Yup, remote working is here to stay. And most people aren’t complaining. There’s less stress, more productivity, no commuting, big cost savings… So it’s all good news, right? Well, not quite. Working remotely can be very isolating and lonely. The emphasis is on companies to make sure that remote workers are connected to the rest of the organisation, and that there’s an involving and loving sense of community. And that’s the tricky part.
Luckily, we have a bunch of brilliant ideas of how to improve employees’ morale, build bonds and boost mental wellness.
Schedule virtual breaks
In an office, you’d have a break once in a while wouldn’t you? You’d make a coffee, grab the nearest chum, and take a few minutes out of your day for a catch-up. There’s no reason you can’t do something similar when working remotely. Encourage and organise virtual breaks by letting people you’ll be online at a certain time for a gossip.
Why not go one better and book an hour out for a virtual team lunch? A sandwich and some small talk really helps workers connect with each other on a human level. Perhaps put some kind of flexible structure behind it, to keep things bouncing along. Things we’ve achieved so far this year perhaps.
Regular team check-ins
Regularly checking in with your team is absolutely vital for keeping a sense of togetherness and community. Make them weekly, or daily if you can. And even if there’s nothing new to report, have it anyway. If someone is feeling a little isolated, just interacting with people does wonders.
Everyone loves coming together for shared interests. Maybe it’s a book club, a cooking club, or a movie club. It’s an excellent way for a team to feel closer by finding common ground. You might never know that the girl in accounts is a massive Star Wars geek. Or that the new starter loves Agatha Christie novels. Maybe even try a Netflix Party movie night, where you all watch the latest film at the same time and then compare notes?
A team that plays together, stays together
Bring in a little competitiveness edge by arranging an online quiz or karaoke. For something a bit more ‘old school’, suggest a digital version of a much-loved board game – there are loads out there. Or you could really crank things up by organising more energetic challenges, like virtual cycling races.
Anything you can do to help connect with workers, maintain a structure and lift spirits can only be a good thing. Remember, remote working will be an amazing shift in how we do things – we just can’t forget the human side to that.