Working from home during a lockdown can make many of us feel isolated, so it’s important for us leaders to focus on keeping teams motivated, just as we would in the office.
With millions of Australians now in lockdowns due to the pandemic, organisations around the country are facing the challenge of how to keep staff motivated while working from home. Fortunately, there are so many ways you can now connect with your team, it isn’t limited to speaking over Zoom or on the phone. The more creative you get, the more engaged your team will be.
Here are my top five ways to keep your team motivated and connected during the extended lockdowns:
Online escape rooms
A great team building exercise at the best of times is to do an escape room together. This may not exactly be possible at the moment, however virtual escape rooms are an extremely fun alternative. Perfect for groups of six to 10, virtual escape rooms aren’t just great for testing your team’s puzzle-solving skills, but they also help foster teamwork and creative thinking. Best of all, you’ll be enjoying some laughs along the way!
If your team prefers something more old school, you can try a classic game of Pictionary, just over Zoom! There is a nifty whiteboard function on Zoom calls, which the host of the meeting needs to turn on. All participants in the meeting who want to have a turn must click “view options” on the top of the screen and then select “annotate.” The meeting host will need to be the gamesmaster, randomly choosing the word for whoever’s turn it is to draw and privately messaging them their word. It’s the perfect activity for a team games night!
Weekly office newscast
A fun idea to spruce up everyone’s Monday morning demons is to do a virtual office news segment. This is a way of catching everyone up on the happenings from the past week that they might have missed, while also including reminders of any of the important events in the upcoming week. Feel free to include some joke segments like updates on someone’s pets or plants!
Virtual Friday drinks
Working from home does have its perks – instead of heading down to your local pub for team drinks, you can leave your trackies on and sip on a glass of wine on the sofa. A great way to keep it interesting and everyone involved is to encourage some special themes. This could be anything from cocktail night, crazy hats, sports (everyone can wear their team’s jersey), or music – let’s see those t-shirts you bought at your first festival all those years ago! You can also spend some time celebrating weekly team wins and crown the employee of the week.
Creating a group playlist for everyone to listen to while working is a great way for teams to feel like they’re in the same room. Spotify has a feature that allows you to make a playlist collaborative, so anyone with the link can add songs if they have an account. This is a great way of having some fun while you work, but also requires people to exercise caution with their choices – whoever puts Limp Bizkit on is walking a fine line!