Creating a stimulating working environment can be challenging. It is even more so when you need to foster it in a virtual office.
Since the beginning of 2020, many companies have worked very hard on reaching more customers online. But nurturing a healthy workspace online is just as important.
With the whole team working from their homes, management has an ambitious task ahead: keeping the gang enthusiastic, engaged, and focused.
Managers and team leaders have come up with out-of-the-box ideas to keep their staff engaged and enthusiastic. In this post, you can find inspiration for shaking up the workflow and energizing your team.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
Virtual Team Building
First and foremost, we must agree it is vital that your company members keep a steady communication among themselves.
Building and maintaining a team depends a lot on individual connections you help build within your enterprise. If your online communication is done via email, for example, invest in team-building activities to inspire private chats between your employees.
It is recommended, though, to introduce new, less rigid communication channels as well. Community software such as Slack or Discord will make everyday contact easier and more efficient while opening a window for personal interactions and less formal channels.
Have Personal And Informal Channels
Open up space for informal gatherings. Create a zone where your coworkers can gather in their free time and chat.
Leave these channels open for exchanging gifs and memes, with a strict “no-work-talk” policy. This channel will simulate coffee breaks you would usually have in your office.
For example, Visme has introduced a Slack channel for their employees called “Visme pets”. Here, the international team can share photos and videos of their fluffy friends and keep a conversation relaxed.
Do your colleagues have a hobby they are passionate about? Find out what they enjoy and start a channel about their hiking endeavors, board games, music, etc.
Start Zoom Coffee Thursdays
Nearly a year and a half have passed since most teams started working online. Zoom fatigue has been increasing and it is sometimes hard to motivate people to actively participate in a constructive conversation.
But, not every Zoom meeting has to be so intense. Open a time slot once a week from your company account, where your colleagues can gather and chat.
This should be a safe space for sharing personal ideas, challenges, stories. It will help everyone recharge their batteries and reduce stress during the week.
Encourage Their Hobbies
Working full-time online can be tiring, and frequently it leads to burnout. To help your employees stay on track and take care of their mental health, you can think about reducing the working hours on a weekly level.
It is a good practice to knock off a couple of hours each week and support your colleagues to work on their hobbies. Not only will this help your coworkers be more motivated and relaxed, it can also deliver new ideas for expanding your business.
At Jooble, each employee gets 10% of their working hours to dedicate to their own personal projects. They can manage this time as they want, which enables them to be creative and experiment on new applications of your own business features.
Remind Them To Focus On Their Wellbeing
A company that cares about its employees is precious. By showing you care and value for your team, you will have a loyal and dedicated crew on your side.
Remind your team to go outside, exercise, and eat healthily. Every once in a while you can share a healthy diet and fun facts about the wellness of their bodies and mind.
Knowing that stress is the enemy number one in the digital working environments, share useful tips and articles about stress management, and burnout prevention.
Put a little extra effort and make infographics to visualize your messages and joy your colleagues.
You will gain more if your coworkers are relaxed, focused, inspired, healthy, and full of energy.
Foster Two-Way Communication
Sharing useful information and insights with your team is crucial, no doubt there. But you should always keep your door open for your employees to communicate with you as well.
Carefully address every concern and challenge they present you, including them in your business management from top to bottom.
For an enterprise to reach the maximum of its efficiency, it is best to integrate team members into decision-making processes on different scales and let them contribute to the growth of the company as a whole.
Create Games To Spice Things Up
From virtual karaoke to online board games, there are many creative ways to bring playfulness into your everyday working surroundings.
Find what your team enjoys the most and host a virtual treasure hunt, trivia games, or a special game night reviving the classic video games from your childhood. Escape games are also a great option, not only because they’re fun but because they are collaborative and perfect for team building. Sites like https://escapely.com/ offer a convenient alternative to in-person escape room experiences while allowing your team to connect no matter where they are located around the world.
If you were to host a scavenger hunt, this could be a good team-building activity as well. Organize randomly paired teams and see how they will work together on solving a playful challenge.
To really spice things up, offer an award for the winners: a bonus on top of their salaries, one extra day off, or a voucher to purchase something fun online.
Games are designed to be fun and they are a good way to develop a coherent team. However, a little bit of competition cannot be harmful from time to time, to boost the adrenaline on slow working days.
Hear Out Their Ideas
Whether you are inspired to come up with creative ideas and keep the spirit up in the company, or you are struggling to decide which way to go – it is always a good idea to simply ask.
Share your ideas in a poll with the whole team and let them vote on which activity they would enjoy each week. Do a bit of informal research to discover their passions, hobbies, and interests you can support them with.
Keeping up the good work is not always easy, and working remotely has its challenges.
To have your team excel and continuously improve, it is of utmost importance to help them feel valued and cared for.
Don’t be afraid to try something new, and be creative when it comes to adding novelties to your everyday work routines.
And remember: a job shouldn’t be a cause of stress, it should be a purpose-driven experience.
Nina Petrov is a content writer, passionate about graphic design, content marketing, and the new generation of green and social businesses. She starts the day scrolling her digest on new digital trends while sipping a cup of coffee with milk and sugar. Her white little bunny tends to reply to your emails when she is on vacation.