Nothing is more important than keeping a positive attitude at work, especially when everyone is working remotely. Happy employees are productive employees.
In this article, I offer four team building tips that will help develop positivity in remote work.
- Team Building Activities
- Be Empathetic
- Be Courteous & Grateful
- Stay Connected
1- Team Building Activities: Making Things Informal
Going back to my college days, I remember speaking to a friend who was quite an introvert. He hardly got along with people in group settings and mostly chose to stay quiet (even though he had much to say in private).
One day I asked him if he was too shy to get to know people. He replied with words that still stuck with me to this day: “Chatting with people gets you nowhere. You have to do an informal activity or work with someone to really get to know them.”
Interestingly, this applies to our current scenario. We are connected with our coworkers through emails, phone calls, and virtual projects. Does this really help teammates get to know each other on a personal level? A sense of camaraderie has to be built among team members to boost positivity. Getting to know each other well builds a sense of open-mindedness. If done well, it not only increases work productivity and team performance but employee positivity as well.
One idea for a virtual team building activity is having a game night. There are many online multiplayer games available: card games, traditional board games, pool, darts, etc. It could also be a creative game that one comes up with on the spot. For example, a coworker writes up with a list of items each with different point values. Every time the item is announced, everyone has to find the item in their house. Points will be based on whoever finds the most items the quickest. Games like these are bound to build a strong sense of positivity among team members.
2- Be Courteous & Grateful: The Little Things Matter
We never really know what our fellow coworkers are going through during these times. Without physically being near them and reading their body language, their state of mind is a mystery to us. Think of a young extroverted employee who enjoys being in the presence of their coworkers. Now, imagine what this daunting situation may be like for them.
To keep your fellow employees positive, it is good practice to show that you care by sending a courtesy email/message often. And should you be the recipient of such a message, a speedy and well-written acknowledgment is greatly appreciated?
3- Personal Video Calls: One-on-One’s Matters
This one is an extension of the previous tip but deserves its own section. Sending emails and messages is one thing, but to speak with someone face-to-face (through video-calling) is something else. It’s always a delight to see someone’s face because facial gestures speak more volumes than any written message ever could.
Seeing one’s favorite coworker smiling on a rough day could be contagious and lighten up their spirits.
4- Stay Connected: Add the Human Touch…Virtually
This tip is geared towards managers playing an active role in ensuring positivity among their employees. Of course, you cannot visit every employee door to door and see how they are doing. Even during normal times, this is impossible. What’s the next best thing?
You were there for them at the office, so be there for them now. Consider giving all your employees a video call or a phone call or an instant message and inquire about how things are going not only at work but in their day to day life. Ask them open-ended questions (as opposed to yes and no questions) that will elicit a response that could help you get to know them better. The human touch is an essential part of fostering positivity. Make sure you execute it wisely.
In addition to these, there are many other steps one can take in their personal life to build positivity in the remote workplace. Given that, team building plays an important role that feeds into one’s personal life and vice-versa. Since the current situation is one that is not without physical isolation, it’s vital to keep as much of human connection (virtually) as possible among employees.
The human connections involve not only sending business-related instant messages and making phone calls, but also enjoying leisurely activities (virtually) with each other. In some sense, we are responsible for one another’s positivity.