It’s 2020, which means remote working isn’t something new to most companies. Usually, these companies have a well thought out structure in place on how employees should handle their remote working experience, but what happens when a sudden situation arises and your team is suddenly forced to work from home without being used to it?
If you or your company is used to working from home, great! You're well prepared for everything that has been going on. But for those who have always been used to working from the office, the change might have come a little too sudden. That's why today, we'll be showing you 'a week in the life of StoryChief', remote working edition.
We'll keep our productivity hacks for a different article because this one is all about keeping the team together and healthy. Are you ready for some radiant online team-building?
💪 The importance of team-building, even at home
So suddenly the time for daily chit chats with your colleagues at the coffee machine is gone and you can't roll your office chair to someone else's desk anymore... But hey, that doesn't mean the connection between co-workers should disappear.
"Trust, clear and transparant communication is the key to improve productivity. Suddenly everyone is forced to work from home. Our goal is to reduce the feeling of being alone to the minimum." - Valeri, co-founder of StoryChief
Just because you lost the face-to-face connection you used to have, doesn't mean you can't forge some new online connections. A certain threshold just disappeared so why not make use of the wonders of online bravery and reach out to that one colleague you've always secretly wanted to befriend? Ask people how they're doing, how they're making the most of this situation and check up on those that are having a harder time. Those are all new opportunities to get to know your colleagues better.
🤓 A week in the life of the StoryChief team
Just like many other companies, we were forced to start working from home overnight. Many of us aren't used to the remote working experience while others are. No one really knew what to expect or how this experience would change the team's interactions, but we dove right in! Here's an overview of our 5 remote team-building activities we tried out (and loved!) last week.
Each morning at 9 am the sales team gathers together to have a virtual standup meeting. After that marketing has a quick chat on productivity, meanwhile the product team has its own team gathering. But every day at noon the whole company comes together for a Campfire meeting.
🏕 1. Campfire
On Monday we started doing something that is called a 'campfire meeting'. From 1:15 pm to 1:45 pm, everyone has the chance to join a call on Slack and talk about anything you wanted. Almost like simply sitting together at the lunch table and talking about life. None of this is mandatory, but everyone joins anyway. This also gives the opportunity for some social interaction for those who are home alone.
Ask everyone how they're doing, how they stay focused, exchange tips & tricks about productivity, but don't forget to tease your favorite co-workers and keep things casual. Breaks from work are necessary, especially if you work in the same environment that you normally relax in.
See this as going to the toilet and accidentally running into your colleague who you then end up chatting with for half an hour!
🏋️♂️ 2. Bootcamp session
On Tuesday, sadly not everyone could join. Whether that's because it was all about getting those muscles out or because of something completely unrelated... we'll never know. All I know is that three days later I could still barely walk down the stairs. All of that thanks to Harm, from Move Natural! Again from 1:15 pm to 1:45 pm, we came together. This time on Zoom, with our cameras and gym clothes on.
Working out brings some amazing benefits for your mental health:
- It pumps up your endorphins. Physical activity helps bump up the production of your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins.
- It's meditation in motion. After a fast-paced game of racquetball or several laps in the pool, you'll often find that you've forgotten the day's irritations and concentrated only on your body's movements.
- It improves your mood. Regular exercise can increase self-confidence, it can relax you, and it can lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety.
🎉 3. Let's (house)party!
Are you one of those people who destroy friendships over Monopoly? Great! You're going to love what we did on Wednesday.
We all installed an app called 'Houseparty'. It classifies itself as a social networking app that enables group video chatting. But it's so much more than that! There are tons of games you can play with your friends like:
- Heads up. One friend has a card on their head but won't be able to see the card on the screen while everyone can and they give clues via video chat until the person guesses what's on their card.
- Trivia. Want to show off your random knowledge to your friends? There are tons of categories to choose from including Wizarding World, Disney, Netflix, and true crime categories.
- Chips and Guac. This is Houseparty's version of "Cards Against Humanity".
- Quick Draw! You'll see an item to draw on the screen, but all your friends will only see your drawing. If they guessed right, press that check and then move on to the next one, where it's your turn to guess.
It's definitely worth checking out when you all need a break from work!
☀️ 4. Mental health get-together
On Thursday we decided to do something a little different. Mental health can be seen as taboo for some people, but pushing yourself to talk about it can resolve a lot of things. Working while being stressed out can have a lot of impact on your mental health and productivity. Being overwhelmed is human, it happens to everyone. That's why we had an afternoon chat with the people from Inuka on Zoom.
Inuka is an app that allows you to do a wellbeing scan and follow up with those results. When the test shows you've been stressed out, you can book sessions with a personal coach where you can talk about anything that is making you feel that way.
Mental health can be a tough subject for some people which is why they make sure that all of this can happen completely anonymous. You don't have to worry about your boss or colleagues finding out your test results, you can even use fake names if you feel safer that way.
The point of this was: mental health is extremely important. Not just in your personal life, but also in your professional life. Inuka is definitely worth checking out with your company, everyone can benefit from them.
🧘♀️ 5. Yoga
Ahh, relaxation! Originally the yoga session was going to take place on Wednesday, but since some of us still hadn't fully recovered from our Bootcamp session on Tuesday (not me, I swear...), we decided to move it up to Friday and here we are! Our sales team took the initiative and put together a whole yoga session.
"I believed everyone could benefit from our yoga session because not only does it increase your flexibility, it also decreases the stress you're feeling. Doing this multiple times a week definitely strengthens your productivity and focus." - Natalija, Sales at StoryChief
🌯 Let's wrap it up
This was our week! Of course, we communicated more than just these 5 times, but we thought we'd show you our remote team-building activities. Here's a small list of the tools/apps that were mentioned in this article if you decide to try them out for yourselves:
Hope you enjoy these activities! Let us know how your team deals with remote work, we'd love to hear about it.
If you're more interested in a complete guide to remote work, check out our free Ebook: The Content Marketer’s Guide to Remote Work.