Ensuring you have a good connection with your employees is vital to the foundation of any great team. This lays the groundwork for a team that is excited to collaborate, share ideas, and grow together. Of course we were all thrown into the deep end a little when the pandemic hit, and remote work made us realise we need to adapt to finding new ways of communicating and engaging with the team.
Whilst it has become a little easier now we’ve been able to return to the office and more organic connections can be made (see our article on moving back into the office post-Covid here)- you may still have some non-local and/ or remote team members.
It’s important to nurture these connections, especially if like us you adopt a blended workplace dynamic and you’re not in the office 24/7.
Have a read below for some insight into how we keep our remote team members connected:
Keep things simple with a book club:
It seems like recently plenty of us have been finding respite in reading, with fiction sales growing steadily since the first lockdown. Here at Mint Live we felt quite the same and decided that starting a book club would be a fantastic way to collaborate as a team and enjoy some fiction books we’ve had our eyes on.
To up team discussion, we put up a few books on our Mint Live Book Club slack group and all vote to choose our preferred novel. This way everyone gets a say and there’s a higher chance everyone will actually read the book (which is always a bonus). After a month or so, we all come together via zoom to have a light-hearted discussion about the novel and our thoughts. Of course, everyone is welcome to pop up on the Slack group to have a chat about it as we’re all reading it too.
Something as simple as everyone reading the same book can make it feel like we’re all sharing a small part of our day together, away from work. Everyone has been really enjoying it so far and keeping things laissez faire means our remote team needn’t feel pressured to join in each month and have an option to opt out if they prefer.
Books not your thing? What about a movie Club?
We quickly learnt that books aren’t for everyone and that’s totally okay! Another way we keep our remote team connected is with a movie club.
Again, we keep things relatively relaxed and there’s not even any pressure to discuss the movie over zoom- but any trivia/ comments are encouraged to be shared over the slack group. Suggestions are welcome and a movie is voted on for that month’s particular topic (so far we’ve had comedies and childhood favourites).
Online groups for discussions outside of work:
Although you’ve heard us mention it plenty of times on here, for those of you not in the know: Slack is a messaging app for businesses that helps connections and communications with your team. On slack, you can make different ‘rooms’ (like a group chat) for specific topics.
Aside from work-specific ones, we have a ‘fun room’ where we can share updates on our lives and generally get to know each other in a more relaxed fashion. Slack is also great as it has a feature called ‘Donut’- where random team members will be selected and paired off to meet for lunch, or a virtual coffee chat via zoom.
Both of these features are great for the remote team who may feel a little left out on the typical watercooler type chat you may have in-person at work, and it’s far simpler than curating a group chat on other platforms.
In the works: Lunch & learn and virtual yoga:
We’re always looking for ways to improve connections and engage with our remote team, and so we also have a couple of ideas in the works that we’re looking to implement soon.
Lunch and Learn: Think of a kind of Ted Talk, but with your work colleagues. Sounds fun right? Okay, okay, let us explain…
As with all of these ideas, we’re ensuring that everyone is on board with the idea at hand. We’re going to keep things collaborative with the team, asking for topics they’d like to learn about/ teach us about. So anything from managing work-life balance to learning about star signs could be on the cards.
We think this would be a nice way to get to know each other a little more and amplify some of our team member’s voices who may be passionate about a certain subject/ field.
Virtual yoga sessions: We discussed prior that we’ve been enjoying some yoga sessions in the office to regain some of our zen during the working day. Everyone involved has a great time and our lovely teacher makes each session available to all- even if you’re a novice.
We feel so lucky to be able to take some time to ourselves away from our desks and think it’ll be a perfect opportunity for our remote team to do the same. Offering these sessions virtually may also make more of our team a little more comfortable to join in too, as they’ll be in their own space/ surroundings.
So, here are a few ways we keep our remote team connected and a couple that we’re looking to implement soon.
Whilst we’re so happy to have a diverse team that are eager to join in and actively talk/ get together outside of work- it's still important to check in and engage with remote team members as often as you can.