Instilling a ‘sense of togetherness’ amongst remote workers

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The coronavirus pandemic has led to the concept of churning ‘out of the box’ activities for the employees working remotely, amidst the lockdown. It has forced companies to think of ways to give the employees a break from the monotony of working from within the house.

This attempt at rejuvenation of employees is actually the need of the hour, as the work from home situation has isolated the workers, not only physically but mentally as well.

Therefore, all companies have mandated the task of keeping their employees engaged in fun activities, so that their productivity at work doesn’t get hampered due to monotony.

Human resource teams are taking multiple initiatives to boost employees’ morale and engagement in such depressive times too!

Samriti Malhotra

We got them to sit in on zoom calls for a chit-chat session, which involved no work talk. It has proved to be the best activity for them

 

Here are a few interesting activities, which the companies have devised for their employees in order to keep them energised and motivated:

1. #FlauntYourDesk

Since a physical office is not being shared any more, it’s easy to feel disconnected or out of sync with co-workers. There is also a lack of a professional working regime, which requires sitting upright at one’s work desk. The workstations at offices are designated spaces that provide utmost convenience to the employees to perform their daily tasks. All the necessary objects of work are available close by and within reach.

Gajendra Jangid , co-founder and CMO, Cars24, claims, “Considering that remote working requires connectivity in heavy weightage, we started getting our staff to indulge in activities such as posting a picture with their super workstations at home. The activity was named #FlauntYourDesk.”

“The idea emerged from a simple thought to enforce a sense of discipline amongst the workforce. This could only be brought about by making them sit in an attentive position.

The response was such that more than a disciplinary act, it became a creative task. Almost the entire workforce participated in this activity with full zeal,” claims Jangid.

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2. 21 Days Fitness Challenge

Pritam Bagui doing the fitness challenge

“Each week we come out with a new set of enthralling games to keep the employee base engaged and I myself get on a call with my HR team to decide the set of activities for each week,” says Sandeep Aggarwal, founder and CEO, Droom.

“Of all the activities we brought to the table for our employees, the ‘DROOM 21 days

Fitness Challenge’ was the most popular. It involved employees getting into shape according to their body weight. While some needed to shed weight, others needed to gain.

“With no physical exercise being indulged in to get to the office, we devised this activity to keep the employees active and fit,” says Aggarwal.

Gajendra Jangid

Considering that remote working requires connectivity in heavy weightage, we started getting our staff to indulge in activities such as posting a picture with their super workstations at home

This challenge not only helped the employees follow a disciplined routine, but most admitted to feeling less lethargic and more productive at work,” shares Aggarwal

3. Cooking to binge with colleagues

Employees in physical offices often get to enjoy food together, ordered from their favourite restaurants or eateries nearby. They get to try out new cafes or other food hot spots down the street, but working from home has put an end to such pleasures. “Well, remote sharing of your favourite cuisines isn’t a bad idea either,” claims Samriti Malhotra, associate vice president–global HRD, Denave.

Remote sharing cooking sessions over a cup of virtual coffee

“We tried to inculcate an interest in cooking within our employees for their group snacking regimes. Why should only one spouse feed the other? Considering that there isn’t much physical activity happening due to space constraints, we made it a point to convince the employees to take out time from their robotic schedules to cook something great. We got them to sit in on zoom calls for a chit-chat session, which involved no work talk,” said Malhotra.

Sandeep Aggarwal

Of all the activities we brought to the table for our employees, the ‘DROOM 21 days Fitness Challenge’ was the most popular. It involved employees getting into shape according to their body weight

“Believe me, it has proved to be the best activity for them. They are actually able to vent out their frustrations in a joking manner, share funny stories, discusses the experience of working from home, and so on,” claims Malhotra.

4. Kids greeting colleagues

Employees at Flipkart who have children are being encouraged to allow their young kids to greet colleagues during video meetings, to bring about a “sense of togetherness”. The Walmart-owned firm has also created an online community, where people are posting pictures of their #WorkFromHomeLife, which is helping them stay connected to each other.

Employees are also being encouraged to take a ‘digital chai break’ and are being guided to schedule their work day.

Final Talks

While the concept of remote working is not new, the majority of the workforce being forced to work from home is certainly an unexpected phenomenon. Remote working still remains a less comforting choice for many. LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends showcases ‘work flexibility’ as one of LinkedIn’s most trending words. It has become increasingly common over the last decade. Many companies have been managing remote teams for years, and thus, seem to have figured out various unique ways to overcome the challenges associated with this approach. They have shown that it is possible to successfully build strong and inclusive remote-working cultures.

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