Virtual meeting with many people together. African-American young guy talking online with employees via video connection. Multiracial team. Back view

By: Lauren Ricketts

Before the age of Skype, Microsoft Teams, or Zoom, employees would come into a building every day to get their work done. They would see each other in person, have interactions, and do daily activities like eating lunch with each other. Managers would keep their team connected and interested in tasks by hosting team dinners or throwing parties in the conference room. Coworkers would take small mental breaks such as stopping by each other’s desk to talk. The company as a whole would host family days so that an employee’s family could see where they worked or what they did. 

But because it is so much more accessible to work from the comfort of your home, many have chosen this option. Keeping your team engaged while working from home can be a struggle. But it’s not completely impossible to do. With these tips, you can help keep each member of your team at work connected and on-task while working remotely. 

Team Group Chats

Within your team at work, you can keep employees connected through ongoing group chats. You can create a special conversation chain on Microsoft Teams so that your employees can constantly send messages or ask questions instead of long, drawn-out emails or unnecessary meetings. You can even create weekly prompts to get responses such as “send a selfie of you and your pet” to create fun, light-hearted conversations. 

Games

Keep your team interested and entertained with weekly or monthly games. It can be over a group meeting or through email responses. This allows them to have a small mental break from work to think about something fun and interesting that may foster further conversations. You can even offer rewards from as little as $5 gift cards to a paid half-day at work. Complicated or simple, this is always a winner in my experience.

Here’s a link to some fun game ideas to try with your team today!

https://connecteam.com/team-building-games-remote-workers/

Virtual Parties

When it’s time for celebration, sometimes you can’t always do it in person. Plan some time during the workday or even right after “normal work hours” to host a party for Bridal or Baby showers, or even birthdays. Recently, a company mailed gifts to their coworker who was having a baby. They joined a group video call and watched as she opened all the gifts she had been sent. There are still ways to enjoy life’s celebrations even when you are physically apart.

Include the Family

While many companies no longer have physical buildings to host “Family Day” celebrations, you can still include your loved ones in getting to know the business and the people you work with. Include children in games over the summer when you know their home with the parents, or significant others for a “get to know me.” We talk about those around us so often, sometimes it’s nice to let those around us at work meet them too. And we can’t forget “bring your pet to the morning meeting” days!

I hope you can take some of these helpful tips and apply them to your team to encourage engagement and stay focused on the tasks at hand. Let us know if you have any suggestions and maybe they’ll be featured in the next post! 

Remember to always find ways to have fun with your team, but also take time to focus on yourself too. follow this link to learn more about maintaining motivation as a business professional. You have to be the best you for yourself, before you can give into others.

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