How to Stay Social When Working from Home

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There are a plethora of benefits to WFH: no commute, home comforts, working in your PJs… but there are one or two drawbacks. Not least of these is the lack of socialisation with those you work with. How do you keep up that human element, outside of the office?

Video Calls Without Specific Purpose

Here at Key Focus Consulting, we’ve been fully remote since the beginning of the pandemic. Arguably, the one thing that’s made us feel less like we were working alone and more like we were still part of a team has been the video call we have every morning.

We get on these calls at 9:00 and chat for 20 minutes or so, partially about work and the day ahead, but also about our weekends, any funny stories that happened the previous day… you get the point.

It’s difficult to socialise on a call when there’s a specific objective. Scheduling calls with your team (or just your work mates) that don’t have a set-out purpose will allow you to, put simply, shoot the shit as if you were by the coffee machine.

Separate Group Chats

Whatever channel you use to communicate with the team about work – Slack, Outlook, WhatsApp – it’s worth creating a separate group chat that is solely for informal chatter.

Here, you can make jokes, ask casual questions and send memes without fear that you’ll be interrupting Dan and Georgia’s conversation about this week’s pitch meeting with the Big Client.

Scheduled Socials… On Company Time

We’ll admit, this one is a bit more out there. However, last year we at Key Focus implemented a monthly outing on the last Wednesday of every month. We’ll work the morning, and then spend the afternoon playing mini golf, completing an escape room or swanning about in VR. It’s a great way to remember that the rest of the team still exist from the chest down.

These meet-ups can be used as excellent incentives – if the team hit a certain number of targets, more budget can be added to next month’s outing. This will not only encourage everyone to make sure they perform well, but will also motivate them to help out their colleagues: If I help Ben close this deal, maybe we can go Go-Karting next month!

We recognise that it might be a lot to set aside an entire afternoon every month just for fun. Trust us, however, when we say it’s worth it for team morale. Besides, what else are you going to do with the money you’re saving on office rental?

Take Advantage of Every Holiday

Every office has a Christmas party. Some offices will have an Easter party too, and maybe something for Valentines Day. If your office is in dire need of some socialisation, do something for every special day on the calendar.

Pancakes on Pancake Day, green drinks on St. Patrick’s Day – Oh, is it National Superhero Day already? Time to throw a Marvel-themed fancy dress party!

Of course, you don’t have to go all-out for every single event. Instead, simply use them for what they are: an excuse to get together and have a bit of fun.

Conclusion

The difficult thing about organising social events in the office is that some people will be more cooperative than others. If you schedule everything in everyone’s free time, don’t be surprised if a large group never show up.

Instead, invest in some team bonding by taking some time out of their work schedule and dedicating it purely to having a good time. It’s much easier to say yes to a party when your only other option is admin.

Take it With You

No time to read now, or want to have it to refer to later? Download the PDF here!

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