2020 has caused the whole world to adapt and change how things are run. With the need to protect staff, while still ensuring the business runs smoothly, increasing numbers of employees are now working from home. Many are finding this new way of working more efficient than predicted and the change is rapidly becoming permanent for many organisations.
However, despite efficiency and productivity still being maintained, there is one crucial element of working life that is missing, socialising with colleagues. Cezanne HR has created a guide to help businesses continue building relationships between employees, while still maintaining social distancing during the pandemic.
Work socials are important for any good workplace as they help to keep everyone connected informally, while reducing stress, increasing employee loyalty and engagement and promoting team-building experiences. With the holiday period not too far away, businesses need to remember to continue these events the best way they can.
Especially with many employees now isolated from loved ones and feeling alone, ensuring scheduled social time can dramatically improve mental health within the staff, even in a virtual space.
Below, we take a look at some of the most popular activities included in Cezanne HR’s guide and how they can be implemented during COVID-19. All of which require access to a device with a webcam, a good internet connection and video calling software.
Show & Tell
This is a brilliant activity with no restriction on the number of participants. With everyone working in their own homes, general chit-chat is all but eliminated and trying to engage colleagues in general natter on a video call with no subject matter can lead to awkward silences and situations.
Have colleagues take it, in turn, to show off an interesting item, subject or interest. This could be anything from a holiday souvenir, intriguing family heirlooms, a new lockdown purchase or a family pet.
Themes can even be set for each session and friendly competition can be encouraged with prizes for the most compelling showcase.
Voted the number 1 socially-distant social event. With many still unable to visit their local pub, it is one of the most missed ways of socialising. At the height of lockdown, local establishments became inventive to try to bring in some revenue, while keeping punters engaged with them.
Gather the team together on a video call and complete a pub quiz in one of two ways. Firstly, you can create a team (or a few of you are in a larger organisation) and follow live-streaming from your favourite pub.
Or, you could create your own quiz. A dedicated quiz master can be elected to create various rounds of questions, this could be anything from general knowledge to rounds specific to the business.
Alternatively, each staff member could write their own round to give a broad range of subjects and interests.
Cooking and baking have been one of the most popular ways for people to pass the time during lockdown, however, there is always room for improvement with everyone.
Simply search for an online provider of cooking classes and select a time and date to participate. Always check current cooking levels within staff before doing so, you don’t want anyone to be too overwhelmed, similarly, you don’t want to book something that will be considered boring.
Your chosen teacher will provide a full list of ingredients and equipment needed beforehand, so make sure this is distributed to staff with plenty of notice.
Then, simply log in at the allocated time and enjoy a new way of learning virtually. The best part of this activity is that once it is over, you can all sit down and enjoy a team dinner with what was just made via video call too!
Odds are, at least one member of the team has been binge-watching murder mysteries on Netflix during lockdown, time for them to the test. Find an online provider and choose what theme suits your team best. There is everything from period drama to sci-fi adventures.
Download the pack provided, allocate characters and distribute the relevant information to each team member. There is no need to memorise lines as everything can be referred to during the game.
Have everyone log into a video chat and let the games begin! Props and costumes are required but also highly recommended to help get into character and bring more laughter into the evening.
Other great socially-distant activities include team dinners, escape rooms, wine tasting, zoo streaming, bingo, beer pong, the list really does go on! Don’t let workplace relationships begin to dwindle during 2020 and choose something fun and exciting to keep everyone engaged, while still staying safe.
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