Here at SketchDeck, we’ve been remote working for the last seven years. We’ve experienced the pains of isolation and the joys of sharing things with people on the other side of the world. We’ve replied to client emails in our slippers and been able to squeeze in childcare runs between meetings. In short, we know how to make the most of working from home.
With so many more people stuck at home this month, we thought it’d be nice to share our favorite ideas for making home-work that bit more fun.
So, without further ado, here’s our team’s top list of ways to make remote work more fun:
- PJ + slippers: the dress code is… whatever you feel comfortable with! No need for ties, fancy shoes or even shoes at all, unless you really love wearing them. But let’s be honest: Nothing beats PJ + slippers and a hot cup of your favorite coffee, tea or cocoa.
- Virtual coffee breaks – get your fav colleague on Zoom, pour yourself some coffee and get a few snacks. Why, you could even do some work while you’re together! Play some music, triage emails together and share some tips.
- MTV Crib Day: make a tour of your own home, show your pets, your workplace, what’s inside your fridge, or even the mess your kids are doing and ask your colleagues to do so as well (if you’re brave enough, do it on pj+slippers).
- Troop Talks: as suggested by @HelpScout, schedule a virtual team conference with everyone, set a theme (NOT work related) and proceed to chit-chat. Don’t even dare to say “hey that’s a waste of time” because let’s be honest… there is no physical office in the world where that won’t happen.
- Gaming! Fire up your favorite multiplayer game and start a company league.
- Make a Campfire – yes, you read it right. Remote campfires are now a thing. Just set a date, get everyone on a video-conference with their props and provide a team-building experience y’all won’t ever forget.
- #watercooler: remote workplaces can have their own water cooler gathering, too! A channel to talk about soap operas, trending shows, share pictures of pets, family, hobbies, and share music you love listening while working.
- Donut Calls: A slack extension that suggests random 1×1 work calls once a week to get everyone making new work friends.
- Aloha: Another sweet slack extension that welcomes new joiners and prompts them to introduce themselves for the team.
- Movie Night: Schedule a date so everyone can make some popcorn, gather everyone on a zoom meeting, stream a movie by hitting start together and encourage people to share opinions about the flick in real time. Even better than going to the movies: you can once again wear your PJs!
- Standing desk: Get a desk tall enough you can work while standing. Then you can practice your high-knees and best hip-shaking dances whilst waiting for conference calls.
- Change your scenery: get the laptop onto the porch! Or garden, rooftop, or somewhere with a nice view and some fresh air.
- Personal facts guessing game: a small, fun trivia to help your team learn a bit about each other’s interests outside of work and connect. Ask everyone a question and take guesses at their answers (e.g. “Does David love Marmite?”)
- Take a virtual field trip: use Google Maps to take your colleagues on a virtual tour to your city, or start a virtual tour on a famous museum and share your screen with your colleagues.
We’ve also put together a short video with a few tips from SketchDecker Monet on this very same subject. Hope y’all like it!
For more insights about how to build high-performing remote teams, here are some of our favorite articles from around the intertubes:
- How to foster a sense of togetherness
- Tips for remote team building
- Pros and cons of remote work + how GrooveHQ does it
- Best practices to manage Remote Teams
- What SketchDeck learned from 7 years of building a worldwide remote design team
- Atalassian’s 3 tips for remote success
- Tips for a happier remote work experience
- Icebreakers and activities to further engage your team
- 11 best virtual team building activities
Finally, there are two things that are paramount for your well being: meditation and exercise.
If you’re needing a break from the stress at home, try out Waking Up by Sam Harris – it’s a non-religious introduction to meditation, and the best introduction to mindfulness we’ve found.
Alright folks, stay safe and stay sane!