How to keep employees social and connected when they’re not in the office together

With more companies agreeing to employees’ preference for remote or hybrid work arrangements, how do you keep an office environment’s warm rapport? Missing are the small chats about what’s happening with pets or the kids, bumping into each other on the way to get coffee, or stopping by someone’s desk. An essential glue that can bind a team or an office together and make work more pleasant.

What can you do to replace the lack of that glue? Lots and lots of communication on a public channel may be necessary. Not email but on Slack or an alternative platform in a public channel.

How about an ERG, sometimes called an affinity group? These employee resource groups are not new, but in this era of remote and hybrid work, they can foster employee connections across the organization. Employee resource groups are volunteer-led groups with similar interests that come together to chat or engage in activities.

Even before the pandemic, some companies found short workshops led by internal experts very popular. There’s something about sharing expertise that brings people together. It’s easy to do over Zoom, so employees can tune in from wherever they are.

Encourage your employees to post a profile with a picture. Have them include a paragraph about their life outside the office on whatever forum your company uses, like Slack or the company intranet.

Pictures and stories about life outside the office help connect people. In a Zoom meeting, no one is a total stranger this way. Everyone immediately knows something about everyone in the discussion.

Author: Kris Keppeler, a writer who finds technology fascinating and loves humor. She writes for Crossing Genres on and Does This Happen to You? on Channillo. Award-winning podcast producer who enjoys telling stories. Follow her @KrisKKAria on Twitter or on LinkedIn.

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