When the city of Los Angeles shut down almost overnight in mid-March due to COVID-19, businesses of all sizes had to reimagine what a new workflow would look like for them. Like most other companies with teams that primarily worked in an office, Xpedition had to adjust to working remotely. But thanks to our team’s creativity, resourcefulness, and regular communication, we’ve been able to continue producing high-quality projects all throughout the pandemic. Here are 10 ways our team has remained close despite being physically far apart—and how your company can do the same.
Virtual Happy Hours and Events
During the last seven months, Xpedition has facilitated online trivia nights, happy hours, and even a Fantasy Football draft. From brainstorming ideas for the annual holiday party (virtual wine tastings, anyone?) to digital celebrations for new employees, planning remote events can provide a much-needed sense of normalcy.
Virtual DJ Room
To make remote work days a little more interactive, we started a virtual DJ room so team members could take turns playing their favorite tunes. Creating a company-wide DJ channel is a great way to stay connected as a team while discovering some great new music in the process. (Bonus points: You can use it to cue up some jams for your next virtual happy hour.)
Internal Company Newsletter
While companies traditionally send out internal newsletters to give work updates, we wanted to use ours as a way to connect on a more personal and emotional level with our teams. So we started sending out a monthly internal company newsletter to bolster connection and communication during COVID-19 and beyond. From jokes and birthday announcements to DIY projects and recipes sent in by team members, company-wide newsletters can help keep the entire team in the loop.
Virtual Book Club and Discussion Group
Before quarantine, Xpedition hosted optional in-person mindfulness sessions and book club meetings. We now hold these activities virtually, and have even started a new group to discuss the media we’re consuming on a broader level—from what we’re currently watching to what we’re listening to.
Mental Health Days
Even the most mundane activities can sometimes feel overwhelming and mentally taxing in the midst of a global pandemic. To counter the anxiety that can result from working in this environment, Xpedition encourages employees to take mental health days as needed to rest and recharge.
In the early days of quarantine, we sent freshly baked cookies and notes to our team. From restaurant gift cards to bottles of wine, care packages can bring a smile to your employees’ faces—and remind them that you’re all in this together. Care packages are also a great way to welcome new employees who are joining the company during the pandemic.
Virtual Lunches and Coffee Dates
To stay connected, our employees have planned virtual coffee dates and catch-ups with each other. Encouraging your team to do the same is an optimal way to deepen relationships with individuals who work on other teams and maintain a sense of rapport while working remotely.
Personal and Professional Growth
To empower employees to continue growing professionally, Xpedition encourages team members to plan virtual meetings with those in different departments that they want to learn about. You can also arrange for guest speakers and coaches to lead digital sessions or ask employees to teach a course on something they feel particularly good at.
To show our solidarity during the Black Lives Matter protests this summer, Xpedition encouraged employees to DM our social media manager posts about how to support Black-owned businesses. We then featured several of these posts on our social channels. You can also pick a charity or organization your team is passionate about and encourage people to raise funds or donate their time virtually to the cause. Giving back as a team can be a great way to feel a shared sense of meaning and purpose.
Water Cooler Channel
One of the best parts about working in an office is being able to wax poetic about reality TV shows, weekend brunch spots, and interesting articles. During the pandemic, Xpedition employees have remained in the know about pop culture and current events thanks to our designated “FUN Memes, Articles, & Fun Stuff” Google Chat channel. Starting a similar communication channel for your team can keep things a bit more lighthearted and help your team members stay connected.