There’s been a practical benefit to the shift into remote work being predominant norm: comfy workspaces, less time spent commuting, more time available to focus on self-growth and work/life balance.
A few quirks are emerging though, companies and workforces do appear to be struggling to maintain the softer and social ties that amalgamate to create strong company values, ethics and overarching culture. Which is wholly due to being dispersed, and realistically there are few channels which work to keep people bonded together digitally.
This is partly why we at Beem are building out cultural and social products to meet the softer requirements of dispersed remote working.
With people feeling displaced across the UK, it’s no surprise that a recent survey by the Society for Human Resources has found that 65% of employers feel that maintaining employee morale has been a challenge during the coronavirus pandemic.
Working from home isn’t easy, and during the crisis we are facing, keeping people engaged with your company, and productivity high, becomes a struggle for even the strongest company cultures.
To provide you with some help on how you can continue to support your team and keep your company culture strong, we’ve listed some ideas that could help you maintain a strong culture now and post-crisis.
It’s the thought that counts, right? And when people are physically disconnected, a small gesture of kindness goes a long way.
Sending your team a small well-being package can make them feel valued and appreciated, and go a long way in helping them still feel connected to the company.
Make these gifts more personalized and help them feel like are being thought of! It’s a small gesture, and no matter how you decide to create it, the fact that you did such an act of kindness during a crisis will be remembered for a long time.
Local lunch budget
Some companies have implemented this, and it sounds simple but great, as it combines both people support and community support.
Offer your team a lunch budget where they have to spend it with a local or independent restaurant or shop so that you can continue to support local small businesses.
Having lunch on the business, not only saves them some money and time but putting it towards another small business locally, truly shows that as a business, you want to support both people and other businesses.
Many companies’ current workspaces are not ideal working environments. After all, many people have never had to work at home before, and few have the luxury of a private home office! Add on top of this that they may be trying to juggle their children and work, means you’ve got a highly stressful and overwhelming work-life situation.
To support people who are working from home, a workspace budget can help people create a space at home where they feel more focussed and productive. It could be a small budget that can help enhance their space, such as some plants and some headphones, or it could be a larger budget for a better desk and chair.
As there’s no certainty of when the lockdown will be lifted and when businesses will go back to ‘normal’, setting up a comfortable space for your team at home may prove highly useful in helping them be more productive and feel more comfortable working at home.
One of the biggest things we all miss from being in a physical workplace is our colleagues and the general office chat!
Aristotle said it, we’re social animals, and trying to re-create this online is the best thing we can do right now to help people remain connected.
Creating a ‘water-cooler’ channel on Slack, Teams or even on Whatsapp, can give your team a space to discuss the fun stuff that’s going on at home away from the work updates.
By separating the social chat into a channel, people then don’t miss urgent work updates in the main task streams.
All anyone is talking about right now is Coronavirus. It’s on the news, it’s on social media, it comes up in every conversation and is dictating our lives. To give your team a break from all the corona-conversations, and keep them connected, create fun online activities that everyone can take part in.
Suggest to your employees some of your favourite online magazines, challenge them to try a new learning course, or simply create a baking completion with results to be shared on the company channel – there are so many great activities you can do that give people a happy break from all the negativity.
Digital bonding activities
The world is now extremely au fait with video chat conferencing, since COVID-19, Zoom and Houseparty went from popular in younger or startup circles, to global darlings. With a range of quizzes, games and activities being welcomed and supported. Think about a department or team games around game or quiz topics, and a league table, invite department or regional leaders to take part and remember to keep it fun and away from the corporate subject matter (Harry Potter, anyone!).
Weekly incentives to take part with prizes and rewards really can be the ideal tonic to cut through the often repetition of remote working and keep everyone knitted together!
Here’s one to get you started! 🙂
These are just some simple ideas to keep everybody engaged during these troubled times, and we’re curious to know what your company has put in place these days! Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and get the conversation started 🙂