Because of the coronavirus outbreak, most of us are working from home in an attempt to lower the spread of the virus. Work from home has become the new normal. But turning your home into your office is tricky even in the best of times. It can be super hard to keep the team’s spirits high, work at similar productivity levels and manifest ideas that sprout from spontaneous conversations.
Whether it’s celebrating an occasion together, or dissecting the latest episode of mutually favorite shows, discussing what’s popping in the biz during snack breaks or just showing each other memes that are trending - it’s all about adapting the offline culture in a virtual setting. So, how can companies do this?
Here are some out-of-the box tips from Growisto (a retail e-commerce marketing and technology company headquartered in Mumbai).
- Assign fun monitors
What are they you ask? Well, we’re all aware of class monitors who used to ensure pin drop silence in the classroom. We put a spin on it and created an engagement team a.k.a fun monitors who made sure that all team members are entertained throughout the lockdown. What can we say, we take our fun seriously
- Taking water cooler breaks virtually
Each of the fun monitors have a team that they schedule chai breaks with everyday. The discussion topics range from the latest movies to the hottest trends. Not to miss, we also play games like Charades and Heads Up to make up for all the missing bonding sessions.
- Show off home offices
While each of us love to personalise our office desks with all sorts of things, when it comes to a work from home set up we get lazy because it’s usually temporary. We asked our team members to make the most of this situation and spruce up their home office so they feel like they’re totally ‘in the zone’. And boy did they take it up a notch!
- Take breaks seriously and seriously, take breaks!
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Amen to that! Our engagement team hosts super duper fun activities twice a day to help team members from burning out. From ‘what do your meme’, to ‘make your own fake headlines’, from ‘wash your mind you detty pig’ to ‘mind numbing trivia’, we cover it all. Cos it’s not like you’re working 100% of the time when you're in office anyway ;)
- Holler at the newbies
We all know how daunting first impressions can be. Add to it the fact that you need to do it while working from home. To help our new team members ease into it, we hold virtual onboarding sessions with interesting ice-breakers. We’re not giving those away. You gotta be part of Growisto to know what happens there.
- Turn fridays to friyays
Think you can’t have fun while you’re stuck at home? Think again. Our team looks forward to every friday with bated breaths. Fun monitors huddle through the week to come up with super awesome surprises every Friday evening. We host live gigs, throwback carousels, chit-chat sessions and a whole lot more.
- Make each day different with challenges
Every day seems the same? Can’t think of creative ways to switch it up? Well, our team members couldn’t agree more.
But we’ve got their backs! We came up with a 21 day challenge to help them cope with the boredom associated with working remotely. Each day brings a new challenge that they can conquer. From painting to their heart’s content to making maggi in exactly 2 minutes, we never run out of ideas to keep them going!
Here are snippets of some of them:
- Get artistic - We asked our team members to color their boredom away. They painted, drew, sketched, traced - did whatever they felt like to express themselves creatively. From what we hear, it can be quite cathartic too!
- Make an elaborate dinner - Good food can brighten up anyone’s day. And when it's something whipped up by you, it becomes even more delicious. We challenged our team members to cook a lavish dinner. From delicious momos to delectable mutter paneer masala, scrumptious pasta to sumptuous cookies - they made it all. Who knew we had so many master chefs amongst us!
- Recite a tongue twister - The real question when it comes to tongue twisters is whether you recite them swiftly within a couple of tries or does it take you forever to get it right? Our team rolled up their sleeves and showed their amazing skills!
- Pictures with pets - When was the last time you got to work while chilling with your pets? We asked our employees to click pictures with their super adorable work buddies and share it with us. Trust us, their goofy smiles were infectious.
- Dalgona coffee challenge - Yes, we’re referring to that perfect quarantine caffeine fix that’s all over Instagram. We asked our fellow employees to try out this whipped up coffee drink and you can see how seriously they took it!
Long story short, we totally geek out on virtual team building. In addition to the engagement team we also have a compliance team that is responsible for ensuring we all work too in the midst of all this. Through daily checks, buddy systems, WFH challenge discussions and virtual scrums they aim to improve productivity, availability and communication. This post is a huge shout out to both teams and hope that whoever reads it can take cues from it too! Just remember, you don’t need to have everything mapped out to the last detail, just keep it simple - it’s all about #funfunfun (PS That’s what our Slack group is called).