At Jobber Group / Breaking the Bias our hearts go out to everyone around the world that is being affected by the coronavirus. We have a saying in our company, “take care of the person next to you,” and situations like this remind us that we’re all connected.

Employees, companies, communities won’t get through this on their own; we have to create space for our employees to bring their whole selves to work, even if it is remotely. We have to create room for self-care, compassionate empathy, and support that helps all teams stay mentally and physically strong.

We adopted the remote workforce model about 2 years ago and have learned a lot along the way. Many of our clients are struggling to figure out appropriate work from home measures and strategies so we will attempt to help by sharing information periodically about best practices and ideas that have worked for us.

At Jobber Group / Breaking the Bias, even as we continue to serve our customers, our top priority is keeping our employees, families, and communities healthy and safe. We are moving all possible Breaking the Bias unconscious bias trainings to remote web sessions and have implemented new strategies to enhance work from home productivity.

Business must go on, but it won’t be business as usual for many. We must all wake up every day and keep moving forward. As people we are resilient and strong but let us keep social responsibility and people-first strategies at the front of our efforts.

Here is one of my favorite things that we do as a remote team!

Traffic Light Check-in

This is a simple and quick way to do a team check- in at the beginning of a call. It creates team cohesion, unlocks opportunities to support any team member who is just having an off day, and is what we call an Empathy Activator for our organization.

How to do it:

  1. At the start of the call one team member facilitates the quick check-in by essentially doing a roll call.
  2. As opposed to responding with “here” like we did in grade school, each team member responds with a color (Red, Yellow, Green). Be prepared for people to make up colors as well such as Lime Green, Orange, etc. but you’ll still get the point. As you would imagine, each color has a meaning:
    1. Red – I’m here but I may be struggling a lot today. I’m not able to be at my best but I will still be able to contribute in some way. I don’t want to be excluded.
    2. Yellow – I’m not quite myself. Maybe I don’t feel 100% physically or maybe I had to stay up all night with a sick child. Either way, I’m here but I won’t be hitting any homeruns.
    3. Green – I’m here and ready to run full speed ahead. I’m even willing to help any team member who is feeling Red today, just call on me, I’m ready, willing and able!
  3. Team members don’t need to elaborate – usually they will say elude to something but the simple colors let us tap into how everyone is doing and bring us closer together as a team for the day.

Why do it:

  1. By default, people think they have to put on a Green face every day. This check-in creates vulnerability and trust within a team and work great for team cohesion both remotely and in person.
  2. This let’s people feel like they can truly bring their whole self to work. I don’t have to be my best for my team to accept me and allow me to contribute for the day.
  3. This helps leaders to see trends – if your whole team is Yellow for 7am calls but Green for calls at 11, maybe you should test moving your 7am call and see morale, productivity and engagement improve.
  4. This creates an environment where people feel supported, without having to air everything they are dealing with in their personal lives.

We are seeing changes from our customers every day in the midst of the current COVID-19 situation. We all have a part to play to help companies continue to succeed, keep the economy strong, and help our families and communities stay safe. Listen to public health experts. Wash our hands. Be patient and understanding. Remember that everyone is doing their best under very trying and unknown circumstances.


Joe Thurman
Co-Founder of Jobber Group / Breaking the Bias