Telework or not, long periods of isolation can bring you down. Here are some tips how to stay in touch with your colleagues during these times of social distancing.
Group Video Chat - Even While You Work Silently!
It may sound odd, however working as though you are next to each other in real life - but with video on – is beneficial & motivational. Believe it or not, just hearing someone nearby typing away and working diligently can be a huge boost for mood and productivity. That is one of the main reasons why coworking spaces are so popular.
This ambient setup allows people to ask quick questions aloud without pondering whether to call/email or Slack. Working together will help regain some of the spontaneous ideas that come up when you’re altogether in an office. So, test it out! Share your vibe with your tribe!
Share a meal together
Recreate the social connection that happens over mealtime with shared lunches – online style. Randomly choose someone to select a recipe and ingredients needed for a simple, bonding-time meal. If your team is full of foodies, ask them to take charge. For easy fare, think of rice or pasta-based dishes or get creative with Thai based - Pho. Then, pick a time later in the week to prepare the meal “together” and sit down to eat the same lunch, while chit chat.
Or just order food from the same place to make it easy for everyone. Choose a playlist and bon appetite!
Engage and improve your meetings
Now that meetings have become all about calls and video chats, everyone is having way too many tabs or chats open at once. Think for a moment how to make your meetings more engaging, and make sure that different ideas and opinions are heard. You could use Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats and assign people a mission when problem solving. Try a game called “First and Worst” where everyone shares their first and worst ideas. Believe it or not but great ideas are often adjacent to bad ones and turning it into a game will keep everyone engaged and present - just not physically.
This will help to boost your fun-factor and having the right concentration to stay connected with your colleagues.
Share a casual chat channel
Yes, you got that right! Break all barriers and have a flow of random chats, they help boost your well-being as being part of a team and have the sense of togetherness. We do not want to be a broken record, but working from home can be lonely and inevitably may wash-out those precious moments that lead to closer relationships and creative solutions to problems. What can you do? Take your colleagues around your home and do it in your pyjama! In other words, travel with your computer. Stepping into the kitchen to make a cup of tea? Why not? Share it with your colleagues – create that special bond. Step into your living room and celebrate small steps to success. So, step outside your comfort zone and share your feelings. You might be surprised how helpful that might be for some of your colleagues and to yourself.
Time management technique
How about Pomodoro? Simply put, it is a time management technique to be more productive.
How does it work? Break your workday into 25-minute chunks separated by five-minute breaks. These intervals are referred to as pomodoros. After about four pomodoros, you take a longer break of about 15 to 20 minutes.
The idea behind the technique is that the timer instils a sense of urgency and it also causes higher levels of anxiety. Rather than feeling like you have endless time in the workday to get things done, focus on squashing those precious work hours on distractions. When you know you only have 25 minutes to make as much progress on a task as possible, you subconsciously bound yourself to be more productive.
It might feel weird at the beginning but after some time, the technique will gradually start to gel with you.
Let us know your results!
Help others without expectations
Last but not least, be human to each other. We live in unprecedent times and we need to show empathy. At the end of the day, we’re social creatures and you’re definitely not the only one missing the social interactions of office life. Be proactive in providing opportunities for others to engage and share whatever is on their minds. Set up a video chat with your colleagues randomly talking about life and even play a virtual quiz. Remember, small gestures in life matter and can make a big difference at a time when many of us are feeling disconnected.
Do you have an idea how to stay connected with remote employees? Share it with us!