When the COVID-19 crisis hit the world, businesses scrambled to figure out how to maintain productivity and sustainability when everybody was stuck at home. Since then, people have come a long way toward figuring out sustainable models of communicating remotely. Still, maintaining the same levels of engagement can be a work in progress. Fortunately, there are things you can do to create and preserve a stronger bond with your remote team.
1. Use an Immersive Virtual Background
A Zoom Office background with logo or a custom background that showcases team members’ likes and personalities can be effective tools for developing your team’s bond. Still, it’s hard to make up for the distance between people and the fact that they can’t do things like pop into each other’s offices or sit together in the conference room. Amidst all of the strangeness that came with COVID and the remote activities that followed, feelings of solitude and isolation became most salient.
Immersive virtual backgrounds can help to combat that sense of isolation by placing all of your team members in the same room, virtually speaking. Immersive backgrounds retain the quality visuals that virtual backgrounds have become known for. While still offering such things as a custom Zoom background with logo, immersive technology allows for up to 25 video participants to appear in the same virtual background.
2. Use Fun Activities and Games
It can be easy to underestimate the power of levity on company time but it can help your team to alleviate stress and tension. Taking a percentage of the proverbial work day to focus on these mental health restorers can strengthen your team’s collective resolve. Consider these virtual activities:
- Virtual trivia time machine
- Virtual office Olympics
- Virtual trivia championship
- Virtual lunch meeting
- Coffee breaks and happy hours
- Personality quizzes
- Recipe swap
3. Continue Positive Work Traditions
Whether it’s a quick Monday whip where team members tell each other about their weekends or celebrating somebody’s birthday with cupcakes, virtually but together, it’s important to maintain your work traditions as closely as possible. Policies and activities that promote trust, support, empathy and respect should still be in play because of the positive benefits that they offer.
Mentoring programs, for instance, can still exist remotely, to everybody’s benefit. One of your biggest goals when meeting virtually is to diminish the feeling of separation and this goal is achievable when people begin engaging in the same business practices that have always existed. Collaboration, for instance, by nature encourages closeness.
If one team member is having trouble trying to bypass Zoom virtual background requirements, it’s healthy for them to engage in the same process that they might if everybody was still in the office: by popping into somebody else’s space to ask for help. To this point, establishing a set of hours during which everybody is online can facilitate team members checking in with each other, sharing news or asking for help or advice.
The value of a strong bond between colleagues can’t be overstated. Maintaining that bond is something that requires nurturing and effort but it’s worth it because a well-adjusted team working to its potential leads to success. Visit a virtual background website to learn how immersive virtual backgrounds and other types can help to create a stronger bond with your remote team.