Back in March, the abrupt onset of Covid-19 forced many companies to go fully remote overnight. This month will mark one full year of adapting to this new way of life. This transition was challenging for everyone, and even more so for employees whose only work experience was working on-site, and now requires embracing new routines and a solo work environment.

With no roadmap for these unprecedented times, companies are adjusting their policies and processes to find new ways to maintain team cohesiveness and express their company culture virtually.

Here are 3 simple ways to stay connected with your remote workforce.

1. Daily Check-Ins 

One thing missing from our daily routines is the start-of-day informal interactions with our colleagues. A quick chat by the coffee machine, a check-in with your colleague about their personal matter, a congratulations on a job well done, a birthday greeting. Those quick interactions energize us and help make us feel like we’re part of a team. 

ToIn an effort to replicate this experience, some companies have introduced company-wide morning meetings to give their team members a chance to share their accomplishments, work updates, and meet new hires that were on-boarded during remote times. Those meetings not only help motivate employees to get up and start their day - but also encourage them to get out of their pajamas :)

It’s important to keep these meetings short and informal to maintain the spirit of the need they are serving. And aAlso, as with any other efforts, pay close attention to your teams’ engagement and make any necessary adjustments to help avoid activity burnout.

2. Virtual Happy Hours 

While it’s not possible to meet in a bar or play a game of table tennis after work, it doesn’t mean happy hour is out of the question. To make them more fun and encourage participation, plan for activities that go well with wine or beer such as virtual Karaoke, a hired comedian, or happy-hour themed virtual escape room.

As with the morning meeting, set aside a regularly occurring meeting for socializing and to build new relationships with people you may not have connected with in the office. 

3. Company Contests 

Another simple way to keep colleagues engaged and encourage creativity, is through contests and competitions. A little performance-based competition never hurt nobody. Connect with your marketing team to help generate more ideas - the possibilities are endless.

During these unprecedented times, it's critical that leaders are proactive in keeping their employees engaged. A couple of small initiatives can help go a long way to maintaining a sense of community and avoid employee isolation. A happy employee means a productive employee, so keep tweaking until you find your perfect formula!

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