Updated: May 4, 2020
Source: Lemur Legal
I think we would all agree that so far this year has been a year of changes and challenges (and it’s only March?!). One of these changes that all businesses were faced with and we’ve already discussed in our previous blog, is remote working. However, even before this epidemic, the number of remote workers has been on the rise, as more and more of the workforce is operating from home at least once per week. One of the companies that already embraced remote working a while ago is Lemur Legal. This is why we decided to give a few tips and tricks on how to keep team spirits up while working from home in order to maintain team’s productivity and sense of community.
Don’t forget about the Water Cooler Talk
Water Cooler Talk is a term that describes casual discussions between co-workers about non-work-related topics. Since working from home doesn’t allow face-to-face interactions a lot of these casual conversations are lost. This however, can be harmful for the company and teamspirit, since several researches showed that water cooler talk is essential for boosting team’s productivity and consequently company’s success and growth. To keep the small talk alive, it’s helpful to designate a place for casual conversations. One of the group-chat applications that allows just that is Slack, an app that “brings the team together, wherever you are”. Another great thing about these conversations is that co-workers feel safe to share their anxieties, for example anxieties related to Covid 19. This prevents virus talk from meddling into the work-related spaces as it gives the workers a much needed outlet.
It’s game time
Our team is used to heading out together for happy-hour drinks at the end of the week or playing Nintendo when we need time to relax and reconnect. However, during this time when not only are we working remotely but cannot meet up when we want to, this isn’t possible so we have to do new things to have fun together. If your team is the same or if you want to implement new ways of hanging out with your team, consider ending the day with an organized online game. Some of them are for example The Maze, Type Racer, Drawful 2 etc. If nothing else, these games will surely get you relaxed and put you in a good mood!
Have lunch together
Not necessarily an everyday thing since some people cherish lunch as their personal hour, but for those who like to have lunch together with their office buddies, lunch can be a nice time to reconnect over video chat. This is especially good for people who are spending time alone in a quarantine and maybe feel lonely - spending lunch in a company, even if it is virtual, can take your mind off things and makes you enjoy your meal more!
Share some culture
Another way of keeping your team’s spirit up, is to encourage your team to share their book lists or favourite TV shows with one another. Maybe one of them just read a fascinating book that you would also find interesting and can later discuss it with one another. If you need some inspiration to start your “book club”, you can look up Lemur’s book club, since we don’t only like to share our favourite books with each other but with you as well! Another way of reconnecting, is to agree on watching an episode of a fun series or (if you want to be more educational) a documentary and then discuss it next week. One that we found very interesting and also educational is Explained, maybe your team will like it too!
All in all, working from home is certainly different from office work. Keeping your team connected and productive while working apart requires more effort, as there is no possibility for them to causally interact with each other and share their thoughts and ideas. This is why it is important to tackle remote working with an open mind, and you might just find new practices you can bring back to the office when the current crisis has passed.