Companies across the country have had to adopt remote work practices in 2020 – whether they wanted to or not. For business leaders in charge of guiding teams through creative brainstorming, planning, and execution of ideas, this can be a very difficult time. Communication methods are different. Emotions are running high. Not being in the same physical space presents new problems.
Adam Katz Google Creative Lab knows that it can be a challenge to manage a stressed-out remote team while also trying to meet project deadlines and accomplish key tasks. But there are creative ways to help teams relax, focus, and get work done…even producing better results than they had seen before. Adam Katz Google Creative Lab have found these methods to be the most effective.
Online Challenges and Games
Find a way to regularly take a break with the team through challenges or games. Adam Katz Google Creative Lab reminds managers that there are many online activities that only take around 10 minutes, encourage creative thinking, and get everyone in the mood to solve problems. For creatives try drawing exercises or games, create fun challenges like designing a weekly playlist album cover or redesigning a new logo.
Rather than picking something at random, Adam Katz Google Creative Lab recommends discuss potential activities with your team and find something that the majority seem excited about to help increase participation.
Hold Reliable Performance Cycle Meetings
Adam Katz Google Creative Lab suggests picking a day of the week (Monday and Friday work best) and hold a performance cycle meeting with your remote team. Talk clearly about what you’ve accomplished, what remains to be done, and how things are going generally. Remote teams need this stability – it’s almost impossible to overcommunicate in these situations.
Especially if your remote team just got started, or is having trouble with online collaboration, Adam Katz Google Creative Lab recommends setting aside a period of time – either altogether or once per day – where each team member takes a turn and shows off their workspace. Talk about work that is being done, how it can be improved, and also home working hacks that people have instituted. This is an excellent way to get everyone used to remote work and more comfortable with each other.
Fun with Food
This doesn’t have to be a regular activity, but Adam Katz Google Creative Lab has seen great results with least one lunch where everyone makes or buys a food they like and shows it off, talking about why they like it or how it’s made. It’s an easy activity for everyone to take part in, and great for team building.
Remote work teams need to adopt online chat and communication systems like Slack or Microsoft Teams. These apps all support GIFs, and GIFs are a great way to lighten the workload and reduce stress. Managers don’t have to mandate the use of GIFs (although GIF battles can be a fun break), but Adam Katz Google Creative Lab have seen that at least encouraging, or having a GIF day each week, can really help teams bond while also getting things done.
Organize Times for More Casual Fun
Companies can also create weekly fun events and check-ins. Adam Katz Google Creative Lab for instance has his team create weekly DJ style playlists with cover art by a revolving team member to show off their skills!