Some companies are beginning to question how to maintain their culture and connectivity with employees working from…literally everywhere. But there are countless innovative ways to stay in touch with your co-workers. It just takes a little imagination and creativity. That’s where we can help.
d.trio is already effectively implementing a number of highly recommended practices. In fact, we started using some of them almost immediately once the mandatory quarantine became effective. For instance, we have weekly status meetings with Megan and our manager to stay connected personally and professionally. And we have a weekly coffee break where Mark challenges us with games easily played over video chat.
The team also uses Slack to maintain a running conversation. Fred routinely posts a joke (or three), Tim puts an “animal of the day” photo up which quickly generates more image postings, or somebody asks “Why is it snowing in October?”. None of it’s work related. All of it is discussion worthy.
Of course, one of the most obvious and easiest ways to maintain personal connections is to pick up the phone and call someone instead of sending your 900th email of the day. Or take it a step further and facetime with them.
Following are other more innovative ideas to stay in touch. But whatever you choose to implement at your workplace, keep in mind that every employee and individual is different. And their comfort levels vary. Rather than making things mandatory, be considerate and respectful of your co-workers’ boundaries. The most important thing is to make it an enjoyable and meaningful experience for all who wish to participate – at whatever level.
Rethink your meetings:
- Start meetings off on a personal note by having a round robin of “Today I…” Ask every individual to answer today’s question, for instance, “Today I ate…”, “Today I saw…” or “Today I wondered…”. Options are limitless. And it helps reinforce the human aspects of business and our need to be connected with our co-workers.
- Incorporate the standard improv mantra of “Yes, and…” into your team meetings. Rather than letting conversations die out with the speaker, encourage others to pick up the thread and expound on them.
- Try using the Six Thinking Hats concept for strategic or brainstorming meetings. Each person is assigned a role to help generate conversation or keep it on track. Or in other cases, disrupt it.
- Take advantage of colleagues who have a passion and are interested in teaching or sharing what they know. Get your yoga enthusiast to host a 30-minute Vinyasa session. Odds are the avid readers in the group would love to share their recommendations in a monthly book club meeting. Host a virtual photo book – ask everyone to select a favorite recent photo to share and learn from the experts how to improve your skills.
- Schedule a monthly Lunch and Learn. Ask for volunteers to research a subject of interest and connect with partners or guest speakers to share their knowledge. Encourage employees to take turns volunteering to host the meetings for more widespread ideas and participation.
- If you work all alone in your house, the days can be long and quiet. Try opening up a video chat with a co-worker to emulate working next to them. It can be nice just to hear somebody else’s keyboard clicking along with your own. And you can throw a random question their way to help with a project you’re working on.
- Taco Tuesdays don’t have to be a thing of the past. Coordinate a monthly lunch. Have an employee select a recipe and distribute it in advance. Employees can make it together and then sit down and eat together just like in the good old days. Okay – well not exactly the same. But perhaps better than making a cold sandwich and eating alone.
Check out this article for other ideas on how to increase connectivity in a remote world. And if you come up with some good ideas at your office, please share them with us. We’re game for anything.