Staying Connected to Coworkers While Working from Home
A guide to bring company culture from the office through your front door.
Finding ways to stay connected during self-isolation does not need to be challenging. Most of us are used to going to an office every day, so suddenly when we all work from home, the importance of company culture has become essential. There are many tools offered online to help promote remote interaction, and you and your team should take advantage of as many ideas as possible to continue having human interaction. Here are a few tips to stay connected with coworkers:
Utilize Company-wide Messaging Platforms
In the MYS office, we use Microsoft Teams, which enables us to feel like we are always connected with our peers. With an instant messaging service, you can have candid conversations without the formality of an email. You would go crazy if you sat in your home office all day without speaking with another soul, so consider using a messaging system to stay in constant contact.
Create Fun Company Conversation Threads in Your Chat Platform
Missing that watercooler time? You wouldn’t spend an entire day at the office and only talk about work with your colleagues. Consider creating a thread or forum where you can post fun, engaging non-work-related topics. You may be working at home, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have personal stories to share! We post a new topic each day for everyone to engage with. Not only does it improve mental health, it gives each of us a glimpse into one another's lives so we can learn things we may not have known about each other. You will be surprised how much you will learn about each other by participating in a fun activity like this one.
Here are some example topics MYS has used to keep our vibrant culture alive:
- Monday – Top 3 things you did over the weekend to pass time in quarantine
- Tell Us Tuesday – Share something fascinating that most of your co-workers do not know about you
- Wacky Face Wednesday – Post a selfie of your funniest face
- Throwback Thursday – Share a baby photo of yourself
- Family Fun Friday – Share your favorite family portrait
- Pics of Pets – Share pics of your favorite furry friends
- Remote Officing - Share your work from home office space
- Artsy - Share a unique piece of artwork or collection
- What’s for lunch? Share a picture of your lunch for the day
- Punked – What are the best office pranks you have been successful pulling off?
Enable Video During Conference Calls
It is so nice to see a familiar face, especially when you have not seen anyone other than those you share your house with for 3+ weeks. By using video platforms such as Zoom or GoToMeeting in place of your face-to-face meetings, you can still have the conversations you are used to having in the conference room, only it is from a distance. It is healthy for your mind to have these interactions, and it will also force you to get out of your pajamas that you have been wearing all weekend.
Show Your Fun Side with PC or Mac Lens Filters
Liven up your conference call meetings with a funny filter! SnapCamera now allows you to add filters to your camera while you are on conference calls. We all need a little humor at a time like this. It is a fun way to express yourself and make others laugh in the process. Of course, keep it professional when you need to.
If you are a manager, check in on your direct reports regularly and make sure they have everything they need, including sanity. Ask your co-workers how they are doing? How is family life at home? How are they coping with quarantine? Asking a simple candid question not only shows compassion, but sometimes all it takes is a small gesture like that to make someone smiles for the day!
Connect on Social Media
Social media is a great tool to get to know coworkers on a personal level, especially during a stay-at-home order. During this time, most people have turned to communicate through social media so that they can stay in the loop and find tips and tricks on staying sane while cooped up at home.