Back in March, most of us thought COVID-19 would last two to three months, after which we’d be able to bounce back to normal. As we enter our sixth month with no real end in sight, how many of us believe we’re ever going back to normal?
The Ultimate Experiment
We all know the downsides of working from home: kitchens turned into conference rooms, people working, teaching, and parenting full-time, and managers inventing new ways to keep their teams engaged and productive. This is a challenging time for all of us.
Traditional thinking said distributed workforces are less productive, less accountable, and harder to manage – or at least that was the assumption. Companies who were previously reluctant to allow employees to work from home or employ a remote workforce have been forced to try the experiment in real-time.
Many are realizing their remote employees are just as productive as they were working in an office. At the same time, many employees are realizing how much time was spent wasted commuting to an office, away from family and friends. From the cost savings from not needing physical office space to time savings on multiple levels, this experiment is starting to look like a really good idea for many sectors.
It’s time to embrace a hard reality …
We’re never going back to normal.
The most notable downside to working remotely is the challenge it presents to maintaining healthy, connected company cultures. Humans are social creatures and remote work can diminish an organization’s culture because it isn’t conducive to building meaningful relationships. Interactions between co-workers, teams, and management take place via email, chat, or video conference instead of in-person, and we all know a digital connection is not a viable, lasting replacement for an in-person, live one. This lack of face-to-face engagement can result in feelings of isolation and anxiety which affect working relationships, productivity, and overall culture.
Employees of successful companies tend to have meaningful associations with each other, work together with a common vision, and identify with the company’s values.
According to one study:
“Employees are more engaged when their work experiences resonate with their values, interests, and aspirations. Poor employee engagement can cripple an organization. The domino effect hurts talent retention, innovation, productivity, revenue, customer retention, and the entire workplace culture. But engagement can be improved significantly and relatively quickly by focusing on creating great everyday employee experiences.”
So, how can companies create great, everyday employee experiences when they can’t meet face to face? What about new employees who have never met their co-workers in-real-life? How do businesses create social connections to boost collaboration and productivity?
Going above and beyond traditional team building through professionally-hosted, virtual shared experiences is one way to bring people together in a lighthearted and fun way.
We call this Team Connecting™. Think of it as the evolution of team building, or Team Building 2.0. After all, you’ve already built your team – now, it’s time to connect them.
Boosting employee morale is the best investment you can make right now. We found virtual Team Connecting™ brings teams together in a fun and low-pressure way, reminds employees they are supported by their leadership, and increases trust in managers leading to a vibrant company culture where businesses thrive.
Let’s face it – video calls are here to stay. Redefining the way we use technology to truly and meaningfully connect our distributed workforces is the key to the success of businesses in our new norm.