Technology allows many of us to work remotely – most offices can reliably access emails, calendars, file servers and video conferencing software from home.
The downside is the potential loss of workplace connection and collaboration with colleagues. When people work in mentally healthy environments, they typically feel more valued and willing to contribute to the organisation, and are able to bring their best selves to work. They report higher productivity, lower absenteeism and a higher intention to remain with their employer – all are contributors to the bottom line.
Finding ways to maintain this connection is critical, particularly when stress levels are higher due to health concerns.
Some simple and practical activities to foster connection in a remote workforce include:
- Actively utilising communication channels such as Teams or Slack, with different conversation threads on each topic
- ‘Virtual’ team birthday or other celebrations with BYO cake
- Message boards where team members can recognise a colleague who has gone above and beyond to help others
- Hold a video quiz or virtual scavenger hunt
- Run an online step count or other activity challenge to raise money for charity
- ‘Coffee roulette’ where team members are randomly matched to share a coffee over video