But what do you do when some or your team is virtual?
What happens when you have an office where a local team works, but you also have other team members dotted around the country (or world)? In today’s digital age, this is extremely commonplace. How can you, as a business owner, include your virtual assistants, virtual web developers, virtual content writers and more in your in-house celebrations?
One of the hardest things that virtual workers have to deal with is the isolation that sometimes happens when they’re working for people who have in-house teams. While it’s great to be able to work from home, virtual workers are always left out of company celebrations because they’re not there physically.
They see and hear the aftermath of festivities. Photos of an after-hours event with smiles and games. Chatter at the next meeting with inside jokes about what happened at a party.
These things hurt the morale of your virtual workers.
And when morale is low, productivity drops. Mistakes rise.
There are a couple things you can do to ensure the whole team in included in events, meetings and celebrations.
BUY LUNCH FOR EVERYONE
Let’s say you have a quarterly in-office meeting. You gather in the conference room, turn on the Polycom and video connection. You buy lunch for everyone in the office. And what do your virtual workers see? They see an employer who bought lunch for the people there, but didn’t think about the whole team. And it’s very difficult to watch a group of people gathered together, enjoying a thoughtful token of appreciation, while they sit there not feeling appreciated.
It seems like such a small thing. A boxed lunch. But it’s tells your virtual worker that he wasn’t important enough to do the same for. But you can do the same!
Prior to the meeting, why not send a gift card to each virtual worker to a sub shop so that they can pick up lunch and eat together with the team. Or have something ordered and delivered to their home office. Something that makes them feel included, even if they can’t be in-office.
HAVE AN ONLINE CELEBRATION
Maybe once or twice a year you and the in-house crew go out for drinks, or mini golf, or bowling or any other after office hours event. It’s team building, right? But why aren’t you including the rest of your team? If they contribute to the business, they need to be included in the celebration.
How do you include virtual workers in an office party?
It’s simple. Have an online party. You can play video games together online. You can even create a digital scavenger hunt, grouping some virtual and some in-house people together. Cell phones and FaceTime make it easy to connect anywhere, and they can be physically and electronically hunting down locations, images, objects, etc.
When we hire virtual workers, we really need to think outside of the (office) box and remember that they are integral parts of the team that deserve the same thanks and recognition that in-house workers get. Take the time to remember and reward your whole team, not just those who can walk into a physical office.
Are you looking for out-of-the-box ideas for company events that will include your whole team? Contact me and let me put together a party your team will never forget.