If your employees are far apart geographically or if some or all of them are working remotely, what can you do to establish or retain connectedness?
Schedule a weekly coffee break. Consider hosting virtual coffee breaks when employees are encouraged to chat about non-work topics, catch up with colleagues, and sip their favorite beverage. To make it more entertaining, consider asking trivia questions, playing “show and tell” or playing virtual board/card games.
Host a virtual fitness class. Encourage employee wellness by hosting virtual fitness classes during the week. If your office doesn’t have the funding or desire to hire a trainer to do a live presentation, consider voting on a type of exercise and finding a few free YouTube lessons or classes. While employees might not feel comfortable leaving their camera on during downward dog, breaking a sweat is an effective tool to break up the work day and get some much-needed exercise. If scheduling fitness classes during the workday isn’t possible in your office, consider developing another type of employee fitness class or initiative: buy pedometers and have a scoreboard for the most steps in a week, have a five minute push-up contest before a weekly meeting, or even create a weekly fitness challenge. The important point is to encourage your team to stand up and be active.
Create a feed or email chain for personal or funny photos. Consider creating a company feed or email chain where employees can opt-in to receiving funny messages and memes. Employees can send one another pictures of their pet or children with funny descriptions or quotes. While not everyone will enjoy such a large flurry of emails, the opt-in/opt-out feature allows employees to control these types of messages. Note: it may be wise not to allow anonymous postings.
Host virtual learning programs. Online courses can be an effective vehicle to communicate new changes in law and or policy to staff, but they can also be an excellent tool for diving into unrelated topics and staying connected. For example, reach out to your local or state bar association’s Lawyers Assistance Program representative who can speak about substance abuse disorder signs, wellness, and self-care. Hosting courses on a variety of subjects (both legal and personal) is a great way to assure that your staff stays up-to-date while also giving them an opportunity to take a step back from the grueling toll of the everyday nine to five.