Here are 9 solutions to keep your employees engaged while working from home:
1. Virtual coffee, lunch or happy hours
Working remote can sometimes be lonely for those who are more outgoing and extroverted. Schedule time weekly or biweekly for virtual happy hours or block off some time daily to have a virtual coffee break. This will help employees avoid the feeling of isolation and will create a more inclusive environment.
2. Group projects or activities
Whether the goal is to achieve a business outcome or to just be fun, grouping colleagues together to complete tasks can simply increase engagement.
Try hosting mini hacathons or giving teams the opportunity to present their work to a small audience. Working together will help boost team morale and will give them an opportunity to do something outside of their daily responsibilities.
3. Schedule “personal” one-on-one’s
One-on-ones don’t always have to be work related. Schedule weekly or biweekly one-on-ones where you and a colleague can just simply chat and catch up on life. Not only will you get to know your peers better, you will be able to make small talk as you would during breaks in the office.
4. Virtual break rooms
Many employees miss having the ability to take small breaks here and there to make small talk near the water cooler. Schedule times for daily short breaks or at least promote healthy virtual breaks with colleagues. This will not only help those who need more interaction but will also help in prevent employees from feeling burnt out.
5. S/O channels
If you’re working remote using technology to communicate back and forth with colleagues is essential.
Create a channel within your tool where employees can post uplifting and positive feedback. This will increase engagement and can feel good to those who need to celebrate “small wins”. Many will call this a virtual high five or a mini ring the bell. Positive reinforcement and words of encouragement can be exactly what somebody needs to improve performance, or maintain a high one.
6. Virtual office games
In-office games are always fun, but what about including your remote employees? There are many different virtual games you can host while on a video call, like trivia for example. This is one way to boost engagement within your virtual teams and you can even provide gift cards as prizes for winners to increase participation.
7. Virtual holidays
Hosting virtual holiday events can help take the ease off by switching the focus from work to cheer. An example of a holiday event is hosting a virtual Secret Santa. Organizations have been known to place a $25 limit on purchases and colleagues can surprise one-another with gifts through the mail. Opening these gifts on a video stream while celebrating with coworkers inspires the feeling of a traditional holiday party.
8. Healthy Habits
Promoting a healthy lifestyle as well as an efficient workforce is key in today’s environment. Try giving each employee a daily task to complete. This can be anything from a brisk 15-minute walk to a quick organization of files. The idea is to keep the employee engaged while fostering a long-term healthy habit.
9. Virtual birthday parties
Last but not least, let’s talk about birthdays! Everyone has a birthday and there’s no feeling like a warm “Happy Birthday” from a colleague on that special day, to really make employees feel valued and appreciated. Try hosting virtual birthday parties. This can be a short, 30 minute video call where you sing happy birthday, have virtual happy hours and maybe play a fun game.