When we entered lockdown 2.0, we knew what to expect the second time around. We wanted to share these tried-and-true ways for staying connected with your team when they’re all working remotely. These 5 tips will have you boosting morale and smiling through this second wave.
Take A Break
While you want your team to be as productive as possible when working at home, it’s important to remember that we all need a break. When your team was in the workspace, there were times when they would stroll to the coffee machine and chat with a friend while filling their cup. Perhaps they went to drop something off on someone’s desk, and they got caught up on each other’s lives for a few minutes. No one works endlessly during the workday. The same should be valid when working from home. Consider hosting a coffee break where your team can come together, share some updates, have a few laughs and then get back to work. Encouraging a 15-minute virtual gathering will allow them to reconnect and feel that their lives are not all work and no play.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I rarely take a lunch break when working from home. I step away from my makeshift desk at the dining table, and I throw together something edible before returning to work. If I knew there was a fun lunch hour activity happening online, I just might take a break from my work to join in. Hosting a lunch hour trivia contest or utilizing many of the online games available to you (we love Kahoot around here), can give your team the chance to unplug for 30 minutes when they otherwise might not.
If you don’t already use a team chat app, we suggest you do this first. At RLB we use Slack, but there are many other apps available for this function including Microsoft Teams. Not only does this app reduce your email traffic, but it also allows your team some freedom to chat with their work friends on the side and even engage in daily activities. Having a group chat for sharing recipes, gifs, memes, or anything else can add some fun to your team members lives. You might even score Dana’s office-famous chili recipe!
In the “before times,” if you had a question for a team member, you might have picked up a phone or even walked over to their desk. Since we obviously can’t tap our coworkers on the shoulder physically, it’s time to do it virtually. Encourage your team to use video calls whenever possible. Having the ability to see someone’s face and read their body language and cues means less chance for miscommunications and a greater sense of connection. Plus, if you know you might end up on a video call at any moment, you might be more inclined to shower and brush your hair.
You Need A Champion
Every office has that one team member. The perky, bubbly one that is the first to sign up for volunteer duties, plans all the parties and always has a smile on their face. This is their time to shine! If their capacity allows, invite them to lead the charge for some virtual activities. Empower this person to post in the chat apps, share jokes, book coffee chats and be creative! This may be the work of a committee depending on your organization’s size; however, making employee engagement someone’s responsibility is the only way to keep things going. Let them know if there is a budget (no matter how small) and let their creativity soar. They may very well come up with morale boosters you couldn’t even dream of.