5 Ways We’re Connecting with Coworkers During Social Distancing
In a time when many of us feel isolated and alone, anxious or scared, finding ways to connect with one another is incredibly important. We have all now been removed from our normal routines for over a month.
The lack of human connection is one of the hardest parts of social distancing. Our day-to-day interactions with family, peers and strangers have been disrupted. These small interactions are what make us feel loved and motivated, fill up our days and keep our sanity.
Our team members are putting their hearts, minds and talents together to find new and creative ways we can all stay engaged with each other or just get a much-needed mental break from all that is happening around us.
Finding ways to connect with each other is how we will get through the new challenges we are all facing. Here’s how we’re adapting our virtual office to come together while we are apart.
Actually Enabling Our Cameras
All of our meetings are now video calls — as in, it's company policy to show up on screen. Sounds scary, but it's one of the most important steps we've taken to stay connected so far.
For the camera-shy among us, video conferencing was daunting at first. But it quickly became clear how valuable face-to-face communication is. This much-needed interaction throughout the day and has brought us closer together and given a personal look into everyone’s life at home.
And of course, our team has been getting creative with these video calls, enabling virtual backgrounds and face filters that provide endless entertainment during our meetings. Check out some of our favorite backgrounds from our coolest cat and kittens — our paid social specialist, Meleigha, and president, Kimm.
Nebo Bracket Challenges
We love nothing more than a healthy competition. In the past, we've held Ping-Pong playoffs, Nebolympics and, of course, our annual Pi Day contest, where challengers clash in an epic battle to recite the most digits of pi.
To keep our competitive spirits alive while we're remote, we’ve rolled out a series of brackets for the entire office to vote on. In our first bracket, the office was nearly torn apart as we narrowed down our favorite Disney films and secretly judged each other’s taste in movies. (Because, really, "The Little Mermaid" deserved better.)
"The Lion King" came out on top and was live-streamed over Zoom for all our nostalgic hearts to enjoy together.
One of the hardest parts of working away from our office is missing our cutest coworkers. But don’t worry — they’re getting ample attention through Zoom.
We introduced Yappy Hour to celebrate the best day of the week: #WagWednesday. During this hour, we can all come together to gush over the faces we miss seeing the most: the office dogs, plus cats and babies too. Here’s a behind the scenes look of my dog, Elle, loving all the attention.
Team Bonding with a Twist
Every quarter, our departments spend an afternoon participating in team-building activities, from escape rooms to sports (for the athletically inclined) to enjoying a few cocktails (which is definitely more my speed).
Instead of postponing these highly anticipated team bonding days, our directors have been putting together some incredible virtual opportunities to spend time together from afar. Recently, our social media and PR team participated in a wacky, themed scavenger hunt put together by our incredible director. Our team became the “Kappa Kappa SoPR” sorority, with unique and thorough narratives that led us through an hour of competition, laughs and quality time together.
Check out our scavenger hunt below, which garnered more than a few questions from our peers.
Virtual Club Meetings
We’re not ashamed to admit that Nebo has a nerdy side. That's why we have Nebo extracurriculars, like our monthly book club or our boardgame night. Normally, we get together after work to debate our favorite books or play a game together – and we weren't going to let social distancing stop us. Instead of canceling our club meetings, we made them virtual.
Staying engaged is more important than ever right now. It’s comforting to know we are reading the same book, or all preparing to crush each other in our next game night. This month’s book club left us in a heated debate after our book turned out to be more romance than an epic thriller. Meanwhile, our engineering team was having an explosive game night of their own.
These are all small activities that our team members have coordinated to care for one another. I am proud to be part of an office culture that brings people together – all the time, but especially now.
Above any internal initiative, the most important thing we can do right now is simply take time to check in with each other. Acknowledging the adjustments we are all undergoing and making your peers feel supported is what teams need right now.
What are you doing to stay connected at work right now? Share with us.
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Awesome tips. It is so easy to feel distanced and in solitude during social distancing. Thanks for the awesome article.