5 Ways to Improve Workplace Camaraderie for Better Work Efficiency

Posted on Sep 06, 2017 by admin

Contrary to popular belief, becoming involved in virtual staffing doesn’t have to end your social interaction with the world. In many cases where you work from home, you generally still work within a team. Essentially, your role is just a lot more convenient than those held by people working from an office. However, even though you get to avoid rush hour traffic and your working hours are a lot more flexible, you still do face some challenges. How do you become involved in an office environment when you’re not really there? How do you feel like part of a team when it’s just you and the house cat? This article will show you five ways you can improve workplace camaraderie in a virtual staffing position.

Schedule regular social outings

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Whether you hold a position of authority in your team or not, there’s no reason why you can’t be the instigator of regular social outings. Even though many virtual positions are held by people in different countries, many are not. In fact, a good portion of virtual assistants are within a few hours driving distance of the business/company they work for.

So, where possible, it’s important to make sure you get to know your team members in a social setting.

Since you don’t see them every day, it can be easy to feel disconnected and out of touch. You may feel like you’re missing out on vital social interaction, important work outcomes and general information shared by those who work together. To patch that disconnect, you can encourage the team to get together.

Social outings could include:

  • Lunch once a month
  • Becoming a social sports team, meeting weekly for a game
  • Drinks on a Friday night
  • Dinner on a Friday night or weekend

It doesn’t matter what you do, just make an effort to do it. If you know who your team are as people, you are more likely to feel comfortable and relaxed talking to them over email and phone.

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Hold weekly staff meetings

If you aren’t able to make the decision about holding weekly staff meetings, talk to the person who can arrange it. It’s important for a virtual administrative assistant to feel like they are in the loop. This can most certainly be achieved through weekly staff meetings. However, it can be difficult for some virtual assistants to make the trip every week. In this case, you can opt for conference calls in a room full of your team members.

The benefits of weekly staff meetings for team efficiency are immense. You can run over the previous week’s achievements, set new goals for the upcoming week/month, and even talk about the positives and negatives of the week past. Ultimately, a weekly staff meeting is an opportunity for everyone to come together, familiarise yourself with everyone, and know which common goal you are all working on together.

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Do team building exercises

Many workplaces offer team building exercises to encourage workplace camaraderie for better efficiency. Although some activities may seem cringeworthy, it could be that very aspect that helps you bond and work together with your colleagues.

When you become a virtual assistant, you may see this as an end to all those fun exercises. That could not be further from the truth. There are many online-based team building exercises, options and games that bring colleagues together.

Here are some good ideas:

  • Play online games during break time against your colleagues. Keep a running tally of how many points were scored by each team member to see who wins overall for the week.
  • Send out riddles or trivia questions once a week on the same day. The first, second and third person to answer correctly first will score points on a tally. These will be tallied at the end of the year for a prize.
  • Hold a Secret Santa event twice a year.

Anything you can do with your team – either in person, by video or by internet – is beneficial to your overall work efficiency. If you can’t work well with your team, you won’t be happy in your job for very long.

Hold performance-based competitions

Many businesses hold inhouse performance-based competitions to boost morale and competitive spirit. Competitions are a great way to not only get people talking to each other, but boost performance levels and fun as well.

The best virtual assistant is one who can happily get in on the fun and enjoy a competitive activity.

Performance-based competitions solely depend on your industry. If you’re in sales, the goal is easy. Earn the most money for the week, or make the most sales for the week.

If you’re in data entry or something equally as difficult to provide a competition for, it could be something that’s less performance-driven. This is because data entry and financial data tasks are not a race. You don’t want to be rushing to complete these just to win the most points for the week. In cases such as these, you can opt for something that still requires you to perform, but in a different way. This could include the pedometer challenge. The pedometer challenge is where each team member wears a pedometer to see who can do the most steps for the week. At the end of the week, you provide your total before resetting it for the following week. At the end of the month, the person who did the most steps wins a prize.

It may seem simple, but it’s a fun activity that requires team members to get active and bond.

Open up the lines of communication

For virtual assistants, getting into a reclusive routine is all too easy. You can wake up, shower, eat breakfast, sit in your home office, do the day’s work and then log off again with no social interaction. But it’s important for your future with the company to interact with your team members. This not only improves workplace camaraderie, but it also increases workplace efficiency. Just because you work from home, doesn’t mean you’re not part of the team.

We live in a technologically advanced age. This means we have several lines of communication open to us.

This includes:

  • Video conference calls
  • Audio conference calls
  • Text
  • Collaboration software (such as Slack and Asana)
  • Phone calls
  • Email

and more…

Because of the amount of options, there’s no reason why staff members can’t be involved in every part of the business day, just because they work from home.

Are you a virtual assistant? How do you improve your relationship with your teammates? Let us know!

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