With many companies are still working remotely, business owners may be struggling to maintain company morale from a distance. Here are a few ideas that you can do right now to maintain a positive work environment and increase morale among your team (while keeping everyone safe!).

  1. Prioritize face-to-face time with your team members

Face-to-face interactions through virtual platforms such as Zoom or Google Hangouts are great tools for creating a sense of unity among team members. Schedule time for group or company-wide gatherings.  For example, try a weekly or bimonthly group meeting in which each department gives an update on what they have been working on. This is a great way for your team members to work on creative problem solving together or show support for one another. Be sure to also schedule the occasional one-on-one meeting with your employees to ensure that their thoughts are being heard and their work is being appreciated.

  1. Encourage employees to take advantage of professional development and networking opportunities

With many events, workshops, and courses now being offered virtually, this is a great time to invest in your employees by encouraging them to make new connections or learn new skills that would be helpful in their roles. We’d love to recommend our next Table Topics virtual meeting, or upcoming Harvesting Partnerships educational symposium.

  1. Set aside time for things that are not work related

Working from home can blend work and personal time, to the point where it is easy to feel as though work is taking over.  Set aside some time for a virtual happy hour or coffee break in which co-workers can relax, unwind, and connect with one another. Another idea is to encourage your team to volunteer or fundraise for a cause together through virtual auctions, food drives or charity runs. Make sure to also commemorate birthdays or major milestones just as you would in the office. If it is a special occasion in your employee’s life, set aside a few minutes of the work day to celebrate them as a team!

  1. Utilize multiple communication platforms 

Video conferencing platforms are great for face-to-face communication, but requires more coordination and time set aside. Designate email communication for important memos, requests or news, and utilize a less formal instant messaging platform (we use Slack!) to allow your team members to share brief messages and engage in more casual conversations like they would in an office setting. You can even separate chats for company-wide, departmental, and one-on-one messaging so that the group chat does not get bogged down with individual conversations.

  1. Promote the mental and physical wellbeing of your team

Encouraging a healthy lifestyle can go a long way toward creating a positive work environment in stressful times. Destigmatize mental health issues by encouraging employees to be open about how they are feeling and share resources about how to recognize stress and depression and when to seek help. Physical health also plays a big role in mental and emotional wellbeing. Encourage team members to stay active throughout the day with small fitness challenges that everyone can participate in or friendly competition on a fitness app.