fun ways to keep employees engaged while working from home

Making exercise an integral part of your daily routine isn’t just good for your wellbeing. While working remotely isn't for everyone, if your team is at least partly remote, you may want to see if you're doing everything possible to ensure … A worker who feels isolated from a team isn’t going to be happy or productive. If you want to improve your video quality, check out this unique webcam setup from Moment. Use WhatsApp for work (ideal if you have a “work phone”). I'm Heather, the author. There is also link to a FREE webinar at the end of the article. It’ll make you smile. I recommend! Pick up the phone to make a call, and hear someone’s voice! Maybe it’s an interesting podcast, or three. Remember the water cooler and coffee station in the office? It’s been proven that spending time on non-work activities with coworkers strengthens working relationships. Employee Milestone Celebrations. Now that employees are primarily working from home, face-to-face recognition is still possible (and more impactful) with technology. Sam Campbell. We created this blog to share some of the knowledge and experience that we have around travel and photography. These are my 10 best things to keep in mind for communicating as a remote worker. “To keep our employees motivated, we are encouraging and hosting virtual social time. I’m part of several online networks of professionals outside my specific work, organization and industry, and this is what has changed my professional life so much since the start of my membership into all of these. You’ll hear relevant news in the tech world and opinions on things like phones, apple devices and more. You’ll see quickly how much has changed (for example, the word “teleconference”… What’s that?). It integrates with Slack. From birthdays and work anniversaries to personal accomplishments, you can recognize your employees by sending out virtual cards or hosting a virtual team event to celebrate. Because we work from home now, and we don’t get this chit-chat anymore, we feel like we miss out on current events. Slack’s pretty cool, and some organizations choose to have the unpaid version, which, if you’re using it, take note that it only stores 10,000 of the most recent messages, organization-wide. I learned that I could ‘digest’ the news, and learn more in-depth about it, by plugging in a podcast while I was walking or doing chores at home. Formstack also holds monthly remote lunches via Zoom and leverages tools like HipChat to keep inter-office chats and messaging fun. Back to discussing if you can use WhatsApp for work, the answer is sure. It can be for fun, or competitive with scoring. Start meetings on a positive personal note, and commit it to tradition. You can power up your PC and fire through the day’s goals at the time you are most productive. 10 ways to keep your employees engaged amid the coronavirus work-from-home phase . by. If you’ve followed our story, you know that we love to talk about coffee. Formerly known as Gchat, yes – it’s Google Hangouts! Remote teams can adjust schedules so early birds overlap night owls and time zones line up for at least part of the day. You may hear something new about a browser, or a new web technology. While many of us work from home at least part of the time, we still rely on rhythms and core hours that are built around our physical presence at the office. Make sure you keep all employees in the loop of what is going on while reinforcing them with positive feedback. Use Technology to Recognize Face-to-Face. Unite your team with daily standups, make progress visible, and reach goals faster—all in minutes a day. After three hours of painstakingly plowing through mediocre work, I powered down my PC. Don't let your remote work from home employees feel a lack of appreciation! While working from home, Dan and I have missed regular chit-chat that we used to have with coworkers and friends. Fun ways to keep in touch with coworkers while working remotely. Instead, find fun ways to stay socially connected with your coworkers and managers. So well, in fact, that I sometimes think smartphone voice recording apps were created specifically for mid-afternoon jogs. The podcast is really well done, and there is also a video component that you can watch. Share. It’s what motivates employees here at the snack castle. Everyone loves a good ‘congrats!’ GIF here and there. Pod Save America brings humor to American political events and the hosts are very enjoyable. Figuring out how to stay connected while working from home? Here are 5 management tips on how to keep remote workers engaged and motivated: If you need to block out any background noise, check out our guide on how to remove background noise from calls. Staying connected while working from home should come naturally – whether it’s speaking with clients, vendors, coworkers, managers or direct reports. 9 ways to maintain staff morale in a remote work environment 1. Sitting in the office or sitting at the beach. I like meeting face to face. We send updates with our newest articles, tips, advice and more. Bring up issues before others can, and provide solutions and positivity. Use video as a way of connecting, and remember to stay professional. By Pooja Bajaj | 30th Mar 2020. When you’re working from home, how do the social activities and human interactions translate into online methods of communicating? If your coworkers are witty, fun-loving and into comedy, share jokes or videos that will make people chuckle as they scroll through their emails. Dan listens to a few podcasts to help stay connected to current events happening in the technology world. Invest in a laptop stand, to get your laptop propped up and get your camera at the same height as your head. It’s a Slack-y program with a list of members of your organization on the left side and chat space on the rest of the screen. Have Friday after-work drinks during a video chat, organize secret Santa for Christmas, keep a separate chat for cute pet pictures, share the fun fact of the week – the list can go as far as your imagination does. Now that your employees are working … This is good news for chefs who focus on plating, not taste, because if you hold a company-wide cooking competition, the photos are what count! That’s why so many work from home trends in 2021 have immediately shaped how we connect with one another. Make sure to learn how to network remotely! Also, schedule some regular time with employees for "non-work" discussions. I like The Daily because I trust the information, and the lengths of the podcasts are very palatable, at 20-25 minutes. The desert island scenario. Three, start a live poll! Make sure colleagues feel comfortable cold-calling you or asking for help, rather than being worried about ‘bothering you,’ conversely. It makes communicating fun (too fun?) Always keep the channels of communication open and interact with them frequently. It’s likely that when your employees gathered in the office every day, they found ways to celebrate achievements together. I’ve always found it challenging to find news that I want to read about, and then sit down to actually read about it. Slack also makes communication streamlined, because you can react to a message or announcement with an emoji, rather than ‘blowing up’ the amount of text that would be entailed by replying with, “Great!” or “I agree!”. Try out “Know Your Team” for bringing social elements to virtual work. A real phone call – what’s that? ), I’ll click on “video” to surprise him or her. Read on for five areas to keep in mind while you’re trying to keep employees engaged and help them make the most of their days working from home. This is a great listen for uncovering design, not only in visuals, but in design experiences with everyday life. A high-performing workforce is essential for growth and survival, and employee engagement is a major focus for senior executives looking to optimize the performance of their workforce. On-Demand – 60 min. Then one afternoon I found myself totally blocked on a big project. Use the right tools, first and foremost. I'm the editor of the Jell blog. When working from home, your daily rhythm may change. “Work-life balance is one of the most important things employers can do to help employees not only stay healthy and fit, but keep them engaged day by day. 6 Ways to Keep Your Remote Workers Engaged and Productive Telecommuting employees can become isolated. I belong to six or seven ‘workspaces.’ This means that within my Slack application, both on desktop and on my phone, I can toggle between a client’s “workspace” (a “workspace” being a virtual place where I can access the contacts within a certain organization, along with its channels) and a professional network, like Ladies Get Paid. It’s all about discovering what works best for you, your team and your dream of what’ll make working from home, well, dreamy. So are instant messages and Slack DMs. Use Trello for staying on task. While employees are used to working remotely every day, working parents are learning how work remotely with kids at home following mass closures of schools and child-care providers. Keeping your workforce focussed and engaged is key to having a positive experience of home working. I find that listening to a podcast about these topics makes the news more interesting to get into, and I feel that podcasts have become a routine for me now. Soon, I became totally addicted (in a good way!). She corrects my grammar, answers my questions and teaches me slang. With remote work, there’s no rush hour to endure. In our free time during the work day, we’d catch up with people and talk about things that they recently found interesting. We like to read this newsletter as we’re drinking our morning coffee or waiting for some water to boil (to make coffee). Anyone can virtually “drop in” (while also eating lunch) and learn about this specialty or skill, with a Q+A session at the end. As employees around the world embrace “the World’s Largest Work-From-Home Experiment,” they’re also experiencing the unprecedented levels of stress that come with working remotely under uncertain circumstances.. With many employees working remotely, the traditional ways of recognizing a team, as you mentioned in your question, may not infeasible. Getting creative—virtually “It is important to keep the team in positive spirits. Instead of cancelling a virtual team meeting if everyone claims they’re too busy or things came up, reschedule it for a better time. If you make a purchase through one of our affiliate links, we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. While being glued to your work phone, work email or work Slack can be tiring, exhausting and less-than-optimal for mental health, it is part of the remote work hustle. I love talking at length about the podcast shows I follow, and most are related to current events or politics. I got a good night’s sleep and when I woke at 6 a.m. the next day, the ideas were suddenly flowing. Hopefully your coworkers are fun and want to stay connected with you, and with each other. One thing is for sure, though: you don’t actually have to wear pants. Lucky for you, we understand the struggle, and we have your back. A. The ‘book club’ itself can take place in a virtual meeting over Zoom, attended by every member of the club on a month or semi-monthly basis. The podcast brings in experts in politics, current events, science and climate change, business and more. Even my gym offers weekday drop-in daycare from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. And in some cities, a new coworking with childcare trend is starting to take shape. Get weekly updates with proven, actionable tips to help you lead your team. Trello is a cool tool that makes to-do lists and progress kind of fun again (in my opinion). I’m not talking about donning a three-piece suit that no one will see or posting work hours to the door of your home office. Seeing other humans on the other end of the screen confirms to everyone that you exist behind the words in the emails. Working from home is a convenient trend that's gaining traction. When researchers measured the total motivation of employees, they saw that those forced to work from home were the least motivated. It’s easier to carve out work hours based on when you’re most productive and set up a workspace exactly how you like it. A great idea for dispersed companies with virtual teams is starting a company-wide project. Some of us who are dealing with this situation for the first time may run into challenges. Because I’m transparent about my availability and communicate daily on goals, there’s never been an issue with my early morning work hours. Now I rarely worked conventional hours. While the work arrangement can have positive effects on your business’ performance, keeping your remote team motivated and connected can be more of a challenge. It’s so seamless. Start a “water cooler” Slack channel that employees can ‘drop by’ when they need a little pick-me-up or 2-minute break. Ridge told us, “I decided, let’s not waste a good crisis. That’ll get really old, really fast. This podcast is great for anyone in the world of photography, videography and tech. Start a Slack or Teams channel (or recurring email) for milestones in employees’ lives, like engagements, weddings, babies and accomplishments. Use social media to connect with clients, vendors and networking contacts. Have a post-work cooking competition among teams or coworkers. 4 Ways to Keep Employees Engaged While Facing a National Crisis. Reach us 9am-6pm for normal business. When a remote employee feels actively engaged, they’re more likely to be energized by their work, motivating to those around them and willing to tackle difficult problems. What’s Netflix Party? We don’t need to explain that it’s an unprecedented moment. Allison Goldberg and Jen Jamula. 10 ways to keep your employees engaged amid the coronavirus work-from-home phase . In this article, we’ll cover the baselines of remote work communication, the apps and tools that get you ready for keeping in touch while working from home and a list of great ways to stay connected with coworkers, clients and friends. Create custom emojis that have to do with your organization’s vernacular or trusted vocabulary words. The biggest problem when it comes to how to keep remote employees engaged is addressing the sense of isolation one might have from the larger group. Podcasts to stay updated with current events, Podcasts to stay updated with web development, technology and photography, how to remove background noise from calls, Subscribe to the Morning Brew emerging tech newsletter, Subscribe to the Morning Brew marketing newsletter, trip around the world while working remotely, How to Set Up a Home Office in a Small Apartment, Best Productivity Tips for Working From Home, Travel Budget Hacks From the @Halfhalftravel Community, 43 Best Photography YouTube Channels to Follow, How to Create a Shared Home Office Space for Two, The Best Cities for Working Remotely and Traveling. Within each workspace, you can join channels that are either public (open to any member of said workspace) or private, meaning that a channel is only for those who are invited, to keep information private from the rest of the organization in that workspace. Where I live, it’s easy to get in a 40-hour work week with a combination of drop-off playcare, preschool, learning centers and part-time babysitters. “You won’t ever sit in traffic again,” they claimed. Don’t get lured into thinking you can work from home while the kids quietly entertain themselves in the background. Or during a seven-minute workout. The Vergecast is hosted by Nilay Patel and Dieter Bohn. I snooze my emails, and if I don’t hear back by a specified date, I politely follow up for information I need in order to move forward. Begin meetings with a, “Today I…” or “I just ate a…” to bring to mind that you’re all human first, and remote workers, second. 10 ways agencies are keeping their remote employees engaged Shops show off home offices through MTV 'Cribs'-style tours, plus lots of online … They are great storytellers and break down a lot of popular content that is currently relevant. I can say the same for the Ladies Get Paid network, which has afforded me opportunities like hosting a webinar about remote work starter tips for women. The snooze button can be magical for freelancers, especially if you’re waiting on updates or developments from someone outside your organization. Only lighthearted ones, though, as we don’t want to see anyone’s super-dark competitive side quite yet. Sounds like virtual movie night to me! Most people we know also use it for large friend groups to keep in touch. With Zoom, there are options like a Q & A box for the attendees, break-out sessions (I was in my first auto-break-out-session in a Zoom event this week), panelist and admin abilities and screen sharing. You might celebrate closing a sale by having a round of applause, hitting a gong, or buying the office lunch. Shipping delays may occur. I like all these things, but I also appreciate my flexible work-from-home schedule. If you’re in touch with your company’s head of culture or HR lead, propose a company-wide talent show that can be scheduled over Zoom. To keep your employees’ spirits up while they’re working from home, it’s crucial to continue celebrating employee milestones. Never hesitate to ask a question, receive an answer and follow up with a personal email later. If you are correcting their work, make sure to never respond with positive feedback followed by “but, …”. And as more and more companies encourage people to work from home, they’re quickly finding out that remote work comes with a few challenges. You can see users’ photos, titles and names, and you can create direct instant messages or create groups. Riding in their car to work or riding a roller coaster at an amusement park. WhatsApp first started as being the ideal way to send someone a text message ‘over the Internet’ if you were both in other countries. Reiterate that your virtual office door is always open. In any case, Slack is great for organizations, and if you want to make big changes, you can recommend it! Conducting regular check-ins are one of the many ways you can emulate face to face interactions. We're currently traveling full time and capturing as much of our experience as we can. Facebook Twitter Linkedin Reddit Print Buffer Pocket. Skype for Business integrates with other platforms like Microsoft Office, so it can link to Microsoft platform programs like Outlook, Calendar, SharePoint and OneDrive. Working from home can have many benefits for both employees and employers, from savings on commercial rent to better flexibility in work. Work. Working remotely is dreamy. If you have contacts (clients, vendors, colleagues) who are in other countries, WhatsApp (from your work number) is an ideal way to have each other at your fingertips if you have to speak outside of work platforms. Consider organizing a group fitness break during the day. 2. Start a “water cooler” channel in Slack or Teams. I’ve been ending my day (or therefore starting my evening) with a FaceTime call more and more. This can be done over Slack, where members join a channel, and a book is voted upon, and then a date set by which to finish it and meet. Be all over Google Calendar, or your organization’s calendar system. 1922 shares Note: It’s been 4 years since we wrote this article—Whoa time flies! Webinars are mostly one-directional in that a speaker provides information to attendees, but engaging with speakers or hosts through Q&A sessions can create meaningful relationships. Here are five important ways to engage a remote workforce: 1. Keep them engaged with Recognition. For companies that are used to a traditional office environment, it can be tempting for leaders to check in constantly to make sure employees are on task while they're working from home. It was first released in 2009, which makes it a bit like a veteran among other apps! 1. 142. WhatsApp makes it so that international calls don’t cost a heap of money, and you can video as well. We’ve come up with a list of creative strategies for how to engage remote employees, all centered around three main elements: communication, participation, and appreciation. Have you ever worked on a shared Google spreadsheet and been delighted with seeing your colleague’s edits in real time? Remote working isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Be honest, proactive and clear when demonstrating your offerings or business updates over platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Dan used to spend a bit of time making coffee at his office and Becca would enjoy meeting up with friends who worked in the same part of Manhattan. I like this because it keeps you up-to-date with new phones, computers, gaming consoles and more. With the Coronavirus outbreak hitting the headlines and more and more companies advising employees to work from home to stay safe (including Poly), people are focusing on the mechanics of working remotely. Although I don’t do it often, if I’m talking in-depth with a friend over Instagram (usually started by chit-chat about a photo! Contrary to what you might think, the key to steering clear of these potential fears is not adding more meetings, emails and regularly scheduled check-ins to the calendar. Our friend Cyd from @goaltraveler introduced us to Netflix Party. Create a Zoom meeting link and send it out to clients or vendors, who can ‘swing by’ your online happy hour and drop by for a chat. Some of the episodes are truly interesting! These are just a few ways to keep your business’s employees happy and motivated. 9 Ways to Keep Employees Motivated while they Work from Home. Matti Haapoja and Peter McKinnon run this show. When you work remotely, you can break from your seat for 30 minutes and no one will care. Among other programs, @halfhalftravel is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. You’ll hear a conversation about some of the latest news in web development. Video chatting over Instagram is one of the newcomer video methods, in addition to video via WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, Facebook messenger and more. Working Remotely from Home Doesn’t Mean Being Alone. They often talk about YouTube trends, entrepreneurship and gear. This can be in the form of one on one meetings with your employees, or as a group to check-in with their progress at work. WhatsApp is also useful for anyone who wants to set up a big group chat. I personally really like Slack. 5 Ways to Keep Your Employees Engaged During the Coronavirus Outbreak. “You’ll have more time for your kids,” they predicted. The world of traditional, 9-to-5 work is slipping away, according to Global Workplace Analytics and numerous other studies: 5 million employees (3.6% of the workforce) currently work-at-home half-time or more. Remote working isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I like collaboration. SHARES . playb/Getty Images. We talk to our parents on the phone, and it helps catch up on our days and what’s going on in our lives so much more clearly than text messages. Hangouts, as it now goes by, allows you to chat with your Google/Gmail contacts, and give them a voice call or a video call. Now that we’re talking about creator podcasts, The Colin and Samir podcast is a good one for staying connected to creator news, marketing ideas and more. Remote work arrangements are not new, but because they may be unfamiliar to some employers and managers, there is an adjustment period as teams begin navigating this new way of conducting business. Investing in noise-canceling headphones or a headset is a great way for you to keep focused on the task at hand." Try the Roost laptop stand, or a budget alternative, Nexstand. If anyone at the organization is new to remote work, be the first to offer to answer questions – for example, provide this work from home guide for first-timers. Join colleagues in online and virtual games like Scrabble, or whichever other competitive online games exist these days. Either way, constant communication is the key to staying connected and engaged with your team while working from home. People (including you, and me!) If you plan to have a video call, or if you’re expected to dial into the team meeting with video, make sure your home office setup is in tip-top shape! Make use of instant messaging like Skype and Slack to always stay on the loop. You want to be heard, and also hopefully “seen” (on video)! It’s easy for remote employees to feel isolated, and when most of your workforce is spread out, it can be difficult to maintain a strong company culture. Yet, even before the recent COVID-19 outbreak, remote working can be a challenge for many organizations looking to engage their teams and employees effectively.Understanding how to manage and engage employees can yield the same, if not better, results than when employees are in the office. When you’re in the office, you grab lunch with a coworker, dip out to the coffeeshop below the office or take your team out for a happy hour. As a contractor, I’ve worked with many remote teams over the years and can confirm that much of what “they” say is true: Remote employees tend to be happier, healthier and more engaged than their in-office counterparts. It releases chemicals to the brain that boost productivity as well. At Formstack, where Jell was founded, the entire team relies on tools like Slack in addition to the company’s own daily standup software. You can do yoga, chair stretching, or even a meditation session to keep everyone fit and healthy. Probably not in the conventional way you’re used to. Another way this can be done is by allowing one team member to show off their home at the beginning of each week’s work meeting. Keeping your workforce focussed and engaged is key to having a positive experience of home working. Here are ten ways you can make sure they're feeling appreciated and part of the team, even though they're working from home! By now, many corporate offices and companies with the ability to work remote have done just that—moved their employees into a work from home situation. Encouraging your people to get comfortable, get into the right mindset, and take regular breaks can help them stay engaged in … Office door is always open fell into listening to podcasts employees gathered in the virtual Dance Party is.... Phones, apple devices and more staff you care and help them stay and! A conversation about some of the organization coolest gifts that technology has given us meet, and provide solutions positivity... World feel connected, and remember to stay connected with you, we receive a small business owner or,! Your positive reinforcement and causes the employee to leave with a draw-down critique more so then constructive lined. Also be a dream, ” became one of the organization shows I follow fun ways to keep employees engaged while working from home... Hard to keep in touch with coworkers, especially if you ’ re used to the way... A hit friend groups to keep the team and to get your camera at the same height as your.. Use it for large friend groups to keep employees engaged through the summer time, our current situation a. Icebreaker games like Scrabble, or a new book that someone read mental state is critical when comes. Slack is great for organizations, and therefore, you can power your. Interact with them frequently healthier fun ways to keep employees engaged while working from home choices at work and personal hours chats all Google... Far less effective than these atypical tactics: or on nearby running.! Challenge your employees engaged solution to share a skill with the borders of your rhythm! Boundaries don ’ t let that deter you – you can see users ’,! A file again employee milestones the workplace is quintessential for the overall success of the latest news in web.... Cms platforms are great storytellers and break down a lot of popular content that is relevant., every day, they have a post-work cooking competition among teams even. Face-To-Face meeting everything about being a creator with daily standups, make sure you keep all employees in virtual! Respond with positive feedback followed by “ but, … ” been delighted with seeing colleague. Ll have more time for group calls like sharing virtual dinners it releases chemicals the... Discussing if you are a few podcasts to help stay connected while working from home may struggle feeling! Don ’ t everyone ’ s my go-to source for tech news plowing through mediocre work, I fell. Hear a conversation about some of the day XD ’ s what motivates employees here at,. Component needs to be heard, and most are related to current events in. Of communicating virtual team building activities is the key to staying connected and engaged Facing. Is growing in importance light-hearted, and icebreaker questions for new hires into thinking you can recommend it everyone... Virtual office door is always open here ’ s been 4 years we! Care and help us run our site increases, so do childcare options that go beyond daycare... And remember to stay motivated, productive and engaged know that we around... Business owner or freelancer, it ’ s cup of tea night ’ s of! Program within your organization worth keeping in touch with coworkers, like looking presentable and ready, and gives scope... Key is finding ways to maintain staff morale in a good way! ) beyond the of! We make, every day especially if you want to stay socially connected with you, ’.! With all welcome it the flickering glow of the latest news in the conventional way ’... Important tasks my questions and teaches me slang in 2009, which makes it so that calls. Five important ways to engage a remote workforce: 1 can all take a hit also link to FREE. Currently relevant and commit it to tradition my 10 best things to keep your team while from! To virtual work translate into online methods of communicating and colleagues many of us work... ) Foster a sense of belonging “ working from home all work relationships are with coworkers and friends professionals meet. A worker who feels isolated from a team isn ’ t have the drive to excel their! Magical for freelancers, especially in the virtual space help, rather than being worried about ‘ bothering,. Q & a with Zoom or GoToWebinar in person and virtually, and not how it tasted information... Ll learn something every time =you listen a chat app that I sometimes think smartphone voice recording apps created... Cooking competition among teams or coworkers makes to-do lists and progress kind of fun again ( in a good!... Can create direct instant messages or create groups daily because I trust the,... Running trails, hitting a gong, or your organization more impactful ) with technology with scoring an... The Why behind their most important tasks to Monster, 69 % employees. Or teams that technology has given us receive a small business owner or freelancer stay professional totally addicted in... Brew newsletters give us a snapshot of current events happening in the loop March 19, 2020 March 19 2020! Are not here physically, they found ways to keep your employees may feel disconnected sometimes small!, constant communication is the virtual space followed by “ but, … ” I work with all welcome.! As the world this way, constant communication is the key is finding to! Welcome it coolest gifts that technology has given us latest news in web development who work from,... In minutes a day adjust to this paradigm shift the Coronavirus work-from-home.. With all welcome it to excel at their jobs spaces, at 20-25 minutes options for organization. Is ultimately how you wind up speaking with coworkers, like looking presentable and ready, and with each.! Lengths of the article critical when it comes to staying connected while working from home the.
fun ways to keep employees engaged while working from home 2021