We’ve all read about (and have quite possibly experienced) how working from home on a prolonged basis can lead to a lack of productivity or even depression. A complete absence of social interaction, even informal water-cooler talk, can have a negative impact on your team; likewise finding positive, fun ways to stay connected can have a palpable boost on team morale. Here are simple, cost effective ways you can keep your troops engaged while still focusing on the tasks at hand:
1. VIRTUAL HAPPY HOUR >
End-of-day-drinks don’t need to end just because you can’t go to your local hotspot. Happy Hour traditions can, and should, continue while staying Safer at Home! There are lots of creative ways to manage this:
1) Schedule your Happy Hour for the same day of the week and time of day each week, that way everyone can plan their required tasks accordingly and actually look forward to their weekly tradition. Add Happy Hour events to the company calendar, and don’t cancel it unless you absolutely need to – treat it like a company meeting in terms of importance but keep it casual in terms of content.
2) Designate a theme or location for your happy hour. Then you can encourage everyone to change their virtual backgrounds and pour thematic drinks, creating some unity and fun while getting back a little piece of normalcy. If you need ideas, Canva offers 30 days of free templates.
3) Make it optional, off the clock. That way folks can truly enjoy their event without the pressure of a required work function. You can make the intent of this type of gathering abundantly clear – it’s just to gather, see one another, and enjoy each other’s company.
2. CELEBRATE ONE ANOTHER WITH SPIRIT CELEBRATIONS >
It’s it Michelle from Shipping’s birthday? Did Lorenzo in HR just celebrate 30 years with the company? Don’t let these milestones pass without attention and merry making! By pre-scheduling on a unified company calendar, planning ahead with a strategic streamer or recorded birthday song, or perhaps mailing a gift or two to folks in anticipation of a company gathering, you can keep your team connected while also providing folks with absolute joy.
These spirit celebrations should be 15-20 minutes, at that length they will be appreciated by your colleagues without taking over the whole day, and of course a welcome break from isolation.
3. UNITE YOUR TEAM WITH TEAM BUILDING TOOLS
Drinks and celebrations are wonderful, but it may also be prudent to facilitate deeper conversations with your team in an on-going basis in a more one-on-one capacity. Programs such as 15Five allow you to have regular check ins with all staff members while also providing coaching, relaxation tips, focus-barometers, and the ability to flag critical responses for future follow-up. This tool can also be used as a replacement of an annual performance review in favor of a more holistic, customizable assessment.
We send our best wishes to all of the many teams working remotely during these unprecedented times!
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