Connecting as a Virtual Team
The global professional landscape is experiencing a (hopefully) once in a lifetime shift during the novel COVID-19 pandemic. Many industries are allowing, if not requiring, their employees to work from home as a form of Social Distancing. Previously, many thought that even their essential employees needed to be in the office in order to be productive. This change in the employee climate is one that should be taken seriously; it’s entirely possible professionals across the country will want to stay remote even after this storm has eventually blown over.
Cheer Partners has been remote since its inception. We have employees and consultants on up and down the East and West Coasts, giving us a unique perspective to share some tips on keeping your remote culture engaged. Whether you have been remote for 1 year or one week, here there are many ways that managers and colleagues can continue to foster meaningful, productive relationships from across the computer screen. Keeping in mind that every organization is different, here are some tips and opportunities we recommend to help bridge the virtual divide.
Virtual Coffees & Virtual Happy Hours: Working remotely can be a drastic change for employees and managers who are used to collaborating in shared spaces or catching up at the water cooler. Set aside time for video calls, whether it’s one-on-one or as a team to make that time for small talk. Not every meeting should revolve around business or the latest news; schedule a team cool down session at the end of the day or during lunch so you can still have meaningful facetime with each other.
Meaningful Gifts: Depending on your organization’s size and budget, managers should consider sharing some form of pick-me-up with their teams. Maybe you send out an Amazon gift card to buy essentials or send everyone a fresh bag of delicious coffee, or maybe you email thoughtful notes to each other. Any type of personal or helpful outreach can greatly increase the emotional connections your team may be lacking during this time.
Netflix Parties: Is connecting on Zoom, Teams or Skype to watch an episode of The Office together the best use of company time? Yes! Everyone needs time to decompress, finding a show or movie to watch with the team to laugh and relax together is vital.
The amount of technology we have at our fingertips these days means that working from home requires little more than WiFi and a laptop. Productivity can soar when you are in the comfort of your own home, relaxing in your favorite slippers. That being said, it’s easier to lose those personal connections that make life in an office so fun. During a time of volitivity and confusion, sticking together and staying connected during the workday is incredibly important to the success of your business and employees.