5 min read
The pandemic reinvented the idea of the workplace. The modern workplace is virtual or hybrid, it provides flexibility and allows you to work from anywhere. There are many benefits; however, one thing that virtual teams fail to invest enough time, effort, and money into is community. As a result, most remote employees suffer from loneliness and lack of connection (which, by the way, aren’t unique to virtual workplaces!).
Read our thoughts on why remote socializing is so important in virtual workplaces and how you can make the most out of your virtual social interactions.
Nowadays, everyone talks about how remote work can lead to bad mental health. But the truth is, “regular” office life can as well. It is all about our physical environment, the people around us, and how we set aside time to take care of ourselves outside of work.
According to Forbes, communication, trust, and opportunities to socialize are key qualities that every team should prioritize when working remotely. And when we say “should,” we really mean “must.”
How can you do this? Establish a more casual, less work-focused environment online. In other words, give people designated opportunities to socialize, facilitate connections among employees, help younger employees find mentors, and prioritize fun.
Never force social events - whether they’re virtual or in-person. That’s a rule of thumb. Instead, encourage it. Social events are supposed to be enjoyable, not stressful. And remember, not everyone approaches them in the same way. More introverted folks may have a harder time in all social situations, including virtual ones.
If you find yourself forcing the members of your virtual community - whether they are your remote employees, the attendees of your virtual networking event, or the members of your virtual book club - to interact with each other, keep in mind that most likely, your good intentions could backfire.
As you might know, we host virtual events, we help people host their own virtual events, and we are a remote team. So we know a thing or two about best practices when it comes to online interactions, respecting boundaries, and making people feel accepted. Here are a few basic tips to get started:
🙌 Make sure that you are creating and fostering a culture and dynamic that are built on respect.
😬 Let people have their own space. Hold them accountable, but try not to put them on the spot.
🥰 Have moments where people can show appreciation for each other. For instance: on Toucan, we host a monthly all-hands meeting, and at the end, we spend a few minutes shouting out members of our team for doing great work!
Socializing is a massive contributing factor to your mental well-being. It helps you feel connected, shows you that you’re never alone, and nurtures your soul.
Without spending time with other people, there is no way for you to develop a sense of belonging and togetherness. And those feelings are significantly correlated with productivity, happiness, and satisfaction levels. This Harvard Business Review article mentions that a higher sense of belonging is “linked to a 56% increase in job performance, a 50% drop in turnover risk, and a 75% reduction in sick days.”
Two brains are better than one. When we work together, we’re typically able to solve more complex problems. That’s because different people look at the issue from different perspectives. Having a personal relationship with the people you’re working with allows you to understand where they’re coming from and how they think differently than you.
Hey, if we’re happier, we tend to be healthier!
As we’ve all worked remotely for the past few years at least, we know what Zoom Fatigue feels like. Especially for companies that use traditional video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet, meeting on the same platform with the same layout over and over again is extremely unpleasant. We put together this guide on Zoom Fatigue and how to avoid it.
We think that the best way to mitigate Zoom Fatigue, while still building community, is to change the environment that you meet in. When you’re in-person at an office, for instance, you’ll take meetings in meeting rooms, and you’ll socialize in the office kitchen. Why should virtual interactions be any different? Swap the boring, awkward rectangles for something more dynamic for social events - that’s what Toucan is for! 🤪
If you haven’t tried Toucan for yourself, just jump into our interactive demo and play around with it. Getting started is easy, all you need to do is create your own Toucan Space and invite people with your unique link!
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Sara knows some things about marketing, has 3 cats, loves to go for hikes and organize things by color!
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