For most companies, the usual ‘9-5’ is looking a lot more digital. COVID-19 has altered the way we operate, forcing us to adapt, innovate and pivot in our businesses, including implementing remote working tools to ensure employee safety and wellbeing.

Fortunately, working from home has never been easier. Access to cloud-based systems and technologies has allowed us to work efficiently and communicate effectively. Video conferencing programs such as Zoom have helped us stay connected with peers in offices around the world. However, for people who have never worked from home or in isolation, this new experience could be challenging, while posing a greater threat to workplace culture.

If you’re working from home and struggling to keep the culture alive with your teammates, here’s three tips to maintain culture and staff morale, and how we do it at Elevate!

1. Virtual lunches

If you’re spending hours by yourself, at home, you may be feeling the effects of cabin-fever. Don’t let your social interactions dwindle – make an effort to integrate regular, face-to-face (digital) meetings or catch-ups into your daily schedule. At Elevate, we’ve made a conscious effort to have a weekly lunch together over Zoom. This not only allows you to get away from your work for a ‘brain break’ but you get a chance to maintain your professional relationships too.

2. Conference call themes

We settled into our new ‘normal’ by having a theme for some of our ‘work-flow’ meetings we held via Zoom. Whether it’s PJ Day, Crazy Hat Monday, Wacky Wednesday or Freaky Friday – themes are a great way to keep the culture alive! You can even start the conversation with something interesting, a fact about yourself or something interesting that might have happened to you the night before. While maintaining ‘business as usual’, you can still inject your day with a little fun and energy!

3. Team values

Before COVID-19 broke, our team used to have Friday lunches together where we would share a highlight of the week and nominate another employee for a company value they demonstrated. Despite not physically being with each other, we are still managing to live out this tradition, virtually. Try doing the same by nominating a time each week (we recommend a Friday) where your team gets together to share a highlight and nominate someone on the team for a value – it could be for integrity, team-work or even accountability – or values more closely aligned to your business’ mission. It’s easy to give people compliments in person but now that we’re not seeing our colleagues in person every day, it’s important to give praise, albeit virtually, to ensure your team members know they’re valued.

While the implications of COVID-19 have been devastating, there are ways we can make the most of the situation because the only way we can get through this, is together. If your business requires support during these uncertain times – perhaps you need assistance communicating to your team and external stakeholders, contact us via info@elevatecom.com.au and we’d be more than happy to chat through ways to improve your internal communication strategy.