During this time of working remotely, it’s more important than ever to stay connected to your team in order to continue to be engaged and to stay motivated. Regardless of whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, maintaining these connections is vital. The simple act of tapping someone on the shoulder in the cubicle next to you is no longer an option, so how can we keep those connections strong?

The HR team at RLB has a few suggestions on how this can be accomplished:

  1. Slack or similar Programs- These products were initially designed as an alternative to email as a mode of daily communication. The program includes email, instant messaging, and chat channels that workplaces can personalize, much like social media. Above and beyond their initial or basic functions, this is a gateway for members to share personal updates about how they’re getting through working from home, It could be as simple as posting a photo of their favourite mug, introducing a furry companion, or even sharing stories of their indoor adventures from the past weekend. There is also an opportunity share crucial COVID-19 updates, including the latest guidelines and regulations, or your workplaces best practices. Instant messaging also allows team members to see when others are online and available which can help facilitate meetings and chats easier.
  2. Video Conferencing – many people will be familiar with Zoom meetings by now. These platforms allow for virtual meetings with a video component, which allows team members to make visual connections and gives the ability to read facial expressions. It’s also an excellent way to be less formal with each other. Consider booking weekly check-ins with your team, scheduling a video lunch break one to one with a teammate, or even hosting an online ‘game night’ from your own living room to stay connected with each other. As an added tool, most video conferencing programs also offer instant messaging to participants during calls.
  3. Google Hangouts- This is an excellent option for meetings and PowerPoints to share notes while staying connected and sharing information among team members.

Above and beyond maintaining these working relationships and connections within your team, it’s important to continue having casual conversations, both among team members and those on other teams. Much like you would in the workplace, standing at the coffee station or casually in the hallways. These kinds of connections will keep morale up during this time. Here are a few suggestions of how to get members participating in fun tech exchanges:

  1. Virtual yoga – for willing participants, schedule a time where everyone can log in to participate in a mindfulness moment. Not only will your team bond through the session, but it also encourages you to move your bodies a little more than you have been these days. Many local studios are offering virtual zoom classes if your organization wants to take class to the next level.
  2. Team/group movie night – set up a poll for members to select a film, then schedule a time to watch. Team members (and their families) can log in to enjoy the movie all at the same time. Commence film criticizing among members when the film is over, if desired, or enable the chat feature within the video call.
  3. Multiplayer online gaming tournament – put a call out to your team to see who wants to play. Select a game and create teams and then let off some steam while racing/building/strategizing to the finish. Take it a step further by creating a printable template for awards to hand out after the gaming session. Participants can hang them in the background of their next Zoom meeting.
  4. Baking/cooking family show – select a menu item and invite your team to join via video chat. You can share a recipe with your team members. This is your chance to channel your inner Rachel Ray and cook the recipe live so that others can make it at home too. (Everyone has been asking you for your chili recipe anyway…)

As a team leader, it’s up to you to communicate with your team. Now more than ever, you need to be available and visible and to let them know that you’re here for them. If you need other suggestions on how to stay connected with your team, contact the HR team at RLB today.