6 Online Activities to Keep Employees Engaged
As we move into the second month of remote working many people will be missing the social aspect of being in an office environment. While some will have found they have been more productive with fewer distractions and have saved money on petrol, parking and buying lunches, for most, being surrounded by your work friends, chatting about things other than COVID-19 and creating memories is the highlight of going to work in the first place.
And while nothing can truly replace the feeling of working side by side with the rest of your team in one location, there are things companies can do to keep that side of the business alive. While video conferencing technology has come on leaps and bounds and is now used by almost everyone, here are 7 online activities to keep employees engaged.
Above all else, during these uncertain times, you need to make sure your employees are safe and comfortable when working their new surroundings. For some, their interactions in the office may be the only human contact they had on a regular basis before the outbreak led to organisations sending people home to work remotely. And as a result, some may feel more isolated than others.
If possible, speak to all of your employees everyday. This may seem like you are checking up on them, but really that is better than not speaking to anyone all day. It’s widely believed that since the outbreak, managers are now having much more in depth conversations with employees, some for the first time ever. And for those who are in more need than others, make time in your schedule to talk through the issues they are having and reassure them that things will return to normal eventually.
As well as mental health, physical health is also very important. Before the introduction of social distancing, many employees will have walked to and from their place of work, gone to the gym at lunch time or taken a leisurely stroll in the evening, especially as we enter spring and approach summer. And while these opportunities have been limited, it is still important to keep active.
It is understandable that we may put on more weight in the next few months, but doing what we can when we can can keep us in better shape before the restrictions are lifted. There are many workout videos and tutorials available online to take part in or even create a routine with your employees first thing in the morning to catch up with everyone and get everyone energised for the day ahead.
Where there is a crisis, there is opportunity. And while many outdoor pursuits are currently out of bounds for people’s safety, the outbreak and lockdown provides everyone with the chance to take up new pursuits they may have previously put off. As many organisations will have offices around the world, or maybe in preparation for a long awaited vacation, learning a new language can be a good use of this time.
And rather than it being a solo activity, why not encourage co-workers to join you. Programmes such as Rosetta Stone use exercises and fun activities to help you master new dialects in a short space of time. And while the children are learning from home with schools closed, there’s no reason you can’t learn too.
If a new language isn’t to your liking, there are several other hobbies and interests you may take up instead. After the mad dash to stock up on supplies in early March, supermarkets are now near enough back to being fully stocked, giving those people would sooner order a takeaway than pick up a wok the opportunity to improve their culinary skills.
And again, why not make it a group activity? Those who are currently more skilled in the kitchen and with a flair for presenting have been showcasing their talents online and encouraging those in attendance to follow along at home. Good for the mind and good for the waller in the long run.
After a busy morning of staring at your computer screen, you may not be in the mood for standing over a hot stove however, but just because your work friends are in different places doesn’t mean you can’t still eat lunch together. Wherever you are and whatever you are eating, organise a group call, huddle in front of your screen and catch up with your friends much like you would in the office. Or after a long week, swap your lunch for an ice cold beverage for a virtual pub experience to let loose.
At the end of the day, we all need something to entertain us, and online quizzes are a great way to bring people together, have a laugh and forget about the problems out there. Many sites have been creating their own quizzes and games for people to follow along with with picture boards, music rounds and scavenger hunts to name a few.
Or alternatively you can create your own quizzes or games such as Indian poker or Pictionary to bring your friends together and have fun. And though it will never replace the feeling of being face to face, with the world the way it is at the moment, it is important that we remain safe and be smart. If we do that, then our friends will still be there and it will make the moment we see them again even more special.
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