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Supporting our team during the COVID-19 pandemic

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March 27, 2020

Author: Alix Emden

Post authored by Alix Emden, Operations Lead and Jacqueline Edwards, COO. 

Medic Mobile consists of 84 teammates geographically spread across 13 countries and 32 cities. Typically, a majority of these teammates sit in our regional hubs in Seattle, Kathmandu, Dakar, Kampala, and Nairobi. Like most organizations around the world, we have suddenly found ourselves operating as a fully remote team.

Having functioned as a distributed team for over a decade, we feel uniquely equipped to take on this challenge. While a majority of teammates are based in hubs, over 35% of our team is remote and as a result we practice remote-first principles so that all teammates are able to engage and contribute effectively. 

For the past two years, our team has used Notion as our internal wiki - a resource where teammates can go to find essential information; from our policies, benefits, internal team pages sharing folks’ hobbies and location, to a virtual library, a conference and event planning calendar and more. We also built pages to share how to work effectively in a remote-first environment, including resources such as Internal Communication Guidelines, Distributed Work Tips and Tools and Guidelines for Conducting Remote Meetings

Our team has been exceptionally busy the past couple of weeks, working on urgent issues and responding in solidarity with partners and health workers around the world. In response to the current pandemic, our Internal Operations team has also stepped up to create a number of additional resources to support Medic Mobile teammates during this chaotic time. 

Regular Internal Updates 

The first is a new Notion page called “Covid-19 Updates” where our Internal Ops and Leadership Teams are providing regular, almost daily, communication around the pandemic and sharing evidence-based guidance released by the WHO and CDC. We’ve committed to live updates to our benefits and policies, and links to credible resources to stay up to date on the situation around the world. One of our updates includes offering unlimited paid sick leave during the pandemic period for those directly affected. 

Staying Well & Staying Connected 

The second is a page called “COVID-19- Staying Well & Connected”. Medic has always been committed to staying connected, despite not being in the same physical space. While our team is practicing social distancing, we are organizing additional online social sessions for our internal team to check in with one another and internally crowd-source resources for helping to keep us well during these uncertain times. We’ve assembled on Zoom and Google Hangouts Meet for extra coffee hours and happy hours, to make sure teammates have time to look up from their hard work and connect with one another. Our Internal Operations team has also curated ideas on how to get moving every day, meditate, learn a new skill, or relax with some music. 

Making work work for everyone at Medic

Further, at Medic, we are committed to improving gender equity in both our organization’s impact and also in how our team operates. Our mission focuses on supporting health workers, the majority of which are women, who work tirelessly to deliver care to mothers and children in their communities. Inside our own organization, half of our leadership team and over 40% of our organization are made up of women. We know that pandemics do not affect everyone in the same way, and exacerbate prevailing inequities. 

Evidence and history show us that the burden of care for ill family members and children that are out of school will typically fall to women, both around the world and inside individual homes. This is made more difficult while social distancing, knowing that other forms of community support are no longer available to families. At Medic, we see each other as a whole people and are actively working with any teammates who have additional care responsibilities, to ensure that they are able to meet the needs of their families, by providing a flexible schedule and ongoing support from other teammates. In addition to policy updates and organized social time together online, we have a womxn at Medic slack channel to create space for additional conversations, solidarity, and understanding around gender in the workplace. 

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In these unprecedented times, we remain committed to our organizational values of humanity, solidarity, openness, initiative, and creativity to guide our interactions and ground our team. Now, more than ever, we practice empathy with our partners, community health workers, and colleagues as we adjust to a new normal. 

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