Who would have thought in March that many of us would still be working remote as we enter October? Being isolated from your coworkers can be a new – and at times disheartening – feeling. In true human fashion, however, we have seen just how resourceful we can be with our backs against the wall. Being apart physically does not mean you have to lose “touch.”
In fact, for so many around the world, remote work has led to quite the renaissance in creativity. Read on to discover a few ways to stay connected with your coworkers, wherever you may call the office.
1. Virtual Happy Hour
Prior to quarantine, how often did you have a chance to spend a block of time getting to learn about those you work with at a personal level? Families, appointments, dinners – it is hard to feel truly connected with 21st Century lifestyles.
Perhaps the greatest benefit to the world slowing down, has been, the world slowing down. Those outside factors are pulling in less directions and schedules have opened up. There is no greater way to strip down the guard walls and unwind than with a nice cocktail (or mocktail) with your peers.
While good conversation is a start, the best virtual happy hours are those filled with games and activities meant to take the mind off of the stresses of the work day.
From costume parties, to karaoke, to charades, the less serious you take each other the stronger your relationships, and work, will be.
For more virtual happy hour game ideas, click here.
2. Group Chats
Of the concerns brought about by remote work, team cohesiveness is among the largest. In fact, 75% of managers are concerned with a decrease of team chemistry while out of the workplace environment.
While there is no replacement for face-to-face interaction, team group chats are an easy and informal way to maintain communication with peers between meetings. Tools like Microsoft Teams, Slack, and the like make collaboration and brain storming throughout the day a breeze.
Thought-provoking questions or prompts to start the day, a “how are you” during the afternoon stretch, or the latest trending news can bring the joy of the office to a virtual setting. Maintaining contact with teammates will make sure chemistry is never a concern.
3. Team Lunch Hours
Without the structure of a normal workday setting, many people find themselves working through lunch and meal times, opting to fit in a bite to eat when they can.
With a finite amount of hours in the day, it is understandable to keep chugging along. But what if, even for only a few minutes, we took a break and came together over lunch? This can be a time to unwind, a time to share thoughts on the day’s tasks, or even just enjoy a friendly face.
You would be surprised how important lunch can be. Statistics show that 90% of employees feel refreshed after a proper lunch break, while 81% said daily stops for lunch gave them the desire to be an active member of the company.
So grab your team and your favorite sandwich or snack, and just take a lunch.
4. Celebrate Milestones
There is nothing that boosts morale quite like recognition of achievement. With that in mind, it is important to recognize even the smallest milestone!
Staying in tune with birthdays, work anniversaries, and project roll outs is a great way to show your team you care, even when working remote. Here are a few ideas of how to celebrate milestones in your organization:
- A personalized email
- Submission to your company’s recognition program
- Surprise celebration meeting slots
- Small gift like flowers or a snack assortment
Any of these gestures are small acts that go a long way. Smiles and well wishes are a few of the most enjoyable aspects of office life. Taking a few minutes out of your day to put that smile on someone else’s face is time well spent.
If there is one thing that a worldwide pandemic has taught us, it is the power of people. Whether you are in the workplace, working remote, or a combination of both, staying connected is what makes us human. Whichever way you choose to connect will always be the right one.