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Social distancing, not social isolation – how to keep your team engaged

Many of the world’s businesses, like us, are counting themselves lucky that they can run their operations remotely. Our team members have been beavering away in their respective homes for more than a month now, and it’s business as usual from a work perspective. But things are undeniably different when it comes to the social side. And as many organisations are now discovering, one of the smaller, but potentially trickier, challenges of this crisis is keeping your team engaged.

It’s not something you can afford to ignore.

Many people choose an office job over home-working for the social aspect. Some might even rely on their colleagues to keep them from social isolation. Scatter your team to the four winds and you could lose the daily interaction that boosts motivation and the moments of fun downtime that are so important for our mental health. And at a time like this, protecting your team’s mental wellbeing has never been so vital.

So, what have the Stratton Craigers been doing over the past few weeks to keep everyone engaged and happy? Here are our favourite ways to unwind and boost the team’s spirit.

Dingbats – This picture-puzzle game uses letters, symbols and pictures to spell out common phrases, which you’ll need to work out from the cryptic clues. It can be surprisingly hard for novices to get their head around, but we’ve become seasoned Dingbatists over the years. We love the game so much, we even had a go at making our own clues for one of our weekly creative challenges. There are lots of websites out there with free Dingbat clues, or you can put pen to paper (or cursor to Paint) and make your own.

Bingo – Some bingo calls feel a bit outdated, so Gemma (who claims to have a ‘talent’ for bingo) set us the task of making some new ones. Once we’d submitted our best funny bingo calls, she made cards for us all so we could play at the end of the week. The jackpot? Well, there wasn’t one, as winner Becky sadly discovered. But it was a great way to round off another week in lockdown, nonetheless.

Pub Quiz – Ever-prepared, Claire repurposed a quiz she’d made earlier (for a PTA evening) for our first foray into the pub quiz. We all enjoyed it, but nobody fancied putting another long quiz together. Instead, Anna volunteered as quizmaster, and suggested we all submit two questions for her to read out. We were all assigned a category to make sure there was something for everyone. It was quick, easy and everyone got at least two points which saved on embarrassment. For some of us, that was where our quiz prowess ran out.

Phew. We’ve crammed a lot into this first month, haven’t we? And considering we’ve all got a lot more free time at the moment, expect the next four weeks to be full of even more creative team activities. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to see what we get up to and let us know what your team have tried to stay connected.

Read our other Coronavirus resources here:

Five ways to create quick informative content

Tone of voice in crisis communications- tips to get it right

Five lessons from our clients during crisis