We all have learned a few lessons over the past two years of pandemics and lockdowns. One of the things that I have learned is how to build or enrich our social connections remotely in such times. It all started with my professional life, where most of our teams started to work remotely. We were spending more time seeing and talking to each other, but all over zoom, teams, etc. This was yielding in work output, but we all felt online fatigue and a lower sense of social connection. And the worst was that we hired few people during lockdowns, their orientation was all done online. Most of the team members never met in person these new members. Team building started to become a bigger and tougher challenge. As the manager of our team, I started to look around ways to enrich our social connections.
Our first try to get connected: Disclaimer failure
Okay, so a simple idea was floated to set up some time for casual chat fortnightly. Ahan! Sounds good and so simple logistically. So I did, what I do great as manager, set up a meeting with the entire team with the subject line “Fortnightly casual chat”. Our first session was good, as a couple of extroverts from my team drove the whole session talking and sharing experiences from their personal lives. The next session, again a few people were engaged, and a few were mere listeners. In the third session, we were looking at the clock more than talking to each other, as there was not much to share anymore. Those who wanted to share had already shared a lot, those who just want to be spectators got better at it.
A light bulb moment
Our leadership team, which comprises leaders from different teams, converted a regular matchup into a social event. I am not sure who floated this idea, but it was organized well, and three activities were organized
- Desk exercise: One of our human resources managers, who is also a fitness freak, kicked us off with some simple exercises. All exercises were focused to move the muscles that are under pressure sitting on a chair in front of screens. It really…