Even though the majority of us are working from home in our sweatpants, that doesn’t mean that we can’t benefit from a collaborative work environment. No matter the industry, size of the company, or the schedule a person works, every single one of your employees deserves to work for a company that is dependable, structured, and values them as both a person and a worker.
Luckily, there are some easy things you can do, both virtually and in the office, to bolster a great work environment. Keep on reading to learn more.
1.Provide snacks, snacks, and more snacks.
You don’t want your employees to feel as if they are chained to their desks, so give them a few perks in the form of food and drink in a communal space! You’ll want to encourage everyone to get up and move around, and this is a good way to entice them to do so. Stock some single-serve snacks like bags of chips, pretzels, and popcorn, individually wrapped candy, and a water jug dispenser and you’ll have some happy and full employees on your hands. You can even go the extra step by hosting pizza parties, BBQs in the office parking lot, and lunch and learns with food catered in from crowd favorite restaurants in the area. Just make sure everyone is staying socially distant and they have plenty of hand sanitizer, and your team will be on its way to bonding over food.
2.Provide enhanced benefits.
While it is relatively normal for employers to offer healthcare benefits for their employees if this year has taught us anything it is that we need to go above and beyond for the people in our life. So this means adding some extra perks to compensate for expensive healthcare costs that everyone is experiencing during the pandemic. This includes mental health, as mental health care like traditional therapy, is not always covered in full or is even included in a plan at all.
We are all having a very hard year, and with the majority of the population quarantining at home this change to our daily routine and the stress of the pandemic has been wreaking havoc on our mental health. This is why it is very important to sponsor the cost of teletherapy services (or online therapy) for your employees, as the popularity of telehealth is rising. Teletherapy is the process of providing therapy sessions virtually, and a teletherapy session can be just as effective as an in-person session.
Unfortunately, not many people know exactly what is teletherapy and how virtual therapy can help them find relief. Promoting virtual therapy counseling with a certified therapist as a healthcare option can work wonders for employees in quarantine as it provides a great place for them to talk to an experienced counselor, without having to put themselves at risk for the coronavirus. This is especially helpful to employees working from home in rural areas around the United States who wouldn’t have the option of meeting with a therapist otherwise.
3. Give out swag.
Who doesn’t like free promotional products with their company’s logo on them? We’re talking t-shirts, pens, hats, water bottles, polos, stress balls, sunglasses, and beer glasses. You can’t go wrong with any option! Not only are promotional items great for spreading brand awareness, everyone loves free stuff, so you can use them as rewards for in-office events. It’s also a good idea to get a whole bag of swag to help welcome new employees, as what could be a better experience on the first day in a new office than to show off high quality new swag?
To encourage everyone to actually use their new merch, host company pride days once in a while where everyone wears their company shirts, hats, and jackets. You can do this via video conferencing and encourage people to add the company logo to their Zoom background!
4. Get moving.
It is so incredibly easy to stay sitting down all day, especially if your company relies on computers to get the work done. Sitting down all day brings a host of negative chronic health benefits, so what do you do when you can’t get away from your desk? Host standing meetings! Even if you have a meeting over Zoom, make all of your coworkers stand up and walk in place. Moving around will encourage better blood flow to the brain, boost your mood, and cut down on fatigue, especially in those early morning meetings that no one wants to be in.
We understand that a standing meeting isn’t always practical, as you’ll need to take notes, host a presentation, or have a serious conversation. So to bypass this, you can host an activity competition where you reward your employees for doing something active. Say, for example, they get one point for walking a lap around the building or they do 10 jumping jacks. And once a certain amount of points are collected, they can win a gift card to a healthy restaurant or supermarket.
5. Start the day with gratitude.
Starting your day with just five minutes of gratitude will set you up for a successful day. Make it a habit to lead your people in a quick gratitude activity at the start of every day and you will see productivity soar. This doesn’t have to be a big event either, all you have to do is go around the table and give a kudos to a coworker or to say why you are grateful for something they did recently. While brief, the words shared will resonate with the recipient for a long time.
6. Host a happy hour.
People need time to decompress and to let loose, so offer a virtual happy hour at least once a month! Make sure to encourage your employees to drink whatever they’d like. The point of this is to get the group together, have fun, and to let off some steam. Depending on the comfort level, you can even do some traditional drinking games. Send out a poll beforehand to see what people are interested in doing, and get some of the promotional apparel mentioned above to use as prizes!
7. Decorate your office in bright colors.
Everyone is used to a drab office in muted tones, so why not create a more fun, welcoming, and bright space? Bright blues, purples, and greens are great for office decor, plus they are sure to boost anyone’s mood on a dreary Monday.
8. Encourage random acts of kindness.
If you want to be rated as one of the best places to work, like Venterra Living, you’ll want to encourage your employees to participate in random acts of kindness throughout the day. This can be dropping off some candy at a desk, sending a note of encouragement, or giving a compliment to their boss so their hard work does not go unnoticed. Making employee experience a major part of your company’s focus will ensure team members who appreciate the great benefits they’re getting and go on to work harder for their employers, whether they work for a retailer or a property management company like Venterra.
9. Have in-person team building events.
Not everything has to be about work, so it is always fun to get your coworkers together outside of the office or the Zoom world to do some good, old-fashioned team building. Some examples of this can be bowling, kickball, having a BBQ, an adult scavenger hunt, and volunteering.
10. Say thank you.
It takes a village to run a business, whether it’s a small business or a huge corporation, and most of that work goes unnoticed. Simply saying thank you will go a long way in building trust and empathy with your employees. And saying thank you doesn’t have to be verbal — your actions speak louder than words. During these trying times your employees will appreciate that pat on the back, it’ll go a long way to easing the adjustment into this new reality we’ve found ourselves in.
With these tips and tricks, you’ll be on your way to creating a wonderful workspace for your entire company. A great company can be measured by its employee’s happiness, and these ideas will promote happiness, respect, and collaboration within your team.