There’s no doubt that maintaining a sense of normalcy during this time is challenging; with most of the country on lockdown we’re seeing a larger work (from home) force than ever before, meaning the ways in which we interact and communicate with one another have transitioned largely to digital formats which may feel restrictive to our sense of social interaction. For those of us accustomed to mingling around the water cooler, or chatting over lunch with our office mates, this can be an especially trying time. However, a shift in manner of communication does not mean that your office culture has to disappear as well. Here at the Academy, we are working hard to ensure that we continue to incorporate office “pep” into our routines, and we have some ideas for how you can do the same.
Take Happy Hour online by hosting an office get together on Zoom, Highfive, or your conferencing service of choice. Schedule a time towards the end of the work day where your team can pour themselves a glass and unwind in each other’s virtual company. You can simply chat, or plan for some activities. I’m hoping to put my hospitality experience to work by demonstrating a couple of easy cocktails (and mocktails) to make at home at our next Virtual Academy Happy Hour. Quarantini anyone?
Has your office participated in Lunch and Learns before? There’s no better time to start! Encourage your staff to take turns presenting on a topic of their choice via video conference. At the Academy, we’ve conducted Lunch and Learns on neuroscience, retirement plans, DIY projects, food safety, and even self-care. If you’d like to take a break from presenting, you can all login to watch a TED talk together or inspiring/informative Youtube video.
Use your communication channels, whether it be an online chat service like Slack, or an email chain, to keep your associates engaged with each other. Via Slack, we asked staff if they wanted to share a photo of their new work-from-home set-ups and the participation was great! It was nice for everyone to be able to get a glimpse into each other’s workspaces and share a little bit about how we’re adjusting. You can ask staff fun or silly questions to answer, or to share photos of their pets, a meal they’ve made, etc. Get creative.
In these tumultuous times it may seem as though office “pep” is no longer a priority; however, it is now more than ever that we strive to connect and foster a sense of community with those around us. What are some ways that you’re keeping in touch with your staff?
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128