How Your Workplace Can Still Foster a Community Feel in a Socially-Distanced World

Workplace Can Still Foster a Community Feel in a Socially-Distanced World

While the novelty of spending sustained periods of time working from home might have felt strangely exciting to you at first, it’s ultimately a “make-do” situation that has probably left you without many of the social pleasures you used to strongly associate with the workplace.

According to research mentioned on the Reward & Employee Benefits Association (REBA) website, employees with ‘excellent social wellness’ outclass those with ‘poor social wellness’ on the productivity front. So, how can you help to restore productivity possibly lost due to switching to remote working?

Arrange Virtual Meet-Ups

While many workplaces already have communication software like Zoom and Microsoft Teams for keeping in touch with co-workers, many conversations on these platforms could too easily be limited to work matters – rather than other subjects that, traditionally, could have been spontaneously brought up at the water cooler.

That’s why you should make an effort to organise virtual meet-ups which employees are invited to regularly attend – perhaps as often as twice a week – to fill their co-workers in on what’s happening outside of work.  

Let Co-workers See, Not Just Read or Hear About, Your Life

It’s time for a bit of fun. Whether you are working from the sofa, a seat at a kitchen table or even a fully-fledged, dedicated home office, you could let people see more of your workspace. 

Yes, they probably often see three feet of your home’s wall space anyway on video calls – but these same work colleagues might not quite as often see, say, your kids or pets.

Send Out Regular Updates to Your Team 

If you are in a managerial position, you could deliver these updates through quarterly newsletters, weekly check-in emails or perhaps even just posts on your company’s Facebook page. The objective in any of these instances, though, should be to keep your workers informed and “in the loop”.

In ensuring this, you can reinforce these workers’ sense of belonging as well as their team spirit – and, in turn, stimulate their productivity.

Indulge in Common Interests  

Whatever you enjoy doing in your spare time, you probably won’t struggle to find other members of your company’s workforce whose interests align with yours. You could take advantage of this by organising a regular club based around a specific hobby; think, say, a cooking, book or movie club. 

Even Netflix watch parties are an option, thanks to one Chrome extension mentioned on the Think with Google blog: Netflix Party. With this, you can synchronise video playback and augment your usual Netflix experience with group chat.

Encourage workers to credit each other for their work

Employees could do this through, for example, nominating other members of the team and highlighting what they have recently achieved. Instilling a culture of peer-to-peer recognition can lead workers to feel more valued – and, consequently, become more productive.

Such praise between peers can come more easily once you have implemented a unified communications system that employees of your company can intuitively use to reach out to each other as and when they see fit.

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