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Strengthening Virtual Connections to Prioritize Employee Health and Wellbeing in 2021

The first step in prioritizing employees’ health and wellbeing in 2021 is addressing any hurdles in working remotely, which is typically centered around strengthening virtual connections.

Without daily in-person interactions in the office that so many of us were used to prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, it can sometimes be difficult to feel like we are connected to our coworkers. Here are a few easy steps any business owner or leader can take to overcome some of the challenges of limited face-to-face interaction.

Encourage the use of webcams.

Whether it’s a group meeting or a 1:1 interaction, reading facial expressions, body language, and just seeing an individual’s face can make for less awkward discussions and restore some normalcy in virtual meetings. Many virtual meeting programs have the ability to share screens, raise your hand, or send a quick chat to another employee — all enabling smoother interactions and avoiding unnecessary interruptions or misunderstandings.

Conduct frequent team meetings and one-on-one meetings.

Conducting a weekly or daily check-in can help address any outstanding projects your team may be struggling with or need additional resources to complete. In addition to necessary discussions regarding work and ongoing projects, be sure to also check in on a personal level with people. The COVID pandemic has taken a toll on many people both mentally and physically, but reassuring employees and co-workers that you care about them, can go a long way in keeping them engaged and satisfied.

Promote team-building activities.

This can be a multitude of activities, such as a happy/social hour, “Fun Fridays,” or an interactive web-based game all team members may participate. Taking a brief break from strictly professional tasks can revive the team’s productivity and engagement. Not sure where to start? Here is a great blog that provides a ton of ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

Last, but certainly not least, foster respect.

For almost every organization, respect is a foundational value, but unfortunately, remote work and evolving business operations decisions can lead to miscommunication, misconceptions, and misunderstandings. To help deter this, you can foster respect by reminding your team to be mindful of word choices, other members’ personal struggles, and time (i.e., not running past a meeting’s set time).

As we’ve worked to adjust to the new normal of working during a pandemic to now re-adjusting to work post-pandemic, being both flexible and patient are characteristics that will serve you well. While it’s true that it can be easy to get flustered or frustrated by changes that directly or indirectly effect our daily work or routine, just remember, we have been and remain in this together. Teamwork still makes the dream work — whether teams are working remotely, in person, or a blend of the two.

Have questions about how best to lead your team during this time of constant change? Contact our HR Experts at QBS today, we’re here to help.