Zoomies 2.0

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The business world changed this year – everything was flipped on its head and we were thrown in at the deep end. We have had to use methods of communication that we were not always that used to. Now we have Zoom, Slack, Teams, Donut, Skype, conference calls and webinars coming out of our ears.

March seems a lifetime ago now, when lockdown was new and we thought “oh it’s only going to be a few weeks”. It was all Tiger King, banana bread, zoom quizzes, checking out colleagues houses on Teams, kids popping up on calls, pets gate crashing zoom, great intentions of starting new hobbies, and the eternal search for self-raising flour. Lockdown 2.0 feels a lot more depressing.

Back in April we posted an article about what we were doing at som3 to keep the team spirit alive, and we talked about how we can’t wait to all be together again in our two office but to be honest, we can’t see this being allowed until 2021. Talking to our clients, some of them will never go back to full offices and have in fact closed offices, getting everyone working from home.

Now the novelty of home working has worn off for many, what are companies doing to keep up the comradery, team spirit, motivation and work levels using all this lovely technology we have?  Are we all fed up with forced Zoom team building shenanigans? Have we all bought puppies and talk to them more than our colleagues? Probably….

Using the highly scientific method of social media, we asked around our connections, and here are some of the things companies are doing both fun and business related:

  • Lots of online video meetings (although here at Som3 we have decided we look more attractive on the telephone so dropped our weekly Zoomy fun times)
  • Townhalls being delivered remotely so everyone knows what is happening across the company
  • Weekly team alignment calls, checking in on progress and issues
  • WebEx Teams and WhatsApp groups – keep people talking (even if it is mainly about the newest Netflix offerings)
  • Monthly team virtual get togethers, work or non-work-related discussions
  • Competitions – pumpkin carving, cake making, cooking
  • Pre-work virtual coffee once a week, chatting, maybe a quick quiz
  • Yoga!! Yep, one company has started streaming yoga classes to staff (not sure our MD is ready to don the lycra and lead the troops in downward dog just yet)

Of course, there are still a fair few companies not doing anything – and these are the companies that will probably see staff attrition down the line, and likely a loss of productivity if staff don’t feel valued or included in a company.  This isn’t to say working remotely is a “bad thing” in any way, but more companies need to work extra hard to keep employees feeling valued, included, and part of a team, and not forgotten while they type away in the spare room at home.

The “new normal” is here to stay – remote working is not just a passing phase with everyone running back to the office once Boris gives us the nod, companies need to innovate and adapt their employee communication efforts to grow in 2021.