Just a few weeks ago, life seemed pretty normal. Hallways filled with students rushing to make their 9 a.m. classes, the hustle and bustle of the campus cafeteria, your financial aid office operating per usual. Now, a ghost town. In a matter of days, the world of higher education has turned upside down—leaving many to wonder if college campuses will ever be the same.
In this time of uncertainty, it has become necessary to embrace the reality of virtual work. We are navigating the macrocosm of productivity tools, video chat technology, and perhaps the constant interruption of children and pets. Transitioning to remote work is a new chapter for many of us in this novel of mass confusion and fear. At CampusLogic, we are right there with you. How do we maintain that happy feeling when someone waves to you in the office, the high-five when you figure out a solution, or the smile on a student or co-worker’s face? Well, the good news is you don’t have to miss out on any of this! We’ve brainstormed some unique ways to combat isolation through connection, and perhaps, your team can grow stronger than ever during this time.
Time to Grow: Alone & Together
One commonality we are all currently facing is somehow there seem to be a few more hours in our day. Our commutes have been cut short (aside from the trips to and from the refrigerator), picking out our outfits takes half the time, and suddenly our social lives have become nearly obsolete. When one item falls off the to-do list, it creates space for another. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources you and your team can take advantage of that will not only boost your professional skills but also your team morale. LinkedIn Learning is currently offering 16 highly relevant courses ranging from productivity tips to how to use virtual meeting tools. And lucky for us, they are free! This is a great time to dive into new learning opportunities by yourself or with your team.
Empathizing—Yes, Even Through a Computer Screen
During this time, it’s easy to say we have sympathy for what our co-workers, students, friends, and neighbors are going through. It is another reality to say we empathize with them. At CampusLogic, we live by the value of “We are nice and take care of each other.” This requires a deep understanding of who we are and compassion for what others are experiencing in life. This can be challenging when we are focusing on our current situation, but there are several tools we can use to be more mindful of the world around us that don’t require flipping on the news channel.
Video conferencing software providers such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Skype are great engines to stay visually connected with your peers. Visualization can be a key factor in fully understanding and empathizing with others. Diving deeper, Headspace and Calm are mobile applications that focus on the importance of mindfulness. These resources can help you stay relaxed during this unique time and are always available to use in the office or at home.
Meet-ups—Host Them Often and Make Them Fun
Team bonding can be difficult when we are sprawled across different cities and bound to our house perimeters. Challenge yourself to reach out to three co-workers a day. A simple, “Hi, I am thinking of you, and I hope you’re doing well,” can open the doors to a great connection. If you want to go beyond a chat, you could suggest going on a virtual walk or have a virtual coffee together during the workday.
After-work hours also provide a great space for connecting with your team. Using any video meeting tool, you can host virtual happy hours or game nights. A virtual “Cheers!” with your team can make for a great photo to share. Here in the CampusLogic office, many of our team members love to focus on strengthening our bodies and minds through workouts. We host team walks, pilates and yoga classes during lunch, and even have a working treadmill. As we moved to a fully virtual work environment, we didn’t want to lose touch with the fitness community we have built over the past years. Sharing workout plans and fitness goals with one another has proved to be an amazing source of motivation. If you’re interested in something like this for your team, PopSugar is offering free classes through its Active mobile application. It’s time to get moving and grooving with your team!
We hope these tips and tricks help you and your team during this time. We are here for you, always.