As more and more people are working to a flexible schedule and opting to work from home, opportunities for staff socialising are reduced and a proactive approach from management is required. Marketing coordinator, Jean Lizza discusses why incorporating social events and programs into your employee wellness program is beneficial for staff well-being and productivity.
We have entered a new world of working and being. The worldwide pandemic has forced organisations and companies to offer flexible options for staff, but with all the benefits of work flexibility and working from home, how do we compensate for the social aspects that are lost because of this change?
Prior to working at Worklogic, I had not experienced an inclusive and varied wellness program that had a focus on the team socialising. Beyond an occasional knock off drink, the options were limited and often were not extended to my department.
Worklogic has a long entrenched flexible working program necessitated by the nature of the company. Based in two cities & with some staff living outside the metro area, Zoom meetings were the norm at Worklogic before it was cool! So, when it comes to getting the team together, some creative approaches are required.
Research suggests that forming quality friendships at work impacts tremendously on our overall health and well-being. For many of us, we spend the majority of our lives working and having even one social connection at work can have reduce stress significantly. A Harvard study concluded that quality relationships (over quantity) is a key to happiness at work- staff will work harder and will be more loyal if they have opportunities to connect are available to them.
The challenge for managers is to prioritise these opportunities and make them available to all staff. A small amount of time dedicated to staff social events and well being can have marvelous results.
Here are some ideas that may work for your organisation
Establish a Social Committee
Ask the staff to be part of a social committee. Create time in the work schedule for the committee to meet and discuss potential social activities. Not only will you getting feedback from the source on the things that people would be interested in doing, but a committee is also a great way for staff from different departments to interact and connect over party planning.
At Worklogic, birthdays are a big deal! During lockdown, a delicious cake was delivered to my front door which was incredibly touching (and terrible for the waistline!). A cake, a card even a group email shows staff that they are appreciated. Now, not everyone likes celebrating birthdays (and it’s good to keep that in mind!). Get the social committee to work, brainstorming all the different things to celebrate such as work goals.
Those who eat together, work well together!
Bonding over a meal is universal and amazingly effective. A ‘bring a plate’ morning tea or a monthly breakfast can do a lot for team building a and developing relationships between departments.
Worklogic has an end of financial year dinner coming up and I am looking forward to being in the same space as my colleagues for a well-earned, mid-year treat.
Team building activities.
Miraculously, between several lockdowns, the entire Worklogic team was able to get together in beautiful Milawa for the annual Worklogic Retreat. During our time there, we worked on some team building exercises around the values of the company. The staff unanimously agreed that being together, after the year that we had was both restorative and inspiring.
If a retreat is not on the cards, fun team building exercises can be incorporated into monthly meetings and training. You can learn a lot about you colleagues and how they see the world, through team building.
Carve out time for the little things.
We can be run off our feet at work and can forget that nurturing relationships is important. For those that work remotely, offering a way to connect each week can be a vital lifeline. Here at Worklogic, we have morning tea catch ups and Friday night drinks via Zoom. For a diverse team, it gives the staff an opportunity to connect, irrespective of their location or situation. It is the responsibility of the manager to carve out this time in the schedule and create these opportunities.
There are no hard and fast rules around what will work for your organisation. Budget and time are always going to come into play and the overall culture and the type of business will dictate what is possible. It is important to understand that small gestures have a huge impact, so no matter where you work, building the team up through small social activities will show excellent results.