Nurturing your team and keeping them on track is, understandably, more difficult when you’re working remotely – but it’s not impossible. Here at instantprint, we’ve been coming up with fun ways to help you keep the team engaged using Skype (or your preferred video call software)! Here are just a few ideas that we’ve come up with and can’t wait to try…
Host a Treasure HuntThis was an idea we stole from our Creative Lead’s partner, who works at a well-known food retailer and had been put in charge of adding a little fun to conference calls for remote workers.
To start each video call, the person leading the meeting challenges the rest of their colleagues to find something in the house – for example a wooden spoon. The first person to get back to the call with the item wins!
This is an especially effective idea if your co-workers have kids, because you can also get them involved in the fun!
Attend a Meeting in Fancy DressIf you’re anything like our marketing team, you own more fancy dress costumes than actual work clothes (just us?). So why not put them to use? Attending video meetings in fancy dress is a great way to inject a bit of fun into the day. Not only do you get to dress up and pretend to be a pirate on a ship, but the surprise to see that you’re in a meeting with a cat, a member of ABBA and a minion is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face!
Pamper with Face MasksWorking from home can be pretty stressful – managing a heavy workload and competing deadlines without being able to turn around and immediately confirm facts with people on your team or trying to stay motivated in a non-office environment can often leave you feeling overwhelmed and like you’re working on over-drive.
But being at home, you have access to a range of things you wouldn’t in the office – like your slippers (unless you’re like me and you have desk slippers!), water to wash your face in and your bathrobe (not something I personally keep in my office desk drawer, but if that’s what you’re into…).
Getting all of your team in their spa gear with facemasks on ready for your call is not only a great bit of fun, but can also help encourage a little self-care amongst colleagues – something that’s so easily forgotten about in hard times, especially when working at home.
Go on Lunch and Breaks TogetherOne of the hardest things about working remotely when you’re used to seeing your colleagues in the office every day is missing out on vital social interaction. If you’re feeling a little lonely, or suspect that a co-worker might be, invite people on a Skype break or video lunch break and chat about something non-work-related for a little while.
For Slack users, there’s a really cool extension you can use called Donut, which was built to replicate the kind of interaction you get when you pass a co-worker by the watercooler. It sets you up with a random person in the business for a 15-30-minute non-work-related chat, which can help with both team building and getting rid of the loneliness that comes from isolation.
Give an MTV Cribs-Style TourOne of the first things we did when we started working remotely was letting our pets virtually meet one another – and of course, checked out each other’s home set-up!
My cat, Bandit, jumping in on a call
If you’re happy to do so, why not have a little throwback to the 90s and give an over-the-top Cribs-style tour of your abode? This is also a great way to share a bit of personality with your team!
Set Up a Group for Home Working CommunicationsOur Personal Development Trainer Sean has recently set up a working from home support group channel on Slack, where he shares helpful tips for staying on track and advice for mental health and wellbeing when working from home.
As well as this, Sean posts daily challenges, motivational quotes and helpful infographics to keep the whole team engaged. Just like in his training, he posts check-in questions – this invites every member of the group to get involved and to show that their voice will be heard.
Not only does this help bridge the social connection gap and help us all bond as a team even though we’re working remotely, it also gives our team the opportunity to ask questions and raise any concerns about working from home!
As silly as some of these ideas are, it’s essential to keep spirits high when you’re working away from your team – and sometimes there’s sense in being silly! Got any more fun ideas for engaging your team over video call while they’re working remotely? Be sure to tag us with your best ideas on Twitter by tagging us @instantprintuk or using the hashtag #instantprintuk!