Team Yozu

A Life of Its Own: The Yozu Weekly Mag…

Nov 03, 20214 min readBY Yozu Weekly Mag

By Yozu

Yozu Content Writer, Jade Rice, explains how a simple action blossomed into a company essential during 2020 and beyond…

As with, well, everything when the pandemic hit, learning to adapt to new ways of communicating and retaining a sense of team spirit presented a new challenge for Yozu. In the wake of multiple lockdowns, government-enforced working from home and too many buffering Zoom calls to count, maintaining our culture, our Yozu-ness, was a hurdle we’d never had to consider before. What had always come naturally, authentically (and, for the most part, very much in person) was suddenly at risk; how could we possibly recreate what made Yozu so special – the support, collaboration, humour, friendly chats and inside jokes – when our only means of communication were online? How could we reproduce the warmth of the office environment; the brew-making catch-ups; or the lunchtime laughs when we’d already exhausted our meme and gif archives after just a few short weeks?

Enter the Yozu WeeklyMag… 

Rome wasn’t built in a day – and neither was the WeeklyMag. Its beginnings were humble yet necessary; Kirsty Cashen, our Head of Business Support (and, unofficially, all-round superhero and office mama) began to issue a weekly roundup of business updates via Slack, typically finishing with a joke or noting something funny that had happened during the week. Hungry for the typical Yozu chit-chat and tomfoolery, the team responded enthusiastically, adding their own insights, jokes and thoughts. Savvy Kirsty instantly began to collate the responses, making sure to include them in the following week’s update – and so the snowball effect began.

Fast-forward a few weeks and Kirsty’s Slack updates had become weekly Google docs; still simple in their format and content, yet growing week-by-week.

Yozu-ers came to rely on that specific *ding* that would alert them to that week’s update – and, with it, a little dose of much-needed Yozu-ness.

Sure, this all sounds a little dramatic – but there is a wealth of evidence to support the importance of non-work related conversation between employees. In fact, a research group at MIT found that workers who felt more connected had greater job satisfaction (and were shown to be more productive). Besides, who didn’t get more excited by the little things during the many lockdowns of 2020? Stuck in our (often makeshift) home offices and starved of anything beyond the walls of our abode, it was those little sparks that kept us going. And the sparks of those early Google docs started something of a fire for Yozu…

Before long, the Google doc had been replaced with the all-singing, all-dancing ‘WeeklyMag’ that we still have today – long after many of us have returned to the office. Covering everything from project updates and industry insights to ‘bad dad jokes’, recommendations and employee-written articles, the WeeklyMag continues to be a useful way for the business to communicate with its staff. But, more importantly, it’s a great way for the staff to communicate with each other. Especially good at connecting teams that may not typically work together regularly, the magazine often ignites real-life conversations that might have never taken place otherwise. It offers an even playing field for contributions and input, thoughts and insights, giving each and every member of the team a voice.

Will the WeeklyMag go on forever? Who knows. But, for now, it continues to provide a sense of camaraderie for the team that reminds us of one of our core values; we’re stronger together – and that is at the very heart of our Yozu-ness.

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