Social connections are key as the COVID-19 pandemic reshapes our working world.
For some, working from home sounds like heaven. No commute, easy access to snacks and pets, comfortable (if any) footwear. But to others, socialisation in the workplace is something that helps to fuel creativity and problem solving.
Many of us find ourselves working in a very different environment now. Our new challenge is how to keep teams feeling positive and productive.
Let’s not use the term social distancing. Instead, let’s talk about the importance of social connections despite physical distancing. To an employer’s benefit, research from the McKinsey Global Institute shows that productivity is increased by 20-25% in organisations where employees are connected. From a human standpoint, social connections are proven to lower depression and anxiety.
Know your team and how they work. Create virtual meeting rooms for those who want to brainstorm and collaborate, meanwhile allowing those with focus to complete individual projects the freedom to do so. Your staff is a team of individuals, so talk to them, understand how they need to work and communicate what you and their colleagues need, so everyone is clear on expectations and able to flourish.
Encourage staff to maintain their routines and set daily task completion goals. Try our simple to do list which includes a few reminders to keep them on track and taking care of themselves. Part of keeping to their usual times is owning their commute time, using this for the things they usually miss, like recreational reading, exercise or other hobbies.
Add Some Fun
We’ve all heard about the virtual drinks sessions with friends that are becoming more common. Encourage coffee catch ups, theme days (crazy socks, 80’s dress up, etc). Games, like match the owner to the pet, annotate your office (using a tool like Zoom), or send a pack to your team with a mascot and selfie stick and challenge them to send creative photos with their ‘new office pal’.
Workers appreciate recognition for a job well done. For some, not being in a face to face environment may have them feeling their efforts are unnoticed. Make time to celebrate wins. Do daily shout outs for targets met, great ideas suggested, etc. Consider implementing ‘Secret Motivator’. Just like Secret Santa, each team member gets the name of another only in this version, they share helpful links, inspiring quotes and positive feedback. This initiative means everyone gets support, not just those with an office bestie.
Ultimately, we are all feeling a little anxious and unsure of how these next weeks and months will play out. Any way you can help someone else to feel valued and secure is going to be welcomed. If you are looking for a way to show your staff and their families that the company does care, get in touch with Honeycomb for ideas on staff work from home packs or check out our creative pack concepts catalogue.