The short answer: Absolutely!
Maintaining the teamwork dynamics when working remotely is crucial to the spirit of the whole team and their results. For companies who are used to a socially active environment, working remotely might get challenging after the adjusting-to-the-new-environment period is over. And many factors can affect productivity and the winning momentum of a team when working from home.
One of those important factors is to figure out how to keep up the social and informal aspects–how to enable and encourage the “coffee machine talks” and other social contacts when teams go virtual.
For Management Events, we’ve implemented homeworking initiatives and discovered a few findings from the last weeks that our teams have put in place:
- Check-in with teams every day – Each team has morning check-in and afternoon check-out where everyone dials in with video on to see each other and discuss plans for the day and on findings, learnings, and outcomes. Having a routine to see your colleagues again brings structure and care when working from home.
- Morning check-in can start with “Let me show my crib” – a view at each team member’s home office, how it is set up, and sharing a routine from the day – many innovations can come out of a suddenly new situation!
- Walking to work – team members who live in the surroundings of and easy access to nature, and are remote enough from other people–often go out for a 30-minute walk, the plans for the day are discussed while getting a good dose of fresh air.
- Have Team Lunch on Zoom or Teams – sharing what was made for lunch, sharing easy and delicious recipes to cook from their home office. With Zoom or Teams, you can still socialize with team members by discussing how to keep healthy and enjoy the lunch break together.
- Virtual Friday Bar – Wrap up the week over a drink from your home office, your balcony, sofa or even your garden – sharing weekend plans, saying thank you for the week and great teamwork and winding off from the office hustle. This can be just a 15-minutes chat to end the week together with a positive note!
Consider also establishing a virtual coffee machine or “lounge” in Zoom or Teams – a space where anyone from the office can pop by for a cup of coffee, chat about work or non-work related things and take a break from the routines. Sharing experiences of the new situation is important for all, to cope with the lack of seeing one another for some while.
And finally, make room to celebrate each small and big success during these times, share the good news actively and encourage people to congratulate each other in any of the channels and methods they see fits best! Virtual cards, flowers, and hugs will surely make the colleagues’ day!