Our need for human connection is integral to our well-being and livelihood — a fact that is central our mission here at Poly. More than ever before, staying connected is incredibly important. From work and personal relationships to doctor’s appointments, some of our most important connections have gone digital to keep people together — even while we’re apart. If you are looking for ways to keep in contact, read on to find creative ways to stay connected with the important people in your life.
Virtual Team Building Activities
For some, the shift to working from home hasn’t been easy. Keeping employees and coworkers connected is essential for minimizing stress and maintaining work productivity. Virtual team building activities are a great way to help employees get to know each and boost morale. Videoconferencing platforms like Zoom are a great option to host virtual team building activities. Below are some of our favorite activities for staying connected with coworkers from home.
Some of your fondest childhood memories may include the much-anticipated show-and-tell day at school. Turns out, show-and-tell is also a fun virtual team building activity for coworkers. One way this could work is, each team member gets approximately one to two minutes to share something tangible or intangible at the beginning of the call. This can range from the cookies you baked on your lunch break to the exotic pet no one knew you had. Not only does this give insight into the lives of the people you work with, it’s also a unique way to break up the monotony of regular meetings.
Virtual Home Office Tours
Coworkers may have fun by showcasing their home office setups and any modifications they’ve made to support working from home. This is an activity that can be done by inviting team members to a virtual gathering for the purpose of connecting, sharing tips and tricks, or it can simply serve as an icebreaker at the beginning of a regular virtual meeting.
Weekly Happy Hours
Video happy hours are a great way to stay social after work hours. Whether your happy hour is dry or not, happy hours allow coworkers to spend time with each other without being in ‘work mode’. Set up the grid view on your video conference so everyone can see each other and dedicate an hour to just hanging out. Sometimes setting a topic of the week can help keep conversations flowing, such as, “what’s your favorite restaurant in town?” Or, “where will you go on vacation when you can?”
Virtual Activities for Family and Friends
We are wired for connection as human beings. Thus, missing family and friends is one of the most difficult things to deal with during quarantine, especially when it means not celebrating birthdays, graduations, and other special events together. Not being able to physically be there to support individuals through times of grief and tragedy is also very difficult. Below are several ideas that can help you to remain connected to those you care about, as well as take care of yourself and your family:
Poly partners with leading video conferencing platforms that are awesome for staying connected. Get your friends and family together and host a virtual happy hour, afternoon tea, dinner party or Sunday brunch. To enhance the feeling of being together, send everyone the same recipe to prepare ahead of time and eat together.
Get out the popcorn and your favorite candy for a social distancing movie night. The Netflix Party Chrome extension allows you to watch Netflix shows and movies together. TwoSeven is another movie sharing tool that enables you to share content from Amazon, Netflix, Vimeo, YouTube, and HBO Now.
Virtual Book Clubs
Oprah has a book club. Reese Witherspoon has a book club. Lots of people have book clubs. Now, however, meeting in person to discuss our favorite and not-so-favorite books is not an option. Virtual book clubs are a great way to stay connected to friends and coworkers.
Families have gotten very creative in supporting each other during social distancing with different types of drive-bys. Birthday drive-by parties, where friends and family members drive-by the birthday person’s home with huge “Happy Birthday” signs, balloons, and more, to celebrate with them is one option. Drive-by baby showers and gender reveal parties are also excellent ideas.
Virtual Health Check-Ins
Keeping our communication channels open for personal and professional relationships is important, but don’t forget about yourself. Many healthcare professionals have modified how they see patients so everyone can stay safe while still receiving the appropriate care. Each service may approach things differently, so be sure to call in or email to check to see what to expect for your virtual appointment. Here are some popular ways that people are maintaining their physical and mental health during this time:
Virtual Doctor Appointments
Concerns about maintaining your health are natural at any point in time, so feeling like you or your family members can’t make it to the doctor when you need to can feel stressful. Fortunately, many doctors and clinics offer virtual doctor appointments for routine checkups and to address specific illnesses and conditions. Though not all conditions can be addressed remotely, many can. Contact your healthcare provider to find out what your options are in the event that you might need medical care or a checkup.
Virtual Mental Health Counseling
Maintaining your emotional balance and well-being can be challenging in its own right. This has been exacerbated by feelings of isolation or being stuck inside attempting to cope with work and family responsibilities all together at once. There are several virtual mental health counseling services you can research for support. You may even find the service beneficial for years to come.
As we settle into the uncertainty that encompasses us, it requires us to find creative ways to remain connected while continuing to be apart. Whether it’s for school, medical appointments, business dealings, or saying hello to family and friends, technology and creativity provide numerous options to foster a sense of closeness during this time of collective isolation. Try to make the most of what technology has to offer and have fun with putting your own spin on the ideas above!