These days, many of us are fortunate to be able to work from home, and maintian safe social-distancing protocol amoungst our work teams. The conveience and flexiblity of a WFH arrangement can be highly rewarding, but video conferencing fatigue and a general sense of disconnect are very real experiences as well.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the world in immeasurable ways, and our everyday grinds are no less impacted at the individual level. However, working remotely does not have to be any less engaging as we navigate the health and safety or our communities and professional networks. The same technology that allows us to work from the comfort of our couches also presents creative opportunities for teams to interact virtually, even in circumstances that aren’t ideal. The same possibilies exsist for professioanl networkig groups, event-based membership organizations like MarCom, and other in-person business operations.
In fact, for many teams, the dynamic switch to working remotely has helped solidify processes and touch points that keep people connected and engaged. Here at MarCom, we have certainly been abale to stay productive as a Board by utlizing web-based organization tools like Slack, and leveraging video conferencing services such as Zoom to host meetings, breakfast programs, and even a Saprk Award virtual cerimony.
Most importantly, strong relationships are what help people stay productive and maintain business continuity, while also boosting morale during challenging times. Below are a few tips to help any team bond and stay connected while working remotely. Let us know which ones you currently use or are excited to try!
- Schedule a daily or weekly group check-in. Bonus points if everyone turns their camera on! 📸
- Leaders can implement regular office hour windows so employees can dial-in and discuss current topics or questions. 📞
- Make use of shared calendars to help track everyone’s availability. 📅
- Encourage teammates to share big picture concerns or questions, talk through responses as a group, and offer support where possible. 🤝
- Champion health and wellness: exercise challenges, share healthy recipes, and encourage everyone to prioritize family. 👪
- Host a virtual happy hour, coffee or lunch break, with everyone bringing their beverage or food of choice to a video chat room. ☕
- Develop creative team engagement challenges on a regular basis - for example themed dress days or trivia activities. Consider a small prize for “winners” as voted on by the team. 🏆
- Conduct virtual tours of your team member’s workspaces, to build empathy and so everyone can see what it's like for colleagues to work remotely. Pet appearances are a plus! 🐾
- Start a virtual book club that meets weekly or monthly. 📚
- Set up a “virtual water cooler” discussion board/chat room where people can spend a few minutes engaged with their colleagues in casual conversation.🗣️