Working from home has many perks and benefits, but it can also cause feelings of loneliness. Not being able to interact with your team and co-workers could also potentially hurt business performance due to a lack of synergy and communication.
Loneliness is not great for your overall health; most people need some type of social interaction and camaraderie. Luckily, there are some ways that remote employees can still socially interact and develop great relationships with one another. Keep reading to discover helpful tips on how to promote social interaction among employees.
Various research studies have shown the correlation between healthy relationships and stress. Having good, fulfilling familial relationships, romantic relationships, and friendships can decrease stress and even combat against or improve health issues.
Your job should be a place where you feel free to interact with your coworkers and spawn relationships that aren’t limited to the workplace. Having these relationships with coworkers can make your workday brighter and less stressful, thus making you more productive. Remote employees deserve the opportunity to establish such relationships.
Below are ways that your company can promote social interaction among remote employees.
Better known as ERGs, they are employee-driven and employee-led committees that promote inclusivity and diversity at the workplace. As a company manager, you can encourage your company’s ERG to host fun and educational events that celebrate the different cultures and backgrounds of some of the employees at the workplace.
For example, the ERG may host a trivia game about black history for Juneteenth or one about indigenous culture for Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Not only will this boost social interaction among employees, but it will also promote inclusivity and the importance of diversity and understanding other cultures.
Whenever your company has new hires, allow them to introduce themselves to the team. Encourage them to also say a fun fact about themselves or give them a fun icebreaker question to answer so that their coworkers can get to know them and their personalities.
Previously-hired members on the team should also introduce themselves and answer fun get-to-know-you questions so that everyone is well-acquainted. Doing this will help employees realize any common interests that they share with their coworkers, thus creating a bedrock for good social interaction.
It would help if you promoted a positive way to celebrate accomplishments. While some firms and companies have good recognition programs, making a more personal and straightforward appreciation of your employees is good.
You can utilize your company’s communication platform to send birthday and other special messages to employees. If time allows, you may even host virtual birthday parties or virtual celebrations of employees who have accomplished something great.
If workplace conversations are limited to work topics, the workplace could get boring. As a team leader or manager, avoid jumping straight into agendas of meetings but instead encourage interactions between colleagues by asking about fun weekend plans, any upcoming special events, and chatting about a popular TV show or song that everyone is raving about.
Creating a space where non-work-related conversations exist in meetings will reduce monotony and inspire remote employees to have a better and more cheerful work experience because they don’t feel reduced down to their contributions to the company; they feel as if they’re seen as humans who have a personal life outside of work.
If time allows, you and your team can play an online game. Go for classic ones like online Taboo or online Pictionary. Playing games is fun, and it will encourage social interaction among employees.
It’s also an activity that allows for a break from regular work duties and tasks. Just remember to use a time clock app to determine when employees will be available to ensure that the game will enough players.
Social interaction in a traditional workplace is easily achieved because everyone is physically around one another. Such interaction may be hard to achieve in a remote workplace, but it’s definitely not impossible. Use the above tips to foster social interaction for remote employees.
Amy Sloane is an alum of Oregon State University where she studied marketing and business. She spends her free time writing and is a knitting enthusiast. Amy loves reading, cooking, and spending time with her dog, Molly. Follow her on Twitter to read her latest blogs! @AmySloane2