Even though things seem to be going “back to normal” (whatever that means), many companies are choosing to embrace the remote workforce, finding that their employees are happier and have a better work-life balance with the time they save by not going into the office. The major downside to this new way of life is the lack of human connection. After a year of Zoom-ing, it can be difficult to make remote connections enticing. Here are some great ways to keep your teams engaged with one another, without adding more work for your team.
In the course of a busy workday, small talk can start to fall by the wayside. You forget to ask “how are you doing?” or “any plans for the weekend?” when you’re in the midst of following up on deadlines and trying to keep track of all your to-do’s. Remembering to ask your coworkers about their days and lives can help you all stay connected, even through the computer. This is also a good opportunity for us to shamelessly plug that strict deadlines and long to-do lists are our jam!
Create fun Slack groups
Most remote teams these days are using Slack to keep in touch with one another, and one of the best parts about Slack is the ability to create channels for everyone to discuss very specific topics. You can make anything from something simple like “#dogs” to something as specific as “#stormclouds.” Forming these opportunities for coworkers to talk about their interests and share about their lives is a great way to allow them all to connect over common interests.
After work activities
Without making it mandatory or eating into anyone’s free time, offering opportunities for employees to connect outside of working hours and decompress is an awesome way to make work more fun for everyone. Virtual happy hours or game nights, or just regular old hangouts, can all help teams feeling closer to one another.
This is basically the opposite of the one I just said, but bear with me here. Relaxing and being friends with people from work is great, and you want the members of your team to get along with one another. But you also don’t want people to feel like they can’t escape work. Setting up clear working hours and boundaries around when people should be in contact can ensure the relationships between colleagues don’t break down. Ready for another shameless plug? A good way to make sure your work-life boundaries stay in tact is much easier with a project manager on hand!
Create a mentorship program
This doesn’t work for all teams, but if you have a somewhat even split between veterans and new hires, it can be fun to set up a mentorship program to allow teams to work one-on-one with a colleague.
Doing a weekly meeting for your team keeps a spot open on the calendar for them to talk to one another face-to-face about deadlines, complications, or issues. Emails and Slack are great for interacting in the moment, but a lot of tone and context is lost over the computer screen. Giving people a chance to speak to one another allows them to stay connected.
This should be done whether you are a remote team or not, but creating chances for your team to recognize each other’s accomplishments and give props to each other is so important for creating a happy and supportive work environment. Your team will appreciate their coworkers more, and they’ll be grateful for you creating such a supportive atmosphere.
Whatever your workforce is going to look like in the future, keeping your teams connected and happy is the key to a happy work life. If you’re looking for some more tips on staying connected, or on how to create a better work environment, let us know. We’re happy to help with whatever your team needs.
At Our Project Experience, we have a dedicated team to help get your project off the ground to reach your goals. Each client is paired with the perfect project manager, based on project requirements and how well we think you’ll work together. We’ll make sure your experience is a smooth and happy one, and you’ll have our full team at your fingertips. Learn more here.