It’s easy to feel disconnected from your team when you’re apart. If you’re used to being in the office with your team, transitioning into remote work can feel isolated and lonely. It’s important to connect and engage with your team to boost morale, stay in sync, and create lasting and healthy working relationships.
So how do you stay connected when you can’t be together?
The answer is video.
Here are 5 fun ways to use video to stay connected with your team while working remotely.
Lunch & Learn
A lunch & learn is a great tool to bring your team together. It can reinforce company culture, encourage personal and professional development, boost morale, and provide a new channel for team communication and collaboration. Start by choosing a broad topic that is not specific to your company. This isn’t the time to give a State of the Union on how your company is doing. The subject can be professionally focused, like how to facilitate a helpful critique, or something more personal, like how to get the most bang for your buck while traveling. You could even have team members give a talk on their favorite hobby.
Pick a presenter, schedule a time several days in advance, and whatever you do, don’t make it mandatory. A mandatory lunch & learn can take the fun out of learning, and can interfere with other lunchtime activities like running errands, taking care of family or a pet, or can even prohibit an employee from finishing up an important task.
The purpose is to make a lunch & learn engaging and helpful. So have fun with it, and don’t take it so seriously.
Sometimes a good hour to decompress with coworkers is just what your team needs. So grab your drink of choice and hop on a video conference to hang out with your coworkers. Consider planning a topic of conversation as a jumping-off point, as things can sometimes be a bit awkward over video conference. Set a time limit for your virtual happy hour (even if you don’t for an in-person get-together) to be mindful of your team’s time and home obligations. This is a great opportunity for your team to catch up and chat while being apart.
Get up and get moving with your team. A virtual team workout is a great way to build community while benefiting your mental and physical well-being. Hop on a video conference, have one team member lead the workout, pick a playlist, and get moving. Design the workout so that everyone can participate in their home. That means you should probably avoid the weights and focus on a HIIT workout, yoga, or another form of exercise that doesn’t require equipment and one that anyone can do from the comfort of their own living room.
State of the Union
An excellent way to keep team morale up while being apart is to hold a team “State of the Union”. Discuss your team wins, upcoming goals, any strategies that helped your team be productive during the week, or give general encouragement. It’s easy to feel disconnected from your team and company as a whole when working remotely, so providing a weekly or bi-weekly update is the perfect way to ensure that everyone is up-to-speed and on the same page about how the team and company are performing.
Coaching employees is generally second-nature for managers, and it’s easy to take advantage of how easy it is to coach employees when you’re all in the same room. You may not even be cognizantly coaching employees in person. However, it becomes more apparent how crucial coaching is when your team is dispersed. The one-on-one time that comes by working together, working hands-on, and learning by watching doesn’t happen when you’re apart. Continued learning and coaching are essential to professional development, team morale, and retention. Without it, employees can feel disconnected or ineffective.
Video coaching is a great tool to connect your team no matter where they are. With video coaching, you can reinforce previous learning, practice sales pitches, chat about how to overcome objections, or simply celebrate the wins. It’s one of the easiest and fastest ways to connect with your team, even when you can’t be in the same place.