Office managers are often tasked with building and supporting company culture. However, during this unprecedented time of health and safety concerns, this can be challenging for office managers as companies work remotely.
We’ve written about the importance of organizational culture in the past and the five essential parts that make a great culture. They were vision, values, practice, people, narrative and place. While companies work remotely, how can we support our physical workplaces with virtual gathering spaces? How can we show our cultural vision and values in our daily practices and stories we tell online?
Perhaps above all, how can we celebrate and connect the people who make up our culture?
For office managers looking for fun solutions to boost team morale and reinforce culture, here are three simple ideas that can be done remotely, virtually and easily.
How to maintain company culture remotely—and virtually
Create a team #WFH channel
Create a channel or chat group to share photos, content, recipes, tips and tricks and other fun ideas with your teammates. If you use Slack to communicate with your team, create a Slack Channel for #WFH (working from home). Use this channel to create a virtual positive workplace community and culture.
While your team is working remotely, use this channel to connect your workspaces together. Encourage team members to share photos or video tours of their workspaces or wherever they’re the most productive. As the office manager, you could even share ideas with teammates on relevant topics like work-life balance hacks or how to be happy this spring.
Encourage team members to take photos of their #WFH pets, family members, most inspired lunches or top wellness tips. Share movies and shows that others should watch, or favourite books and articles you’ve read and enjoyed. Ask for tips on how to stay productive and healthy at home.
Host a virtual social hour
While your team is working remotely, consider hosting a weekly virtual social hour or happy hour. There are many great apps and online tools to host weekly social hours. For example, Skype, Zoom, Google Video and Hangouts, Apple FaceTime, Netflix Party and Houseparty all allow multiple users to connect via video at once.
Another fun example is Kahoot, which allows you to curate your own quizzes and share it with your team to join and play. Other games you could play include, guess a fun fact about each employee, baby picture contests, fitness challenges and team stretch breaks. At Foodee, we have a weekly virtual yoga session in which the entire company is led by a team member through various stretches and poses.
Find an application that works for your team size and needs. Encourage everyone to gather their snacks and drinks and anything else they may need before the designated social hour. This is a great way to get to know your team members better and keep everyone connected and socialized.
Encourage video meetings
Virtual social contact and face-time are essential during this time of self-isolation, social distancing and quarantine. Encourage more video conferences and meetings whenever possible. If there is a meeting or phone call among team members, consider mandating a “video-on” policy. This will allow your team to interact face-to-face with each other, helping reinforce the workplace culture and boosting necessary social time. It also helps keep everyone engaged, focused and productive.
Some companies organize coffee meetings between two team members who might not have a reason to connect. This could be a fun initiative to start using applications like Marco Polo or the Donut app in Slack, which does just that. The Slack app pairs employees together randomly and organizes a scheduled virtual coffee chat between them.
Staying connected has never been more important among team members. Find virtual solutions that stick for your company and encourage everyone to use them. This will help remind people that you’re all working together and supporting each other. Check-in with everyone on your team and encourage others to do the same often. Health, safety, happiness, wellbeing and connectivity are key to helping your company culture thrive during this time.