How do I keep my team engaged, productive, and mentally safe while working from home? This is the question on every leader’s mind during this pandemic. It is one thing that business owners and HR teams across the world are scrambling to find an answer for.

If you are lucky enough to be working in 2020, chances are you are doing this from home or your workspace is massively modified, sanitised and separated. Face to Face meetings and coffee catch-ups are a distant memory and human interaction is reliant mostly on digital download capacities.

We know of course, that the Zoom honeymoon is over and it doesn’t matter how much we try to jazz it up, it still lacks the natural connection we instinctively crave. Some companies are attempting to facilitate this connection creatively, doing a fabulous job at keeping their work communities united. Trivia, meetings by virtual campfires, dance lessons, yoga classes, cook-offs, podcasts, team building breakouts, and virtual happy hours are fun, of course. At the end of the day, however, everyone is still sitting in a room, looking at a screen… and it is safe to say, we are all becoming fatigued in the virtual world.

So, what can we do when it seems like we might be in this position for an indefinite time? In a recent survey of all our contractors in NSW and QLD, we found a trend where some workplaces are reverting to traditional methods of keeping in touch.

Over 63% of people told us that safe, socially distanced face to face weekly encounters had become the preferred option for staying mentally connected to our teams. Locations for these meetings consisted not only of approved office spaces but also parks, beaches, or local coffee shops. It seems we are in desperate need of a “date night” to sustain socially distanced working relationships in the long term.

Everybody’s life has been affected by COVID 19, though our personal experiences have often been dramatically different. When we are Zooming and Microsoft team messaging, are we really having open and honest conversations that promote wellbeing? How do we break down these barriers? Meeting in person and sharing a moment in the sun, is possibly the most exciting experience an extrovert can have in these times. Likewise, even those who are by nature more reserved, could potentially really do with sharing their thoughts with a friendly face.

Keeping in line with Government guidelines, when it is safe and possible for you to do so, give some thought to the traditional weekly face to face catch up. It takes more effort to have an in-person encounter with your teammates these days, it is no longer as easy as stopping by a neighboring desk and suggesting a cuppa at 10. However, for many, especially those living alone, this initiative may just be a key factor in keeping them feeling valued and supported.

 

 

Take a read of our previous blogs for more advice

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