How to Feel Like a Team When Working Remotely
Given the unprecedented circumstances around COVID-19, you may have recently found yourself a work from home employee after years of only working in an office. Maybe you’re excited, maybe you’re a little unsure where to begin–but we’ve got some great ideas to get you started! Whether you’re navigating working remotely with a larger team or just with a few coworkers, there are several ways to set yourself up for success from your home office, or even your couch. Below is our list of the best ways to still feel like a team when working remotely.
Tips for Feeling Like a Team When Working Remotely
- Set yourself up for success
First and foremost, make sure YOU are ready to tackle working remotely. Being part of a team means giving your best effort, too. This will look different for everyone but establish a schedule for yourself–a start time, break times, and an end time. If blocking out time for each project you’re working on helps your stay on track, do that! Or if you like flexibility, commit to three important tasks for the day and stick to getting them done. You might also want to think about what makes you feel best–does your brain work best while wearing comfy clothes? Great! Or maybe you need to put on work attire to get in the zone, that works too. Figuring out how you can be a dependable remote employee is the first step in staying connected with your team.
- Wear your team gear
Miss being in the office and seeing your coworkers each day? Lift your spirits by having a team spirit day each week. Pick a day and have everyone on your team wear their favorite branded gear from your company. Whether it’s your favorite company t-shirt from last year’s picnic or the snazzy zip-up with your company logo you were gifted at the holidays, remind yourself you’re part of a team by wearing your team apparel. No gear on hand? Read on to learn how Custom Ink can help.
- Get new team swag–and ship it all individually
Here at Custom Ink, we know all about promoting team spirit with custom gear. We love the way a one of a kind t-shirt or a zip up with a logo can turn coworkers into a true team. If you’re feeling like some new apparel would lift your spirits, you can customize your gear and ship it to each team member individually using our Group Order Form–no gathering or passing items out required. Or, if your business is facing a time of uncertainty, you can design a t-shirt in our lab and launch a fundraiser to garner support. This way, all of your usual patrons and your community can chip in to help you out–and they’ll get a great tee to show for it.
- Video chat daily
Take 15 minutes each day to check in with coworkers–and not to talk about work. Take this time to see how everyone is doing and what everyone’s been up to. Think of it as stopping by the coffee machine at the office and chatting, but virtually! This could be a great time to share highs and lows of working from home and swap ideas to make sure everyone is doing well. If you’re in need of extra social interaction, add a weekly “happy hour” to your calendar. Set a time after work one day each week when everyone logs into a group chat with their favorite drink to wind down from the day.
- Do a group workout
One of the best perks of working from home is flexibility–the dress code is more relaxed and you’re cutting out the time of your daily commute. This means you have more time to commit to getting your body moving each day. Maybe you’ll do an at home workout before you start work each morning, or you’ll go for a one-mile walk at lunchtime. Extend healthy habits to the whole team and plan a group workout once a week. There are tons of great free workouts online. Share the link with your team each week and start the workout at the same time. Consider choosing something like yoga or bodyweight workouts so you don’t need additional equipment. Add a group video chat to your workout if you want some added motivation!
- Have coffee together
Setting a schedule for yourself to keep on track while working from home is great for productivity, but taking a break is just as important. To promote balance, set a time on your team calendar each day for everyone to take a break and grab a coffee or tea. This will encourage everyone to get up, stretch out, and refresh before you get back to work.
- Ground yourself
Sometimes you might find yourself getting overwhelmed by working remotely, and that’s ok! Adjusting to a new routine takes time. Take this as an opportunity to ground yourself. Take up meditation, or tap into anxiety techniques to help you find your calm. This could mean setting an alarm to breathe deeply for a minute each hour or taking five minutes twice a day to close your eyes and clear your head. Remember, the better you feel, the better teammate you can be. If you find a practice that works for you, share it with your coworkers–maybe it can help them, too.
- Play some games
Just because you’re working, and remotely, doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun! Add some games to your daily team routine. One we love is remote Bingo–come up with 25 space fillers like “every time someone’s dog barks” or “when a kid pops into the video call” or even “when John shares a weird thought of the day.” Use an online Bingo card generator, or if someone has design chops, create enough Bingo cards for your team. Decide whether you’ll start fresh each day or each week. Pick prizes for your winners like a coffee gift card or getting off work early on Friday.
- Think about how you can implement WFH wins back in the office
After working remotely for a while, did you find that most of those meetings could have been emails? Take time during your remote work to note what’s working well for your team and what isn’t. Maybe you find that setting time aside to check in or have a coffee together is a great habit for your productivity. Or maybe certain projects are definitely done better face to face vs others that benefited from working remotely because everyone had more time to individually brainstorm. Take this time apart to figure out how you can work even better when you’re together.
Tell us about your remote work experience and how your team made it work in the comments below! On behalf of Custom Ink, we wish you all good health during this time. If you’re looking to create your own coronavirus t-shirts to show support during this trying time, Custom Ink can help.