The business world was flipped on its side with stay-at-home orders. Who ever thought mass amounts of individuals would be working remotely this early? It seemed more like a distant technological future.
Unfortunately, working from home may make some of us miss the physicality of an office. (An office visit certainly would break up the monotony of home life right now.) Humans are social creatures; interacting is in our nature. This is why it is imperative to keep spirits lifted. We all have to take some creative measures to keep team morale up!
Communication… Say the Words
As Janet Jackson states in her catchy fashion, you must “say the words” to communicate. If you have a question or thought, (appropriately) spill it. Keeping lines of communication is even more important in remote scenarios.
Buffer and AngelList stated in The 2020 State of Remote Work report the hardest part of working remotely is a tie between “collaboration and communication” and “loneliness”. Reach out if something about work does not sit right. It is then that you can find the best solution for the problems with the team.
Cross-Country (or County) Bonding
Working with people you enjoy is… well, there is nothing like it. Meetings don’t have to just be about work. Spice things up with some playful conversation-provoking questions!
Fun questions to ask your colleagues that aren’t overdone:
- What would be your mundane superpower? (Ex: the ability to never have a red light or microwave anything to the perfect temperature)
- What would be your theme song if your life were a TV show?
- What household chore do you wish you never had to do again?
- It’s a Saturday. The sun is shining, and you have nothing planned. What do you do and where do you go?
- If you had to use a hero to fight for you in battle, who would you choose? Why?
- If you could live the life of a movie/TV character, who would you choose?
- Talk about the highs and the lows of each team member’s week.
- What is something you have accomplished (and did not think you would)?
There are so many ways to continue the conversation. Icebreaker games aren’t just for children. It always helps to bring a little fun liveliness into the mix.
Host Virtual Office Parties
Just because we are home does not mean we can’t celebrate. Celebrating birthdays, holiday parties, office victories, and other events can make team members feel more comfortable. Office parties even the playing field for employees. This way Stacy, the newbie, can speak to their boss, Sharon, without a weighty presence of foreboding authority. Tyson can have a conversation with his coworker, Denise, that is not about spreadsheets and consumer purchasing data. Overall, it is a nice change of pace when you see your team in a new light.
It is truly amazing how we can be millions of miles apart, and still cooperate to accomplish spectacular feats. Never have we lived in a world so technologically connected. We should be grateful to the individuals that have worked to create newer and faster modes of communication. This is how our economy remains grasping onto its former glory. One day, people will be back in the office, but for now, we should all stay thankful for the communication technology we have!