A little more than three months ago, as the early days of the COVID-19 crisis were unfolding, companies nationwide were quickly adapting to support newly remote employees, shelter-in-place orders were taking effect, schools closed, and uncertainty loomed large.
One day, as she sat at a Taekwondo lesson with her son, CodeScience executive assistant Denise Erickson got a call from our CEO Brian Walsh. Their conversation didn’t focus on the logistics of supporting a dispersed team, since CodeScience has been a remote-first company since our founding. Instead, the conversation that followed struck an essential challenge: How to best support CodeScience employees as they balance their full-time day jobs and family commitments.
It Took — and Still Takes — a Village
A task force was put together, and the CodeScience Village was created. When the initiative launched, none of our team members knew exactly how long the COVID-19 pandemic would last. Now, a few months down the road, the CodeScience Village has become a living, breathing piece of the CodeScience cultural fabric. CodeScientists and their children alike find ways to interact with each other, learn, and have fun.
From weekly Dungeons & Dragons sessions to scavenger hunts, pet show and tells, and just regular chats, the CodeScience Village has given us a valuable glimpse into the lives of our fellow teammates. At a time when it’s so easy to feel isolated, our team has been able to enjoy the virtual company of our coworkers and their families outside the typical 9-5.
“For me personally, one of the biggest benefits of the CodeScience Village has been getting to know other CodeScientists more closely on a personal level,” says Denise. “It takes a certain degree of trust to open your home to your coworkers and, in doing so, we’ve been able to strengthen our company culture — providing parents with valuable work time while sharing more of the people we are outside of our jobs.”
Continuing to Evolve
Just as the current pandemic has defined and redefined what we consider normal, so is the Codescience Village evolving and adapting to these changes. As students in some areas prepare to return to the classroom, parents in other areas are preparing to fill the roles of parent and teacher — an incredible responsibility.
For some CodeScientists, the continued growth of CodeScience Village, as well as the developing COVID pandemic, has brought on new responsibilities and strengthened our company’s ability to navigate any uncertainties ahead.
“Prior to COVID, one of my favorite parts of my job as office manager was seeing everyone and talking to them in our Chattanooga office,” adds Kaila Dotson. “But prior to joining Codescience, I was a nanny, and I’ve always loved working with kids. Thanks to the CodeScience Village, I’ve been able to continue contributing even though our office is closed. It’s rewarding to turn one of my passions into helping other CodeScientists.”
The future of the present international health crisis may be unclear, but CodeScience’s commitment to our employees and the lives they lead at work, home, in between, won’t waver. As the school year approaches, our CodeScience Village team has already begun researching and surveying parents to identify areas where our company can support.
Stayed tuned for more updates as the CodeScience Village initiative continues to take shape.