If you’re anything like me, you have an awesome team. I’m talking the Avengers/Justice League of professional fellowship. They got your back, make your job easier, and the work comes out better on both ends. It’s that sweet spot where everyone serves their role, works well with one another, and gets the job done in time for a cold one or a nap after the final work whistle. Problem is, many of us aren’t doing that with anyone these days. If anything, we’re leaving our Zoom meeting, calling it a day, and heading to the couch when we flip the lights off in our home office. Remember when you could walk over to your team member’s desk or set up some time in the conference room? Yeah, the good ol’ days.
Here’s the thing, team building and connecting with your team in some way (whether in a professional setting or outside of work) is important. It creates a sense of professional comfort that simply can’t be replaced with emails, messages, texts, or calls. Trust me, I’ve tried. When you’re working remote, then you must get creative. Zoom meetings are nice and all but talking shop over a screen can only do so much.
Don’t worry, I got you! Here are some ways to connect with your trusty team even when you’re living your best remote life.
Schedule Monthly Virtual Meetings. No Work Allowed!
If your organization is playing it safe or everyone is all over the place, then virtual is all you got. That’s cool! If anything has improved in the past 18 months, it’s virtual connection. Keep time open on your calendar each month for everyone to log in for non-work stuff. Whether it’s talking about life updates, discussing the TV shows you’re binging now, playing some fun team games, or pouring some beverages, let everyone connect. You can do it during work hours or after you clock out for the day. Personally, I recommend the latter. There’s no time crunch and you’re not thinking about what you need to finish for the day. Trust me, this will make your work life so much better.
Plan to Meet in the Office Every Once in Awhile
Now, this one all comes down to your organization’s health regulations and personal comfort levels. The pandemic is still a thing (unfortunately), so this one is up to you and your team. If you feel safe meeting up in the office here and there (precautions in mind), then in-person communication could be a breath of fresh air. Seeing someone in person is entirely different than on a screen. Even if you’re making it a work meeting, seeing your team in person could be great team building in and of itself. I recommend using it to have fun. Take your games and lively chit-chat to the conference room. Ah yes, just like old times.
Hang Out Somewhere Fun
Again, this one comes down to your team’s comfort and location. Talk it out ahead of time! Grab a bite or a drink, see a movie, hit up an escape room, go bowling, become the cool team at trivia night, etc. Be creative. It’s a great way to get to know everyone outside of the work zone and it creates some common ground. Now you have a movie or restaurant to talk about. Your team trivia skills confirm how awesome you all are working together.
I don’t know about you, but the occasional reminder that we’re all human beings and not just people working on a screen or living in your email box is refreshing. Hit up your team and see if any of these can work because it can really make a difference when you do clock in. Piece of advice, maybe save certain beverages for AFTER work.