Office Morale: How to Stay Positive During COVID-19
Most companies and employees around the world are struggling to find their rhythm while adjusting to the new work-from-home policies implemented to protect everyone from the COVID-19 virus. And although these measures have been an effective way to reduce unnecessary contact between humans, it has also left a large number of employees to deal with the pressures related to this huge shift in the way they live and work.
If left unchecked, this feeling of uncertainty will most likely result in a demoralization of your whole company, and when you add in the stress that comes with such a massive disruption in almost every aspect of their daily lives, managing these negative feelings becomes a priority for businesses that not only want to survive this crisis, but to thrive through it.
In order to keep everybody in your company in high spirits and with a positive attitude despite the growing uncertainty, you have to get creative. While physical distance does make it a little more difficult to transmit a morale boost and keep company culture alive, it is by no means an impossible task.
Here are 4 tips to get you started.
Prioritize Mental Health
This sudden transition into remote working was a decision made by companies in order to protect their employees’ health. In that spirit, it is important that you also keep everybody’s mental well-being a top priority.
An easy way to start is to make sure that you are making time for at least weekly one-on-ones with each team member. You should use this time to ask them how they are doing, how they are coping with the remote situation, what challenges they have faced and to show them that you are there to help out however you can.
Consider offering mental health days to employees that are having a hard time balancing work with their home responsibilities, including taking care of kids or loved ones.
Though simple, the mere act of checking in on your team members can go a long way toward keeping morale boosted while ensuring that employees feel valued.
Virtual Team Bonding
To further reduce any feelings of isolation with your newly formed remote team, it is important to keep your employees engaged. The best way to accomplish this is by introducing virtual team bonding activities into your weekly routine.
For example, you could host a virtual team lunch or a Friday afternoon virtual happy hour every week to keep everybody connected. Another helpful tip is to add small doses of team bonding during the week; this could mean allocating the first 5 minutes of your weekly team conference call to discuss great shows to watch, cool podcasts to listen to and great books to read during this pandemic.
With today’s seemingly limitless communication channels online, there really are no excuses for not encouraging your employees to be socially active while staying at home.
Some companies have a designated casual chatroom where employees can hang out whenever they feel the need. Others have dedicated voice servers (such as Discord) with virtual hang-out rooms so people can catch up with each other during a coffee break. And, some others have designated Slack channels where employees can share memes, gifs, and other non-work related material.
The goal is to keep employees connected to one another and to replicate the interactions that workers typically have in the office.
Walk and Talk Meetings
It is important to keep in mind that as gyms, yoga studios and other fitness centers are closed, some of your employees might just be cooped up in their homes and not getting any exercise.
The next time you have a conference call that doesn’t require employees to be seated at their desk, it would be a great idea to suggest a walk and talk meeting instead, assuming that your state and local laws permit them to go out and take a walk. This will help your employees get some much needed fresh air, a bit of exercise, and a change of scenery.
If walking outside is not an option, consider doing a quick sit-up, squat, or plank challenge; not only will this encourage workers to be active participants in the meeting, but the movement can also release some endorphins and boost morale.
Quest Workspaces supports a safe, undisrupted and compliant work environment. Our workspaces focus on private offices with onsite support that enables social distancing, and also offer virtual office packages and remote services to keep your business moving forward from your home or Quest office. Contact Quest today to find a flexible solution that works for you, and discuss how to benefit from our services while also complying with local COVID-19 mandates.