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5 ways to digitally boost team morale whilst working from home

5 ways to digitally boost team morale whilst working from home

Posted 20th August, 2020 by Sarah

Hopefully, your business is emerging safely from lockdown. But, there’s a good chance that you’re still working from home.

The Office of National Statistics reports that, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, 46.6 per cent of employees were working from home and 86 per cent of those were doing so because of the pandemic. Working from home has, therefore, become the new normal for a lot of businesses.

This has led to a shift in productivity and in employee morale. So, how can employers make this a productive and positive way to work?

Isolation is no fun

After months of being within the same four walls, a genuine fatigue can set in, and this isn’t just weariness or boredom, it can be physical fatigue, brought about by the stress of living through challenging times.

As Psychology lecturer Dr Sarita Robinson explains: "When we face psychological stressors, our bodies still mount a physiological response - we can enter fight or flight mode - and this takes up energy.”

So, for those who have been fortunate enough to avoid being directly touched by the pandemic, it can still be exhausting.

Putting aside part of the day to allow your team to spend some quality time together is great for group cohesion and can help productivity. It’s amazing how many good ideas come out of talking about something other than work, with work colleagues.

So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at five ways businesses can improve workers’ morale and bring the team together, whilst they’re apart.

Digital activity #1: Breaking bread

Online cooking demos may be the flavour of the month. So, why not get your team ‘together’ in their respective kitchens. You can all cook along and see how everyone’s culinary adventure turns out. Then you can all sit down and eat ‘together’.

As a supportive employer, you could even arrange a delivery of ingredients to staff – taking into account their dietary requirements – so they have everything they need.

This doesn’t need to be anything fancy – a pizza is pretty-much guaranteed to please and is difficult to get wrong, it cooks quickly and is almost infinitely customizable.

Team-building activities like this have never been more important than at a time when the team is isolated.

Digital activity #2: Let’s get physical

Lockdown has offered a great opportunity for self-care. 76 per cent of us have taken up a new exercise activity during it.

So, why not arrange some shared physical activities, where your staff can support each other and make their workout into more of a laugh.

This doesn’t mean you have to go the full Joe Wicks – after all, part of the point of these activities is a chance for your staff to socialize and they can’t really talk if they’re out of breath.

But, you could do some shared warm-up exercises, maybe even yoga. That should be suitable for people of all fitness levels.

It’s been long understood that the benefits of workers working out together can include a heightened sense of togetherness, it can even improve productivity by giving colleagues the feel-good buzz you get from having worked out.

Digital activity #3: Get down and dirty

Not everyone has a garden, but most will have a shelf or a windowsill where they can cultivate plants. Simply seeing those green shoots poking through and knowing that you planted that little leafy life can be a great confidence boost.

But, studies have demonstrated that if you can get out into the garden and transform that unloved patch of soil into a riot of colour, it not only makes you feel good, you’re doing some good for the environment and the local insects.

Taking your phone or laptop with you and sharing this experience with colleagues can be great for bonding, as well as a fantastic way for those with more knowledge to offer a few helpful hints to those without.

As psychologist Seth J Gillihan makes clear, there are innumerable business benefits to getting outdoors and into the garden. Beyond being a simple change of scenery and a breath of fresh air, it helps us alter our mindset, to understand that growth takes time and that there are processes which are simply beyond our control.

Digital activity #4: Be mindful

Sometimes doing nothing can be everything. A simple and effective way to help keep stress and anxiety under control is through meditation. This means taking a measure of control of your feelings by allowing yourself to slow down, filter out the cascade of day-to-day worries and give yourself time to choose how you react.

Research shows that mindfulness can have a positive effect on the way we respond to everyday anxieties, stresses, depression and irritability.

There are a range of YouTube channels and apps out there which can help you get started, such as Headspace – which offers a range of free mindfulness resources specially formulated for employers and their employees who could use a hand dealing with the repercussions of Covid-19.

Digital activity #5: Zoom time

In-between all these team-building exercises, you still need to do a bit of work. It’s possible that you’d never even heard of Zoom six months ago and now it’s your lifeline. It seems like everyone’s using it.

So, make the most of its opportunities and allow staff to customize the experience in ways that you simply can’t in a face-to-face physical meeting.

How about having themed fancy dress meetings? This doesn’t need to be a head-to-toe commitment, simply wearing a silly hat or a false nose would do.

Also, there are many virtual backgrounds that you can download, which can add some fun to your zoom meetings.

Our favourite free collection has been offered by the BBC and features sets from classic TV shows. So, fancy hosting your Zoom meeting from The Queen Vic or from Doctor Who’s Tardis? Well, now you can.

Categories: COVID-19, Small Businesses

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