When all 25 New York City-based team members of the ZogLife office worked remotely for nearly two months while their workspace underwent a refresh, the team used it as an opportunity to experiment.
They challenged themselves by asking: What would we recommend to a client who was working remotely for a month? How would we help them continue to have fun and feel connected, despite not being in the same space physically?
We’ll explore those questions in a three-part series devoted to their learnings and recommendations to remote teams. For part one, we share ideas on how to continue to make fun a priority while working remotely.
Start your meetings with a connection moment
Before jumping straight into the meeting or talking about work, you can begin with a moment to connect through playful conversation. We suggest starting with a connection prompts such as:
- What are you most looking forward to over the weekend?
- If you really knew me, you’d know (insert fun fact about yourself that ties with a recent experience you would like to share)
- What did you do for fun when you were 10 years old?
[Spoiler alert but ZogCulture is in the process of creating a deck of connection cards to start meetings with. -Ed.]
Two truths and a lie
This is a great game that you don’t need to be in person for. Each day, pick one person to share two truths and a lie and then have the team vote on what they think the lie is. We did this on the ZogCulture team and let’s just say we thoroughly enjoyed all of the interesting stories and the creativity of the lies!
A day in the life of
Via email or any other internal communication system, have each person share “a day in the life of”—which is almost like an Instagram story to report on what you’re up to. It’s a really great way to stay connected with what everyone’s working on in an engaging, personalized way.
Continue to connect 1-on-1
Within ZogLife, we have adopted a weekly check-in chat where each employee is randomly paired with someone to have a short chat about any and everything. It could be an update on a work project, a 30-minute first-time conversation getting to know someone new in the company, or a quick coffee with your officemate to breakdown the latest episode of Game of Thrones.
We loved still having these calls as a way to take quality time for a 1-on-1 connection. Also important is the occasional quick message to just say “Hi” and check-in on each other or offer a helping hand.
If in the same city, play “meeting roulette”
Go out of your way to meet someone for coffee or change who you are working with for part of the day. A change-of-scenery could reinvigorate and lead to better productivity.
If in the same city, choose meeting places where groups can meet
This can be someone’s apartment community space, a coffee shop, or a free trial at a co-working company (the ZogCulture team spent a week with Croissant and KettleSpace). It’s inspiring to work in different spaces and could even be a good sales tactic.
Which of these ideas are you most excited to try? Let us know in the comments below and stay tuned for parts two and three!