When we transitioned most of our team to a work from home environment, we wanted to make sure our employees’ morale stayed high and we kept camaraderie apparent in our day to day. It’s crucial that every employee working from home still feels connected to our company and to their fellow coworkers.
Channel of Fun
After our incredible IT department implemented Microsoft Teams into our workflow, we were able to create some fun activities to increase team camaraderie in our new virtual office space. We created a “channel of fun” within Microsoft Teams that included every employee in the company (across all three branches) to break up the monotony of the day and add some human interaction between coworkers. Each morning, we pose a daily icebreaker question in the channel. It has really become an outlet for the employees where they can get to know each other better and spark conversations of interest among one another.
We’ve also used this virtual office space for employees to send in photos of their pets, kids, home offices, and selfies. We’ve had themed days where our employees will dress up (like our most recent “Jersday” so employees could rep their favorite jerseys) and have continued our long-standing tradition with “Cheers Friday.” Every Friday, our employees can crack open a cold one near the end of the day to toast to a job well done and celebrate the weekend. Our Cheers Friday gives the employees the opportunity to still feel connected and a part of that tradition by sending in selfies with their beverage of choice, so the company can cheers to the weekend together.
Many activities that we used to do in-person; we’ve now transitioned to a virtual setting. Our company mixers are now virtual happy hours. We’ll set up a video chat with any employee that wants to join in after work and hang out together. We’ll play games, tell stories, and just connect with one another in a virtual setting. Our training sessions have also been transitioned to virtual seminars. Employees can write in questions or topics that they’d like covered during the session and our vice president of sales will go over every question during the training seminar. It’s proven to be a great way for employees to learn more about the industry, gain new strategies to use during their sales pitches, and interact with upper management.
Our virtual fitness challenges have helped our employees stay active and move their bodies throughout the day. Their physical and mental health is very important to us, so this was a fun way that we can accomplish daily fitness tasks together and encourage each other in a virtual setting. We created a new channel is Microsoft Teams dedicated to our fitness challenges where any employee can join in if they’d like. Our first fitness challenge was a month-long plan that asked employees to complete a daily fitness task, specifically squats and jumping jacks. Each day the number of reps increased just a little. Employees sent in photos and videos of themselves completing the daily challenge. Our new challenge is starting up soon and encourages employees to complete a specified workout any three days out of the week that they choose. The goal of this challenge is to complete all workouts throughout the next 28 days, focus on good form, and try to increase their number of reps every week.
A big component to our mission of keeping team camaraderie throughout our company is our employee check-ins. We never want our employees working from home to feel forgotten about or disconnected from the company. Whether a phone call, text, chat, or email, we make sure to consistently check in on our employees working from home to simply see how they are doing and if there is anything, we could do better for them.
A Little Competition
If you know us, you know we love competitions. We love giving our employees a challenge (with a prize) and watching them completely crush it. We didn’t want that to change in our virtual new normal. Our Calls for Coffee contest pushed our employees to crank up their call numbers throughout the day. We randomly selected times during the workday where we’d see who was leading in call numbers and that employee collected a coffee on us. If they were the call leader multiple times when we randomly drew, they collected another coffee. At the end of the workday, employees tallied up their earned coffee count and we sent them virtual gift cards to the coffee shop of their choice. It was a fun little contest that rewarded employees who were putting in some extra effort that day.
We’re currently hosting a month-long contest for May called Big Plays for 20 Days Contest. If an employee lands a “big play,” their name is put into a pot for a chance to win some cold hard cash at the end of the month. More big plays mean more chances. Our employees are raking in those big plays every day. We can’t wait to see who the three cash winners will be after the last workday of the month. This contest is a great way for our employees’ hard work to be recognized company-wide and give them a chance to earn some extra money for their efforts.
Visits from the Trident Fairy
Who doesn’t love surprise treats dropped off at your door? We thought our employees would love opening their door to a treat from their company, so that’s just what we did. We put together a care bag filled with some goodies to give our employees’ an energy boost and spent one week driving around town dropping them off on their doorsteps. We wanted to show our employees how much we care about them and how grateful we are for their continuous hard work and dedication to our company. Who knows…? They may get another visit from the Trident Fairy in the future.
These are just some of the ways that we’ve kept our team connected with one another since we can’t all be together. If you’ve implemented some fun activities in your virtual office space, we want to know! And to all of our employees working from home, we love you and we miss you and we’re so thankful to have you on our team!