, and we work to nurture bonds across the company. We know that these bonds serve as the bedrock for upholding our core values of "teamwork" and "trust." By promoting a sense of connection, we create a supportive environment where collaboration flourishes and trust thrives, enabling us to achieve great things together.

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