If you’ve been recently tasked with managing a newly remote workforce, it can be challenging to maintain the culture and vibe that you had previously perfected in-office. Even though your employees aren’t physically close, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to sustain healthy relationships. Here are a few ways by which managers and HR staff can keep the momentum going, even with remote workers.
Host Virtual Coffee Breaks
One of the things that offices, universities, and companies around the globe are currently into is the virtual coffee break. From the comfort of home, employers and HR staff still have the opportunity to chat and check in with employees and work buddies in a relatively informal manner via meeting software like Zoom.
Now, it’s important that these breaks follow more flexible guidelines than they did in the office. Even if breaks are expected or mandatory at work, they shouldn’t necessarily be at home. Not all of your employees will have the same home-office environment, so they may not be free enough to handle one or two non-essential coffee breaks per day. However, it is a good way to gather everyone and healthy relationships with who is free for a chat and an informal debrief.
Maintain Weekly Meetings
Just as important as virtual hangouts, it’s vital to check in on the working progress of your team as they work from home. As mentioned before and in a few of our other articles, Zoom and GoToMeeting are tools that were specifically designed to seamlessly handle virtual meetings, and many of their premium features are being offered free of charge to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For employers, I recommend checking in with projects, assignments, and any group work that’s relevant to your workforce. For HR professionals, consider holding weekly check-in meetings to make sure your team has all of the resources they need to work efficiently from home. It’s up to you whether to host those meetings individually or all together, but your workforce should feel supported both professionally and personally.
Invest in Social Media Outreach
During these times, it’s likely that your company could benefit from having a heightened social media presence through a variety of different media. This is especially relevant for those whose services are currently non-essential and whose net worths may have depreciated over the past few weeks. Keep reaching out to your local and global communities and don’t be afraid to delegate social media tasks to any members of your workforce who have extra time and have shown an interest.
This could be a great chance to spotlight some of your employees who are working on specific projects, ask your employees to shoot some “day in the life” promos while working from home, or host Q&A sessions for your customers. These strange times can be repurposed into opportunities to showcase your company’s creativity, so take advantage of that!
Host a Happy Hour
Working relationships don’t just end at 5 o’clock, and neither should remote working relationships. As often as is appropriate for your company, consider hosting a Friday evening virtual “Happy Hour” for your employees and staff. These should be voluntary and completely informal, as these hangouts should occur outside of billable hours.
Happy Hour isn’t the only option; you may host a virtual watch party, invite your employees to an existing virtual music festival, concert or TED talk, or get together to virtually celebrate any staff birthdays during the month. These hangouts let your employees know that you are still invested in their wellbeing even from afar, and they encourage good morale and culture within the company moving forward.
What are some of the ways by which your company is keeping healthy relationships during this lockdown? Tell us about them in the comments.
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