We held a contest 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. We wanted to share some of our favorite submissions to 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 that is used to sitting together and benefiting from each other’s energy. Each week, she nominated an activity director who is in charge of brainstorming and coordinating a fun remote activity. Employees have gotten very creative by bringing their children into the fun to create something to look forward to each week.
The following is a list of the creative activities they’ve executed 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
Another entrant spoke about the funny emails they’ve been sending to keep their staff engaged, including a bunny-themed JibJab video with senior management as the dancing bunnies. In addition, the company circulated photos of their company mascot—a Halloween skeleton named Doug Up—causing mischief around the office building.
Interactive virtual ice breakers
One company hosts virtual coffee breaks via Zoom with their entire administrative staff. They use the time to catch up with one another, as they typically would do so 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 always gone longer than anticipated.
Sharing is caring
Bringing a team closer together goes beyond sharing personal experiences. One company has found success when discussing their pets, kids, treasured memorabilia, and other items to create unity. Another organization 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
Showing gratitude to our frontline workers by donating or volunteering in your community is a great way to build teamwork. At the end of each week, to show their dedication to the frontline professionals in their community, one company has provided meals to the workers and their families by donating boxes of produce, tray pizzas, family-style pasta or BBQ platters, and even hams for Easter.
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’s been a great addition to their virtual environment. They’ve found so much success with 10 @ 10 that they’ve extended the idea to their clients, as well!
And the winner of our contest tells us to listen and take action…
Our favorite submission comes from an organization that instituted daily and weekly huddles to enable its employees to voice their concerns. Leadership then hears their suggestions and reacts to them to help make their staff feel more comfortable. For example, employees were inquiring about hazard pay, so the company implemented a new bonus program that included increased wages and the gift of time when the pandemic subsides. They’ve also purchased aloe and created their own hand sanitizer while installing automatic paper towel and soap dispensers within the office.
Other novel ideas
From virtual happy hours to daily video calls to celebrate team contributions and providing lunches to essential workers, there are dozens of innovative ways to 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 happier and more connected while boosting the sense of unity and camaraderie among your organization.