How Companies Are Connecting With Employees During the COVID-19 Crisis
In the face of an unprecedented public health crisis, it’s clear that some industries and certain companies were better equipped to carry on during our jarring new reality. But one thing is clear: We’re all rethinking the ways in which we conduct business and keep communication and collaboration effective while keeping a safe distance.
In that spirit of innovation overcoming crisis, some organizations have taken the lead in keeping their employees engaged and, yes, even inspired during these uncertain times.
Here are some of the most heartening out-of-the-box ideas we’ve heard of for team building and bonding while working remotely.
Staying Connected While Social Distancing
As a new Gallup report on remote employee well-being notes, “Managers of newly remote workers will have to change their approach to coaching; many of these workers struggle with feelings of isolation and loneliness.”
Arianna Huffington’s wellness aggregator, Thrive Global, was founded specifically to help people, communities, and companies improve performance by enhancing well-being. So, one would expect that the Thrive Global team is embracing this moment: “At Thrive, we’re utilizing Slack channels like ‘pets-of-thrive’ to share photos of our furry friends, holding group meditation sessions employees can dial into, and taking a moment to check in with our teammates to see how they’re adjusting to this new normal.”
Providing peace of mind to employees is crucial during these unsettled times. Ad agency Havas is bringing meditation to the masses via Instagram Live with its “Creative Consciousness” programming. Havas actually began these weekly meditation and kundalini yoga sessions more than two years ago in an effort to promote creativity and connectedness within the company, but the organization is now opening up its programming to the public. Because we all need to take more deep breaths right now.
The Dawn of the Digital Happy Hour
As Forbes reports from the (online) frontlines, companies like Srax, a Los Angeles-based ad agency, are organizing digital get-togethers, utilizing such available technologies as FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and Zoom to replicate the corner bar to rally the troops (even if they’re pouring their own beers).
At the innovative startup Teambuilding, fun virtual group activities such as storytelling workshops, online office games, and lunch & learns are helping remote employees navigate not having the social interaction of reporting to an office every day. Odds are, they’ll never even miss the water cooler.
The Future Workforce
Whether your team, your at-home workspace, and your lifestyle were ready for this sudden transition, some simple steps will help you stay productive, proactive, and most of all, positive during your new routine.
Beyond the now-ubiquitous advice of “set a designated work space” (even if it is an ironing board in the hallway) and “change out of your pajamas,” what can employers can now offer their employees is the opportunity to explore the advantages of remote work and how it can benefit both their well-being as well as the company’s bottom line.
Free from the constraints of in-person meetings, conferences, and travel, employers can implement important initiatives such as iterative training in the areas of leadership, customer service, and sales via virtual learning. Diversity & inclusion programs can be especially beneficial for employees finding themselves in unpredictable situations.
The Key to Thriving in the “New Normal”
While it’s unclear exactly how long our work-from-home mandates will be in place, one thing is certain: We’re all figuring this out together, using technology and other tools to help us continue to stay focused and flourish.
And just think how happy our pets are these days.