March 20, 2020
Creating a Remote Culture Amid “Social Distancing”
As many employees are being forced to work from home due to COVID-19, it can be easy to feel somewhat isolated from your job. Afterall, when you’re used to being surrounded by your coworkers each day, which allows you to share ideas, ask questions or simply socialize, you may feel like you’re missing out on something when you’re not with them. The same goes for students who are now finding themselves in virtual classes when they’re used to sitting in a lecture hall filled with classmates.
The good thing is, you’re not alone with this feeling. There are now more people than ever working remotely, as social distancing is the best way to avoid spreading the COVID-19 virus. So how can you create a remote culture when you’re not actually at work? It’s easier than you think.
- Stay connected. When you’re in the office, you often have touch points with your team members and manager on a regular basis. It’s important to stay updated on what everyone is working on, so make sure you’re having regular meetings with your team so you can stay informed.
- Make lunch plans. With video technology, it’s now possible to not only chat with your coworkers or classmates, but to see them too. It’s almost as good as seeing them in person. If lunch doesn’t work, you can plan for a chat over coffee or a study session with your classmates. If you’re a manager or team lead, consider sending virtual gift cards to your team for GrubHub or UberEats as an extra perk so you can buy them lunch without actually having to provide it.
- Plan a virtual learning session. Does a colleague or classmate have a special skill or have knowledge about a subject that may interest others? Plan a virtual learning session. With tools like Skype and Zoom, you’re able to schedule video calls, instant message and share your computer screen.
- Office Hours. This can work for both business leaders and teachers. Schedule time for employees or students to ask questions or generate a discussion, using either social media channels or meeting technology. It could be focused on a specific topic or just a general Q&A.
- Networking events. Just because you’re not in the office or at school doesn’t mean you can’t meet new colleagues or students. Host a virtual meet and greet event. It’s a great opportunity to meet new people, share stories and learn about your peers. Perhaps even consider starting an employee resource group, such as a veterans or mentoring group.
- Show gratitude. Many companies use social media tools. Whether they are for internal use, like Yammer, or for public viewing, like Facebook, a shout out or thank you to your team members is a great way to show appreciation and acknowledge a job well done.
- Share fun ideas. Whether you live by yourself, with a roommate or with your family, learning about fun activities to do while social distancing can be a great way to keep employees and peers motivated. Plus it fights boredom! Start a post on social media or an email chain that encourages people to share what they’ve been doing to stay busy and entertained. Whether it’s a new tv show to binge, a fun activity for your kids or an at-home workout, you’re sure to find something that interests you.