Working from home during this pandemic has been an interesting adjustment for all of the people who usually report to an office everyday. At first, it’s about finding your groove and space at home to be productive, but eventually you realize that another aspect is hard to get used to: not seeing your coworkers. We usually spend more time in the presence of our work associates than we do with our families. So when asked to work from home, it’s an interesting shift for any team to stay connected and working like a well oiled machine. Here are THO’s tips for team bonding while working remotely:
Once a week, host a zoom call with your team to catch up and chat about anything besides spreadsheets and deadlines. It’s a great way to kick off the weekend and celebrate with the cohort that helped you achieve goals all week. Whether everyone joins the call with a cocktail or mocktail in hand, it’s a great time to connect outside of work calls. If you want to take it up a notch, host a game during this happy hour through jackbox.tv. You simply have the host screen share so everyone on zoom can see the game, and then each player joins using their phone (and a room code). Some of our favorite games are Fibbage, Drawful 2, and Quiplash.
This can be a scary and stressful time for everyone, so it’s important to focus on some positive aspects of life too. We recommend doing gratitude exercises with the whole team to help people bond as well as relieve some stress. One idea is to do a round robin during a morning call where everyone says one thing they are thankful for that day. Another idea is to make it into a game, where one person collects all of the gratitude notes (digitally of course) and then on a call together you read them out anonymously. Then the team can either guess who said what, or you can leave it anonymous.
Ok so this is similar to secret Santa, except of course it isn’t related to the holidays. During this pandemic, getting mail is one of the most exciting things that can happen in the course of a day. So why not spread that excitement with your team? Set a limit on how much people can spend (I would suggest about $20). Then assign each person randomly to be a “secret helper.” The idea here is that you are helping a team member out. That could mean sending them toilet paper and hand sanitizer, a puzzle to help with the boredom, or even some baking ingredients. This will be a fun show and tell when everyone receives their gift in the mail and then you can guess who sent it to you.
One way to support local restaurants is by ordering takeout. We suggest that every once in a while each team member orders lunch from a favorite local restaurant in their neighborhood. Then you can all hop on a video chat to eat together and share about your food or day. If you do this regularly, your team will be able to help all kinds of restaurants in the area. If you want to mix this idea with our happy hour idea, try ordering desserts instead!
Staying connected with your team takes more work now that many people are remote, but it doesn’t mean that it can’t be fun. All you need is a little creativity! Let us know your favorite way to engage in team bonding while working remotely.