Let’s face it. Zoom is helpful, but it’s not the be-all-end-all of successful remote teams.
At this point, Zoom has become our new “safe space” — unfortunately, it’s also our “every minute space.”
Take a Step Beyond Zoom
It’s been over a year since most of us have been out of the office. In replacement for the time that we’re not spending at the workplace, we’ve been spending it in front of a screen. (And, unfortunately, not just watching movies!)
We all know the Zoom burnout is real. Since the whole pandemic-closure-crisis, I’ve been brainstorming on ways to support the need for communication amongst remote teams.
Now that we’re not all novices and have gotten a hang of Zooming (I can’t believe this is a real word now), it’s fair to say that everyone needs some new options. It’s gotten so easy just to Zoom, so I’ve jumped out of my comfort zone to find personal ways to connect.
I’ve forced myself to change my brain back to thinking, “going places is fun, it opens up your creativity, it’s good for you.” Even if it’s just a drive in the car, there are plenty of places you can go that are socially distanced and safe to meet people.
It’s time to reprogram our brains. Here are some things that I’ve done to support my personal relationships other than Zoom:
Go To the Post Office and Mail Letters
I don’t think I’ve been to the post office in the last fifteen years … until recently. We all get tons of mail nowadays, but it’s all online orders or subscriptions.
Show your peeps you care by putting the time and thought into sending out a handwritten note. I’ve been doing that for years anyway, and it has always created a much stronger bond. Literally going to the post office and mailing out letters to your team doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a great way to safely get outside and stay engaged.
Social Distanced Meetings
Instead of Zoom, host your small meetings at an open-air venue. Going to play a game of golf is a way to get out of the house and “go to a meeting” for four hours. While you’re out on the green, you can discuss business — and also catch up with some long-overdue socializing in a safe way.
Meet to Take a Walk
Steve Jobs did this religiously anyway — and look what it did for him! Even if you just invite one or two team members out to a socially distanced outdoor walk, you’ll all be benefitting. Wear a mask, walk and talk just like usual. Spending this time focusing on wellness is much better for creativity than just sitting on the computer at home.
Zoom… But Make It Fun!
There’s no need to abandon the Zoom room altogether. Video conferencing has played an undeniable role in keeping businesses afloat during the pandemic — and it will continue into the future. If we didn’t have Zoom, or any video chats in general, where would we be?
I can’t say for sure, but we likely wouldn’t be as close and connected as we are right now. I’ve seen teams bond more deeply now than they have in decades. When looking to improve your team’s work from home experience, use everything at your disposal — including Zoom.
Host Zoom happy hours just to catch up. Tele-workout, talk, or have e-holiday parties. You don’t even need to work — just have fun and enjoy the togetherness.