While some workers never returned to the office after the initial lockdowns at the beginning of this global pandemic, a new wave of rising cases has forced other businesses out of the office and back home once again. While technology has enabled us to accomplish much of our day-to-day work from virtually anywhere, that convenience can often come with a price tag of isolation or loneliness.
Employees that used to enjoy the camaraderie of an office space can often feel disconnected when trying to accomplish their work remotely. Simple questions are no longer answered by walking a few steps to their coworker’s desk. Water cooler or breakroom conversation is nonexistent. The more employees work remotely, the more acutely aware we become of the significance of having one communal workspace.
There are things you can do as a business leader to leverage the same technology that’s keeping you productive to foster a sense of connection and teamwork. Here are five ways to get started:
#1: Make Team Calls A Priority
Working remotely can leave employees feeling exhausted with video calls, and it’s easy to dismiss a team call if there isn’t any major update or information for your team to learn. However, without a consistent point of connection, teams can begin to feel disconnected and isolated.
No matter how long or short, prioritize a team video call in a consistent manner so that every employee knows they will be connected at some point during the day or week with the rest of their team.
#2: Encourage Team Projects
When everyone is working in different places, it’s easy to assume efficiency means delegating tasks out individually. However, this can cause some employees to feel stranded if they have a question or face a challenge since they can’t make a quick trip to their coworker’s desk anymore.
Instead, encourage employees to partner together to achieve work goals or complete more complex tasks. Let them know that it’s okay to reach out to one another throughout the week for advice or quick questions about a project. This fosters a sense of teamwork even though everyone is physically separated.
#3: Plant Your Flags
Use this time to reinforce your company culture. Plant your figurative flag in the ground about what your company stands for, its values, and what it intends to accomplish. Uncertainty can be detrimental to team morale. Especially while you’re working apart, give your employees something they can rally around.
#4: Continue On-The-Job Learning
Virtual training, such as Lunch and Learn sessions, are a great way to connect your employees and promote an informal way of learning together. Let your employees lead sessions with their peers to create an opportunity to ask questions and build community.
#5: Host Social Events
Most employees don’t realize how much they enjoyed their mid-morning coffee break or after-work drinks until those social gatherings are no longer options.
Use video calls to host a social event to create natural conversations and to bring employees together outside of shoptalk. The very attempt at creating a space in which employees will feel personally connected to one another can build workplace morale and foster a stronger sense of company loyalty.
Want to Know More?
For more valuable advice on how to lead your business during these uncertain times, join the Entrepreneurs Organization of Birmingham. Your membership will connect you with other helpful resources and fellow business leaders in the area. Find out if you qualify for membership today and set yourself up for continued personal and professional success.