Creative ways to keep your employees’ spirits high when working from home

We held a contest this month and asked our LinkedIn community to tell us about the unique things they’ve done to keep their teams and colleagues engaged and upbeat while working remotely. The submissions were so great, we wanted to share and hope these ideas will help leaders maintain a positive environment, create strong team bonds, and bring more enjoyment to each day.

Involve your team in the planning

One entrant talked about her large team who is used to sitting together and benefiting from each other’s energy. She nominated an activity director for each week who is in charge of coming up with and coordinating a fun remote activity. Employees have gotten very creative and brought their children and families into the fun. It’s been something to look forward to each week. The following is a list of the creative activities they’ve embarked on so far:

  • Best dressed from home contest
  • Creative video submission contest
  • Two truths and a lie (via selfie videos)
  • Top Chef competition with short videos of staff cooking their favorite recipes

Use humor!

Another entrant spoke about the funny emails they have been sending to keep their staff engaged, including a bunny-themed JibJab video with senior management as the dancing bunnies, as well as circulating photos of their company mascot (a Halloween skeleton named Doug Up) around the building causing mischief.

Virtual ice breakers help employees get to know each other

One company hosts virtual coffee breaks via Zoom with all of their administrative staff. They use the time to visit and catch up, as they typically would do in the break room at their office. They also played the “tell us about your first job,” game which allowed employees to learn about their co-workers and their past experiences, both good and bad! These coffee breaks have been so well received, they’ve gone longer than anticipated.

Sharing is caring

Sharing not only experiences, but other personal things such as photos, pets, kids, treasured memorabilia, and feelings can help bring a team together. One company hosts Picture Friday for employees to share photos based on a weekly topic, such as their desks in their home environment or what they miss most about the office.

Show appreciation together

Show gratitude to our frontline workers by donating, or if possible, volunteering in your community. At the end of each week, to show their dedication to their frontline, one company provides meals to the workers and their families. They have donated boxes of produce, tray pizzas, family-style pasta or BBQ platters, and even hams for Easter.

Stay active!

Exercise helps decrease stress and improve mindsets, so why not incorporate movement into your activities with your team? One company started a “10@10” daily initiative where they send out an email to all employees at 10 a.m. with a suggestion of what to do 10 times that day. It could be doing 10 jumping jacks, taking a 10-minute walk, or making a 10-minute call to family, and it has been a great addition to their virtual environment. They’ve found so much success with 10@10 they have extended it to their clients!

And the winner of our contest tells us to listen and take action

This company instituted daily and weekly huddles where their employees share concerns. Leadership then hears their suggestions and reacts to them with the goal of making their staff feel more comfortable about their situations. For example, their employees were inquiring about hazard pay, so the company implemented a new bonus program, including increased wages and the gift of time when the pandemic subsides. They’ve also purchased aloe and made their own hand sanitizer, and installed automatic paper towel and soap dispensers.

We also heard about virtual happy hours, using daily video calls to celebrate team contributions, and providing lunches to essential workers who have to go into work. There are so many innovative ways to enhance the bond of your staff, decrease stress levels, and keep your company culture healthy during these uncertain times. We hope these tips will assist you in making your team feel connected, happy, and to boost the feeling of unity.

We would love to hear what you’re doing! Please use the comments below to share your ideas. We can all benefit from a little fun!

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