Feeling connected as a team while doing remote work is a challenging task. However, staying in touch with your organization and the people in it is critical for employee morale.
The upcoming holiday season could make the lack of real-life connection even more evident than before since we can’t have the usual in-office events or a holiday-themed setting.
But there are ways to get your organization enthused and looking forward to the holidays even when they’re working from home. Let’s look at some practical ways you can make the holiday season more fun for your remote team.
Create themed video meetings
With the holidays coming up, you can get the excitement going by starting themed meetings. It’s a good idea to build this up before the holidays arrive.
There are many simple ways to get people involved while doing video calls and meetings. Ask your team to wear interesting hats or to wear clothes of a particular color theme.
Another way to build on a theme would be to encourage people to create their own fun video call background. You could make one for your company that includes logos, memes, and your tag line and share it with your team so they can make it their virtual background.
You can add these touches to your regular meetings but it’s also a good idea to make time for non-work related sessions. Host meetings that are just to connect with each other and to celebrate the season. In the next section, you’ll find an interesting way to carry out meetings.
Try breakout rooms
Zoom has an awesome feature called ‘Breakout rooms’ which we tried out during our monthly company townhall meeting. You can split your entire organization that’s on the call into smaller groups where they can chat with each other.
People are randomly assigned to these groups and can connect with employees in other departments whom they might not have spoken to before.
It’s a fantastic way to create connections between departments and you’ll find it easier to remove informational silos in your business.
Set up questions or discussion points during these breakout sessions and make them holiday-themed to make it interesting. In this way, you’ll help build closer relationships in your business and create a festive atmosphere.
Hold virtual contests and games
One way to create teamwork is to have people take part in virtual contests as teams. Individual games are also great when you have only a few participants. Here are some ideas you can try:
- Trivia contests themed around the holidays
- An online scavenger hunt where people look for items in their home
- Online bingo
- Play online quizzes using quizzing tools
Aside from contests, you can also carry out a virtual Secret Santa game by planning it well ahead of time. You can set a date, a budget, and also use free online tools for drawing names. Give enough time for your team members to plan and mail gifts. In this way, you’ll add excitement at work during the holidays.
These are just some of the ideas available to you. Leverage virtual contests and games as ways to get people connected and improve team spirit.
Create family channels and share pictures
One of the things we do at work is to share fun and casual information on our Slack ‘family’ channel. Creating and using a family channel or something similar creates an environment where your team members can reach out to each other on a casual basis. Your family channel can be a place to share holiday pictures, stories, and other information. Here are other things you can do:
- Encourage your team members to showcase their decorations, kids’ events, and other appropriate and interesting content.
- You could create a weekly question and ask people about their favorite recipes, movies to watch, or family traditions.
- One idea is to create a holiday playlist and ask your team to contribute to it. They can also share their own playlists on the family channel.
It’s important that you take the time to respond to people’s posts so that there are engaging conversations happening. Small actions like these will have a long-term impact on your business culture.
The holidays can be the perfect time to foster a friendly and supportive work environment that people love to be a part of.
Remote working gives us the freedom to use our time better and to manage our work and home life effectively. But it does have the drawback of making people feel disconnected from their team members. It gets harder to build up a collaborative relationship with each other.
With the holidays coming up, business leaders need to consider creating positive experiences for their ‘internal customers’ i.e. their employees as much as they do for their external customers.
We’ve covered some clever and fun ways you can involve your remote workforce in holiday-based activities. Set aside a few days to involve your team in these activities and you’ll see greater team spirit that will help boost performance.