How do you stay connected with coworkers while working from home? Effective communication while working from home is key to keeping the team on track.
Over 60 percent of employees have spent less time socializing with coworkers since they began working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to research by Clutch.
It’s a problem because close work friendships can increase job satisfaction by 50 percent and encourage more creative, collaborative and innovative teamwork.
Nearly 70 percent of companies have hosted virtual events and 26 percent have given employees more access to communication technology to boost morale and give employees an opportunity to reconnect with one another.
How Do You Stay Connected with Coworkers While Working From Home?
Virtual events give employees a brief break from work to come together as a team. The most common types of virtual events that employers are hosting include:
- Professional development sessions (19 percent)
- Happy hours (13 percent)
- Activities and games (9 percent)
- Meals (5 percent)
George Kuhn, the president of Drive Research, a market research firm, told Clutch about two ways his company is bringing coworkers together. During their “Social Coffee Hours” employees are welcome to make casual, office-type conversation in a shared video call while they work. Drive Research also hosts trivia and scavenger hunts as a fun, competitive alternative to the standard small talk of happy hours and virtual meals.
Shivbhadrasinh Gohil, co-founder and chief marketing officer at Meetanshi, a Magento development company, brings employees together with a daily activity called “Photos at 4” where employees respond to a prompt by sharing a photo (examples include favorite quarantine snack, unique household item and dream vacation).
Many employers used communication technology long before COVID-19. Messenger platforms like Slack have streamlined communications about everything from company announcements to general work discussions since 2009. Task management tools such as Asana have kept teams on track to meet deadlines since 2008. Organizations have come to rely on tools like these to continue working as a team while working from home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Employers also need reliable technology to successfully host virtual events for employees. Zoom, a video conferencing application, saw it’s daily users jump from 10 million to more than 200 million in March when much of the U.S. was under orders to shelter-in-place.
When reviewing video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams employers should consider how many participants will be attending virtual events, if there are any security concerns that need to be mitigated and what features are most important to them.