COVID-19 has changed remote work into the new normal and this will continue for some individuals indefinitely. The digital marketing industry was lucky in the respect that most work could be done remotely. Other industries were not as lucky as there were massive shutdowns of businesses worldwide. Maintaining that team environment when working remotely will require management to become far more creative.Below are a few outside of the box ideas that could help maintain company culture and team unity.
Free Lunches Can Change
Free lunches might be all a company needed in the past to have a staff bond by eating together. Delivery food is as popular as it has ever been due to the pandemic. Providing lunch by sending it to the homes of employees then jumping on Zoom can bring back that office banter. Pizza party Fridays can be a great idea where at a certain hour all employees get a free pizza and can enjoy it with the beverage of their choice. Employees most likely miss engaging with their coworkers so set a time where they can do so.
Keep a Section For Fun on Your Communication Channels
A company could be using Slack, Skype, or a number of other instant messaging platforms to communicate. Creating a channel where employees can post their accomplishments or even pictures of their pets can improve morale. Employee anniversaries should also be announced as company loyalty in today’s world seems to be constantly dwindling. This will keep conversations meant for banter from the channels that are dedicated to serious projects. Birthdays are another thing that needs to be mentioned as being wished a happy birthday in these trying times can mean a lot.
Virtual Happy Hours
Happy hour has become a part of the past for a number of people where bars are closed. Happy hour can be the perfect time to unwind and truly to get to know your coworkers outside of the office. These events are usually optional after work but an hour out of the week to do this can boost morale. Coworkers miss their friends as they spend a large amount of time with them and might have done so for years.
Add an Element of Competition
The creation of some kind of competition that is production-driven can drive up morale. There will be those employees that truly thrive off of the competition. Others will enjoy the change in their daily routine that the competition has created. Bonuses can be great but employees might also be motivated by an extra day of PTO. There should be a scoreboard that resets monthly as you do not want teams getting far behind and giving less than an honest effort.
Keep Internal Zoom Meetings Fun
Zoom meetings are a way of life for a number of remote workers across the globe. The backgrounds of your video being changed can add that flair. Some companies with a penchant for fun even dress in costumes for their internal meetings. There is a chance that the laugh an employee gets during a meeting could be the only one until their day of work is completed. Remote work tools can allow the entire staff to stay connected at a higher level than if they were in the office.
Weekly Check-Ins Are Important
The truth is that a struggling employee might not want to reach out to ask for help when working remotely. They might think that they will lose their job due to struggling while working remotely. Other employees might just think it is nice to catch up with a coworker and any concerns can be addressed. Setting these weekly can help break up your day between meetings and production-based tasks.
Maintaining any type of company culture or team unity is more difficult than ever. The traditional work environment had decades for managers across the globe to build teams and company cultures. We are now in a time where we have had a year to do so with some companies struggling behind.