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What are some ideas to keep up team morale remotely? Are there specific or structured adjustments you've made to counteract burnout/keep up productivity and mental health?

organized a virtual escape room via https://www.puzzlebreak.us/ - even though his team lost it was a fun subtitue for just a "virtual happy hour"

Anonymous Author
organized a virtual escape room via https://www.puzzlebreak.us/ - even though his team lost it was a fun subtitue for just a "virtual happy hour"
10 upvotes
Anonymous Author
Gift packs sent home are super nice. I liked the idea of remote happy hour sessions, but from my experience it only works if people actually go online with their booze and treats.
5 upvotes
Anonymous Author
It is all about regular and consistent transparent communication.
5 upvotes
Anonymous Author
Try to stay away from over optimizing performance, once you give your employees some space they will grow comfortable in this new position and actually tend to become more productive on their own. We also tend to organize some gaming tournaments and announcements in our Slack when someone pushes to GitHub with failing CI (kind of like a swear jar penalty) and it's really fun. Once we go back to the office I am thinking of implementing an actual toy that shoots you in the face with a soft bullet if you push with failing CI
4 upvotes
Anonymous Author
even pre-COVID I had all remote teams spread out globally.   I always tried to allow time for some social discussion on our SKYPE calls as long as the business at hand was completed.  And whenever I traveled I always took as many people to lunch and dinners as I could.
4 upvotes
Anonymous Author
Frequent team meetings via MS Teams.   It keeps us connected.
4 upvotes
Anonymous Author
We did a trivia night and a wine tasting.
4 upvotes
Anonymous Author
I like to celebrate birthdays, celebrate accomplishments and milestones. I do the team an opportunity to talk about anything happening in their personal life they want to share. Once a quarter I plan out a virtual luncheon where I pay to have lunches for each of the team members.
4 upvotes
Anonymous Author
It’s important to keep the team updated with the bigger picture regularly (we do this every 2 weeks) - where the company is headed, changes in direction, major announcements, milestones, etc. Equally important to hold an open forum when the team are encouraged to ask questions and discuss anything that applies to everyone. We also make it a point to find reasons to recognize and celebrate teams and members openly both in smaller team settings or company wide.
4 upvotes
Anonymous Author
 drawing inspiration here from your quotes in this recent article, hoping to elicit some more helpful feedback from Pulse's community. https://www.cio.com/article/3544612/remote-work-tests-cios-soft-skills-amid-coronavirus-crisis.html
3 upvotes
Anonymous Author
I keep engaged with the team via MS Teams
3 upvotes
Anonymous Author
Like most solutions, the best answers usually come from those impacted. I would ask the employees. However, the leader should always maintain some responsibility, so besides some of the great ideas already mentioned here, I've got a few thoughts: 1. Have conversations (no targets, metrics, or criticism). Just chats that allow for a relationship and for the employee to know they and their ideas are valued. 1.1 The above should always be done, but for some employees it will be even more important if they aren't going to ever see you in the cafeteria, hallway or parking garage.  2. Give unique challenges outside their normal duty area. I know for me, this always lit a new fire of enthusiasm as I had the chance to travel a road I hadn't been on already.
3 upvotes
Anonymous Author
Burnout to me is more related to being short on staff than actually a burden for working remotely. In the contrary, we have become much more flexible and understanding of our people’s challenges at home. We don’t force people to join meetings by video so that they feel more comfortable and can workout between meetings without the need to be “presentable” for work. As a Director, I like to have “skip the manager level” meetings every 3 weeks to connect with my team members to see what is going on in their lives, we talk about life and work challenges. We are also leveraging our recognition platform more often and giving people accomplishment badges so that they feel valued for their day to day contributions. Celebratory virtual happy hours are also held. Allowing flexibility is key as long as performance is not affected.
3 upvotes
Anonymous Author
It is critical you have tele-culture events regularly scheduled on a monthly basis where employees can connect and gather around non-work related topics which then strengthens the bond that is formed during their professional time together during the business day.
3 upvotes
Anonymous Author
I would suggest: 1. Regular company meetings (Company Status Updates), people's awareness in company activities is important and can make a good impact 2. Remote team building activities, such as online gaming (something like LAN parties), it helps people release stress and have fun with their colleagues.  3. Experience Sessions (Bi-weekly online sessions for employees to reflect on fun or exciting experiences they had).
3 upvotes
Anonymous Author
One on one motivation, empathic listening, performance oriented bonus strategy rather than time spent on task basic salary.
3 upvotes
Anonymous Author
We have done more one on one and live coding.
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
Trying gamification of our sprints. Giving the team the ability to name their team and points for best planned sprint or best demo
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
Flex hours Frequent happy hours Celebrate wins - personal and professional Slack channels: - Random - post anything - not about work - Wins - Post all wins - should be multiple a day - very active channel - Book club - suggested books & movies to watch
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
Our IT department has a scheduled Zoom call every morning at 8:30. We chat about what projects we’re working on, share personal tidbits, and occasionally group think problems. These are usually around 10-15 minutes. On Fridays, we each report on our main activities for the week, as well as take turns hosting and different ice breakers every week. It has made us all feel closer even though we are remote. Learning personal tidbits about each other helps us get to know and understand one another better. We’ve been doing these for over 2 years!
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
Virtual drinks Twice a day stand-ups - with the second being more social rather than work Definitely, a 'Chat' which is more social than work
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
We have an unlimited vacation policy so that our staff can take care of what’s important - family, mental health etc. admittedly, this is easier to manage as a small company and we’re definitely putting in more governance and process as we grow so that we can always deliver the quality of service we’re known for while keeping an important part of our culture.
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
I think you can try for yoga virtual season , kahoot games with many prize, or game online competition
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
I send folks a "you deserve a break coupon" with a variety of gifts designed to bring more than a smile like a visit from a professional cleaning service, or a trip to an outdoor park where an ECE can look after the kids while parents get to enjoy a delivered meal. Basically its anything I can think of and arrange remotely. as long as it is reasonable cost and Covid safe.
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
Virtual parties.... entertainment across the virtual space
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
Force your folks to take their PTO.  I was very guilty of this up until spring, 2021. I was suffering several symptoms of burnout, and I figured my team was as well. I forced myself to disconnect in the evenings and weekends, and last week actually took my first day of PTO (a 5-day weekend) since January, 2020.  Next month, I had planned a trip to Europe, but my wife and I decided to postpone it due to the Delta variant. Instead, I think we're going to Colorado for a couple of weeks, someplace with no internet service.
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
Mentioning and celebrating birthdays online, before meetings start.
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
Virtual Happy Hour
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
A bunch of the partners I work with had company-wide (or division wide) Wellness Days off for staff. It’s not a four day work week, but it is progress!
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
Understand their challenges and solve for them
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
We talk regularly with our colleagues and keep them motivated.
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
I enjoyed your contributions to RSAC wrt supporting cultural alignment within your organization in this difficult environment. Hoping that we can encourage some additional ideas on this thread...
1 upvotes
Anonymous Author
I use Gamification to keep them engaged. We have a lot of job, with specific deadlines, so in order the team to be highly motivated the Gamification mechanics help us with all the stuff we have to deliver & maintain our mental sanity as well.
1 upvotes
Anonymous Author
We have not changed the routine work and have challenged the employees with new projects and/or responsibilities. Also we sent some games for them to enjoy with the family, branded items for them to wear as part of the team/company (identity) and also organize lunches where we send food/drinks to their homes for them to share in open videochat rooms. Also once a week our CEO has an town-hall videoconference to talk about the company, offer recognition and take questions.
1 upvotes
Anonymous Author
We instituted an exercise challenge to walk from our headquarters to our customers data centers. It was a fun competition based on steps. That got people out of the house and start moving. This also resulted in a number of walking meetings like 1:1's, etc that did not require zoom.
1 upvotes
Anonymous Author
Give your team catch-up's a theme (different one each time). Make sure it's kept fun, but also don't force everyone to take part as that may have the reverse for moral.
1 upvotes
Anonymous Author
I would definitely like to know the answer to this
1 upvotes
Anonymous Author
yoga is great at both mental and physical health we should practice it
1 upvotes
Anonymous Author
- Share some good practices, tips, and tricks to increase resilience and get rid of stress. - Allow some time for small talk in the virtual session, so participants can share their pains
1 upvotes
Anonymous Author
We do biweekly fun lunches where we pay for the team's lunch and we all eat and just talk together on Zoom.  Nothing work related is allowed. Many of these are theme based. We also bring in experts in certain areas to speak to the team, such as a meditation guru to help us stay calm amidst the chaos. We also have ad hoc "down days" in addition to all our normal holiday time off where no work is allowed. And we recently started incorporating "think days" into our mid-quarter routine. These days are designed to break free of all the heads down work we're all doing and give us a space to create and innovate.
1 upvotes
Anonymous Author
Every friday, we have a 30 minutes huddle where every member of the team across the country attends. I always start off by discussing HR news (new hires, departures, birthdays and so on), then using a few minutes to announce the company's latest decisions/initiatives, but the best part is the last 10 minutes that I always keep for recognition.  So I'll always start by thanking someone or a team for an accomplishment and then I'll leave it up to everyone else, leaders or not. Sometimes there is only 1 or 2 people that want to thank some of their colleagues, but other times, this turns into a recognition-fest where people thank each other non-stop for the full 10+ minutes. Completely exhilarating for everyone involved!
1 upvotes
Anonymous Author
Taking time to send personal emails to people across the different departments of your organization... thanking for their service relative to your IT department is a great practice... means a lot to hear from leaders across the org!
0 upvotes
Anonymous Author
Flexible meeting schedule and pauses in between meetings. If you are constantly back to back with meetings and no breaks to attend to personal matters (kids, pets, significant others) during the day time then you will not be a happy camper and team morale will suffer accordingly. Mandating video on calls is another way to drag morale down (opposite of it is not mandating video and that makes people happier).
0 upvotes
Anonymous Author
Using modern employee experience platforms can drive engagement and performance while people analytics can help with overall well-being. Activities, like virtual happy hours, games and quizzes (e.g. Kahoot!), are great, but go easy on them, there's a danger of people developing "activities fatigue" and resentment towards someone "giving them more things to do". Make sure they are optional, fun, preferably grassroots.
0 upvotes
Anonymous Author
Here is the one thing which is a big hit in our team: Question of the week: On a rotation basis, every week, one team member will post a question in the team slack channel. This allows everyone to learn about each other, have fun! Sample Questions: 1. If you were a wrestler/fighter/spelling bee contestant, what would your walkout song be? 2. What 3 famous people, living or dead, real or not would you want at your fantasy dinner party?
0 upvotes
Anonymous Author
Group get-togethers (Zoom or Teams) that in which work-related topics aren’t allowed. So, like a virtual water cooler experience. Seems very helpful, especially for the extroverts who may be struggling with isolation.
0 upvotes