At Crimson, we pride ourselves on our workplace culture – with dress-down Fridays, teambuilding excursions, and seasonal parties and dinners. We focus on employee engagement so much that we were named in the Sunday Times list of 75 Best Companies in the Midlands 2020. However, during a period of social isolation and remote working, how can this culture be maintained? Here are some ways that we’re keeping the Crimson culture alive:
Talk face to face
Talking over the phone just isn’t the same as a face to face meeting. However, face to face meetings aren’t an option during the current Covid-19 pandemic, so video meetings are the next best thing. You still get to read body language and maintain eye contact, with the bonus of a sneak-peak into your colleagues’ home life. Microsoft Teams video meetings allow you to see your colleagues face, with the added options of screen sharing, background blur and subtitles. More often than not, your colleagues don’t care if you’re still in your pyjamas or haven’t brushed your hair – turn your camera on, it’s much more friendly and engaging.
Maintain coffee breaks
It’s important to have breaks whilst working, so make your coffee breaks more interesting by inviting people to a short video call to have a chat. You can also have a virtual lunch break with your colleagues using Microsoft Teams – you’ll just have to make sure you avoid noisy food! These short moments of social interaction help you to relax, as well as combatting stress and loneliness.
Keeping it light-hearted
By working from home, you miss out on the office banter and gossip. Use the first or last few minutes of a video meeting to share news, make jokes and generally lighten the mood. Whether it’s singing happy birthday to a colleague, wearing a comedy t-shirt or bringing your pet on camera, meetings don’t always have to be 100% professional.
Employee activities are always important, but they’re even more important when employees are in a different work environment – which can often include isolation. We have decided to create an activity plan, so all employees can see what is happening over the coming weeks. From quizzes to a virtual yoga session, it is important to make sure there is something for everyone. At Crimson, we are also having daily discussion points to get people talking on Microsoft Teams. This can be from sharing photos of pets, to offering book recommendations.
For more ideas, take a look at our downloadable work activities sheets.