At our Open Office Hours last month, one of our participants asked a great question of the group: “What are some creative ways to build my team during this time of social distancing, working in the office, work from home, and Zoom meetings?” Work is certainly different today and here are a few things we have found to be successful:

  1. Create office interest groups – Many people have picked up new hobbies to fill their time. Help your employees to connect their mutual interest by encouraging them to share what they are up to and maybe form an activity group.
  2. Get outdoors – Plan a walk, a hike, or a picnic in the park. With the weather finally starting to get nice, now is the perfect time to get outside and socialize. Even have a meeting or two outdoors for a change of pace!
  3. Get competitive – Have a little friendly office contest around movie trivia or anything else that tickles your fancy. Provide a gift card for the winners to boost morale.
  4. Show appreciation – Give an extra half day off before the long three-day weekend, buy lunch for the staff, hire an ice cream truck. Little and big things go a long way.

These are some of the ideas the group shared with us:

Pacific House brings staff together quarterly after work on site for small group dinners to encourage camaraderie and socialization. As a 24/7 operation, this time together is invaluable.

The Connecticut Food Bank-Foodshare Development Team joins their weekly meetings 15 minutes early so they can chit chat and catch up. The group is finding this a great way to get to know each other more as individuals and bond as a team.

Inspirica staff celebrated each other at Thanksgiving by each department choosing another at random from a lottery drawing and then with a small budget from the organization, worked to recognize their chosen department with a thoughtful gift of appreciation.

Similarly, Debra shared that an organization she worked with had a simple brass cup, purchased for less than $100. Each week a staff member would fill it up (with candy, a gift certificate, a small item a person might enjoy) and gift it to a staff member as a thank you in appreciation for work well done. The cup would move from person to person each week.

What’s important to remember is that building relationships shouldn’t happen just in times of crisis and conflict. Send us an email with what is working for you at