Most European countries introduced lockdown as an anti-virus spread measure in March. For many people that meant that everything moved online. And for many companies, the challenges to keep up the team spirits steepened.
The Blue Lynx team members remained divided between two European cities (The Hague and Varna). We knew we had to find a way to maintain our camaraderie and motivation. Here’s how we managed to remain close and productive even during the lockdown.
Regular online meet-up every Friday
Back in April, one of our recruiting specialists, Filipe, came up with a lovely idea. A Friday Vrijmibo via Microsoft Teams. Vrijdagmiddag borrel is a typical Dutch happy hour (borrel) on Friday by the end of the Business hours. We couldn’t attend one in person because of the coronavirus measures, but there was nothing stopping us from chatting and keeping up with each other. We just moved it online.
Knowledge sharing sessions
We used to have these before COVID-19 became a thing and we had to keep business as usual from our homes. A knowledge sharing session is a monthly after-hours event. The idea is to invite someone who would give us a lecture on an interesting topic.
Throughout our knowledge sharing sessions, we:
• learned basic meditation and relaxation techniques
• nosedived into work-related topics such as education in the Netherlands and Dutch taxation
• discovered more about IT recruitment and the terminology around it, thanks to Earnie, our Recruitment Team Lead
• mastered the art of sitting down with the help of a professional chiropractor
• tipped our toes into bachata dancing
• twisted our tongues with Spanish and Bulgarian 101 lessons.
Work From Home pictures
Moving to a complete work-from-home lifestyle was a bit of a lonesome experience for some of us. That’s why we decided to make everyone feel together through a photo collage. Our home office station may have looked different. Nonetheless, we all kept a smile while also keeping business as usual.
Connected in every single way
No matter what, we always remained a call away from each other. Problem-solving is much quicker even if it’s something small. Our IT wizards took care of installing a new VoIP system. Beyond that, we made sure that we encouraged our team members talking to each other.
Regular Team Lunches
It was common to have lunch with a few of the colleagues every day. Just like a family who sits for dinner together. Also, once per month or on occasions like a birthday celebration the whole team gathered for lunch.
During the lockdown, we arranged online fortnight group lunches where we discussed recipes and healthy meal options.
The Quarantine Challenge
At last, we set a challenge to our colleagues. We asked them to use lockdown life to their advantage. We prompted them to pick up a new skill and then report their progress. This way other team members could hold themselves accountable and celebrate each other’s success.
Keeping Teams Together
Why are we telling you all this? It’s not because we like to brag. These ideas can be implemented in your own company and team. All it takes is taking action and a welcoming attitude towards new ways of communication.
COVID-19 may have been unprecedented. But remote teams are not. Physical distance does not mean social distance. Next time you sent your employees to work from home, these ideas will help you keep them together.
As Maya, our SEO specialist summarised it: