It’s challenging enough to keep your team motivated in-house. Throw a global pandemic into the mix and take away the communal glue of the physical office space and you’re met with a raft of new remote-working problems.
Businesses around the world are asking themselves the same question: how do we keep our remote workers motivated? You could opt for the usual daily zoom catchup. Or, you can go a step further and show your workers you really care with these creative tips.
Before we begin, remember: it’s not all about work
Bear with me – I’ve not gone completely off-piste. It’s important to place the same value, if not more so, on the time spent around completing work.
Working remotely divides your workforce. It’s important to consider psychological safety in the workplace – even when the workplace is your employee’s front room. Ensure your employees feel secure and able to speak their minds on problems affecting them. This is pivotal, and recreational activities help to foster this environment.
Let’s explore a few creative options to keep your workforce motivated that you can take forward to implement in your own company.
Bring pub quizzes onto Zoom
Zoom has more uses than the odd team meeting. With the rise of recreational video calling apps booming since the pandemic hit, people are turning to virtual means to keep connected with their friends and family.
Did you have a weekly quiz night at your local pub with your employees? Bring it online! There are plenty of sites with free content to use – all you have to do is call your employees onto a chat and let the night unfold.
As lockdown wears on, it’s important to keep up these practices to keep employees engaged. Without the physical office to bind people together, there’s little time to socialise or engage in water-cooler chat. Make time for your employees to let their hair down and have some fun – and then reap the rewards of a freshly bound team when they ‘arrive’ at work the next day.
Virtual escape rooms
This might sound crazy, and on the surface it is – but bringing a physical experience into the virtual world harbours great results.
Team building and problem-solving are two of the hallmarks of completing escape rooms. They ask teams to consider something unknown and work together to find a solution.
Whilst lockdown is still preventing physical closeness, some escape rooms are pivoting to their newly-virtual counterparts with activities running over Zoom. A leader from the escape room acts on your behalf; you just need to decide what your team wants them to do.
It’s a great way to get employees engaging with one another and working on essential team building and communication in the process.
Host a virtual pizza-party
Nothing brings people together more than food – but that communal environment is hard to achieve when your team is separated by miles of distance.
Bring the party to your employee’s home instead, and then set aside some time for the team to collectively experience something together. Sharing the same food or drink at the same time creates an atmosphere of togetherness, and is something completely separate from anything work-related.
You can even turn your dinner party into a cook-off by sending a pizza making kit to each of your employee’s homes. Businesses have got particularly creative during lockdown and some have taken to offering DIY kits from their produce.
Send a personalised care package
Some enterprising businesses will send out personalised hampers with themed items to your employees on your behalf, e.g. Scottish shortbread and whiskey, or New York-style bagels and coffee.
Choose a theme and then send your employees a hamper. If an employee’s birthday falls during lockdown, throw a themed party at a distance. When people share these experiences they naturally bond. Bonding releases serotonin, a powerful hormone that is responsible for everything from the feeling of happiness to motivation.
With so many brick and mortar companies pivoting to create virtual experiences, online ventures are cropping up almost every day. Make sure you take the time to consider your employee’s wellbeing and their psychological health during the pandemic and keep them motivated and engaged at a distance.
Author bio: “I’m Lucy Farrington-Smith, a 27-year-old freelance writer. I started out as an actor before I put the scripts down and chose to write my own words instead of saying someone else’s. One Master’s in Creative Writing and many coffee cups later; you can now find my bylines on HuffPost, Metro.co.uk and my own website www.lucywrites.co”