Social distancing is one of the most used terms in the last weeks. However, it should rather be called physical distancing. In today’s digital and connected world, not being physically together does not mean that we can’t socialize.
In times of forced physical distancing, due to the rapid spread of SARS‐CoV‐2, virtual communication becomes inevitable. Meeting rooms and lunch areas stay deserted, after most office workers have been sent home to work remotely. The lack of personal interaction creates a situation not everybody is used to and not every employee can easily deal with. Personal exchange with co-workers represents a major daily social interaction especially for people living in single households. After some weeks working from home, we can now observe that the mental well-being of many employees starts decreasing. Therefore, it is more important than ever, to actively foster social interactions between your employees and offer new innovative formats.
Just because your employees are not physically in the office, doesn´t mean they have to spend their breaks in solitude. Arrange regular virtual coffee / lunch breaks and encourage your employees to do the same. Use your corporate collaboration platforms to ask colleagues to join you in the virtual cafeteria. These regular meetings outside the official work communication are crucial to maintain team cohesion and foster social well-being. After some time, socializing via digital tools becomes a routine and strengthens your team spirit.
Set up new after-work activities
As public life has been reduced to the minimum, most people cannot stick to their usual free time activities after work. Instead of going to the gym or enjoying your team runs, you can organize virtual sports challenges within your company to stay fit. A wide range of apps is available to create team challenges (e.g. walk 10,000 steps a day, who was doing the most biking / jogging miles per week). Many companies already started to establish after-work dance parties or team workouts. There is no need to have the latest VR technology in place, you can find several established and newly created virtual sport platforms. Companies who invest in sponsoring and fostering these sports activities for their employees will benefit from an increased physical and mental well-being of their workforce. Don’t forget that not every employee is into sports, they might prefer activities without physical effort like game nights, happy hours, cooking evenings and so forth. By the way, this is also a great opportunity to involve your employees’ families. Try to free yourself from the belief that those social activities require a physical meeting and get creative! The switch to virtual socializing does not have to be a sacrifice, instead it opens a wide variety of new and exciting ways to engage. Remove your doubts and be open to unconventional virtual experiences. Once you warmed up to the idea of social interaction not requiring in-person meetings, you will be impressed by the possibilities virtual socializing has to offer. The only basic prerequisite is the availability of the right technology. You need further inspiration and exchange regarding digital socializing? Feel free to drop us a line: BTO@camelot-mc.com