6 Ways to Engage Remote Employees Virtually
The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed how we work and live since March 2020. Many employees, if possible, have begun working remotely from their homes. The transition of employees from in-person to remote has its challenges. One of those challenges is considering how to keep employees engaged when they can’t be around one another.
Engaging employees is possible even when they aren’t face-to-face. Here are a few ideas to help you keep your employees feeling like part of the team:
- Hold a virtual happy hour
A virtual happy hour is conducted via an online meeting software, preferably one that allows for multiple screens to be viewed at once. Employees grab their beverage of choice and join their co-workers via video for laughs and discussion.
- Hold a virtual spirit week
Create a week’s worth of daily themes and ask employees to participate by taking a photo of themselves with that day’s theme. Post the photos to a location that’s accessible for all or send out the photos in a daily digest email. Some theme examples could be pajama day, throwback day, superhero day, etc.
- Host a virtual day of service
Employees can give back from the safety and comfort of their home. Ideas for virtual giving back could be writing thank you notes to health care workers, make fundraising phone calls for a non-profit, transcribing historical documents for museums, etc. You could attempt to organize an all-company virtual event, and everyone can participate on the same day. A second option is to designate a day and provide resources and information about virtual volunteer opportunities and ideas. Employees then find a place or pick a virtual activity to engage with of their choice on that specific date. Later, you can have employees share their experiences at a virtual staff meeting.
- Host a trivia afternoon/night
While a standard trivia night might take place at say a pizza restaurant with soda paid for by the company, a virtual trivia night can be just as fun. Trivia night could be in the evening or even late afternoon before the typical workday comes to a close. Determine who will serve as host and the rules in advance. Send out the information to your employees prior to the event and set up a virtual meeting with a calendar invite. To make things more interesting the host could wear a funny hat or some other item to put a fun spin on it. Offering prizes (e.g., gift cards) either for winners or just participating can make it that more engaging.
- Online team building Bingo
Online team building Bingo is a fun game you can play to engage remote workers. You start with a bingo board that has a number of action items or accomplishments on it. For example, when you spot a pet in the background in a video meeting, you can mark that spot off on your bingo board.
Here’s a bingo board sample to inspire you:
- Bring your pet to work – virtually of course!
Create a space on your company’s intranet or in a team software like slack where team members can post pictures of their pets doing hilarious things or making funny faces e.g., dog wrapped in blankets watching TV.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. Consider creating a virtual employee engagement taskforce that can brainstorm more ideas until you’re back in-person again.