What are the ways to increase the mental wellbeing of a team working remotely?

Aleyna Çatak
25 replies
Most of the teams have currently been working remotely due to Coronavirus pandemic, and it affects our mental well-being to be far away from our co-workers. Which ways do you follow to feel better, and make your co-workers feel better? What ways do you follow to make it feel like working together in a physical office/studio?


Elen Udovichenko
There are several options I've seen: - offering additional day off (be it once a month or switching entirely to a 4-day workweek) - finding ways to connect despite the distance - we've been regularly doing that since March (e.g. having game nights or even a virtual wine tasting). There's also a Slack add-on called Donut that connects you with a random person in your team once a week so you can get to know people you don't usually cross paths in your work and have a virtual coffee. - as the holidays are approaching, we're not planning to give up on our Secret Santa tradition :) I am pretty sure this will make us all feel a little better! Yet, there are not many ways managers can keep an eye on the employees' wellbeing. It's all up to the person to keep sane. For example, for me it's been my dog (and WoW) that helped me cope with all the stress :D others might find relief in other things!
Elle Werle
@elen_u Donut sounds cool! I'll have to tell my fully-remote team about it. Also, the Girlboss newsletter last week featured this article about having remote office holiday parties that don't suck, which I plan on sharing with my team also :) https://slate.com/human-interest...
Aleyna Çatak
@elen_u They all sound interesting and useful! I'll share them with my team. Thank you! :)
Aleyna Çatak
@elen_u @ellebelle Thank you for the article! I'll share it with my team too! :)
Raunaq Vaisoha
Nothing will come close to working together in one physical space. However, we’ve been organizing gaming nights where our team plays Fortnite together, that does bring down stress levels while being fun.
Aleyna Çatak
@raunaqvaisoha Having gaming nights really decreases the stress level, I agree :) Do you just play Fortnite? I'm open to your game suggestions also :)
Raunaq Vaisoha
@aleynacatak We play Valour sometimes and Warzone as well. We should probably find some more peaceful games 😂
Aleyna Çatak
@aleynacatak @raunaqvaisoha I'm sure that you feel peaceful after playing them :D Thank you!
Mr Ethar Alali
If I may say, this is quite a presumptuous post. It really does entirely depends on the team member. If you have been "lucky" enough to only work in environments where everyone gets energy from others, then it's perhaps not particularly diverse (in the sense the behaviour and what people get from the office environment is too homogenous). There are some types of people who are happy in their own company and they're almost always more productive out of the office, than inside. That said, this doesn't mean people want to be like that all the time, and indeed, many have days where they do need interaction. In either case, you'll never know without checking up.
Hannah S Kim
My teammates and I do a virtual scrum every morning, just to make sure everyone is on the same page with tasks and overall goals. We make sure and talk about personal things outside work as well, and I think that is crucial for maintaining our wellbeing during this stressful season.
Aleyna Çatak
@hannahsuyun I agree! I think that it wiill be worse if we didn't keep in touch every day.
Ayush Modi
branch.gg seems quite promising and a new experience
Nate Dame
Virtual parties and hangouts work great for us. You really need to put some time and $$ into it though. We plan ice breaker questions, discussions, even games. A couple times we've shipped boxes to each person with little gifts. What people really crave is personal connection so I think the key is to create virtual opportunities to, well, simply connect. This caught my eye too - it's a marketing event mind you not a team or internal event - but the way they marketed it I thought was really well done: https://pages.introhive.com/wine...
Ashleigh Mason
@nate_dame We've done the same with our team. Having something tangible arrive at the house makes the connection greater.
Bryce McKernan
@aleynacatak its the small things. For example, this time of year, a remote holiday party or secret santa gift exchange can be a fun way to connect on a more personal and light-hearted level than day-to-day business may call for.
Fernando Cordeiro
My biggest issue working remotely is that it requires an async mindset that many companies have yet to adopt. My boss, his boss, and his boss's boss are all still working synchronously, and that takes its toll on people, as the synchronous nature of a single deadline leaves no breathing space when you're remote: it's like you're working on an agency and every day is customer demo day.
Mark Mankarious
Communication, especially informal chats. It's a lot harder to create those human moments while working remotely, e.g. overhearing a conversation and joining in, getting into a chat with someone while getting up for a coffee, chipping into a spontaneous debate about a new technology etc. Those are really important for getting to know people on a personal level and having some laughs, but really difficult to replicate when everyone is remote. Having an informal channel on your team chat can help, (e.g. somewhere everyone can post about things outside of a work context). Also a chatbot like https://www.producthunt.com/post... pairs team members up for a coffee each week and can help people break a lot of ice within the team.
Jijo Paul
Its really a impossible matter, but a certain extend can do with team call that prohibited with work topics for sure.
Mohtashim Javed
When your employees are based in an office, it’s much easier to be aware of any habits or behaviors that may be affecting wellbeing. If your staff are remote – you need to keep a close eye on how they’re feeling and work to maintain a structure which supports their wellbeing. Here are simple steps we business owners can take to support the wellbeing of remote workers: 1. Establish boundaries between work and personal time 2. Set up regular one-to-ones and really listen 3. Set a good example 4. Provide an employee assistance programme 5. Remember breaks are important 6. Set goals but make sure they're realistic 6. Set goals but make sure they're realistic 7. Offer free or discounted fitness and wellbeing activities 8. Offer ‘duvet days’ 9. Check-in on how your employees are feeling
Conner Nudd
I'm the founder of Echo and I'd love to work with you on this topic. The biggest decrease that we've seen in mental wellbeing is caused by a lack of collaboration and/or inclusion. If there are ways that we can work together on meetings, or collaborate on notes, make meeting content more available, this creates the feeling of inclusion. FOMO is a huge influencing factor to wellbeing. I'd love to hear what your conclusions are on this topic though @aleynacatak
Joan Alavedra
We have questioned this too! I believe it has to do with equilibrium. Finding the right balance between sprints and productive mornings and more lay back afternoons with the team. We have tried from playing games online, to sharing personal pictures on camera. All works well. We have also developed a product on those lines as we think this will be a need for many other teams, you can check it out here: https://onsite.fun
christopher anderson
Don't know if this will help, but I just published a blog on indoor plants and their effect on mental health maybe you can glean something from it here is the link. Sometimes the simplest most out of the box solutions work best https://aahomegardening.co.uk/pl...
Vanitha J
I try snack-sized workouts that are available at fxgetactive.com - playing as a team can be fun and this eventually is a stress buster.
Phuong Hoang
I guess finding ways to connect and engage with each other outside of work i.e playing an online game together. Each person should also find ways to improve their wellbeing outside of work.