Digitale Events

Team spirit: tips for motivation & productivity in the home office

Teamspirit im Homeoffice: Person ist allein vor dem Laptop

Due to Corona, the world of work has experienced unprecedented change and for many, working from home has become part of everyday life. In this context, looking for tips for good collaboration and motivation in the home office is more important than ever. Creating opportunities for employees to get in touch with each other, even informally, is now a top priority for managers and executives. Leading a team that may have never met in person is an enormous challenge. And while online social activities – like virtual coffee breaks , team building games and team events – strengthen team spirit, leaders are looking more than ever for “spaces” that inspire creativity and encourage collaboration. An essential goal if the team is to be happy and productive – even across time zones and national borders! In this article we share tips on how you can maintain team spirit even when working from home and increase motivation and productivity in the team!

So how can you increase the motivation of colleagues in the home office?

Over the last two years, we have sweetened companies and organizations' everyday working lives withchocolate tastings and gained exciting insights into their home office practices! In addition to great impressions, we especially learned that unfortunately there is no one-size-fits-all! Nevertheless, we have put together the (apparently) most effective ideas for you, which you can try out with your teams and colleagues and optimize to your liking and accuracy. Good luck with it!

Tip #1: The virtual office

Most people will remember this practice from their school or college days: Instead of staring out the window alone at home or cleaning procrastinatingly, you sit down together to learn together. This idea is also the basis of “virtual co-working”. Instead of offline in the office, you simply sit together digitally in the virtual office. This means that you agree to meet at a specific time and length of digital co-working in order to then work together in each other's virtual presence. Anything between 30 minutes to half a day makes sense. Especially to increase motivation when working from home. Because most people can concentrate better when they know other people are nearby.

It is important to have fixed rules, such as: When is the call “muted”, how do you deal with breaks, etc. Especially if there are several participants in the digital office, several rooms should be created if necessary. There can be a quiet work room, a break room and a virtual office where questions and comments are definitely welcome. The aim is that virtual co-working does not distract, but rather contributes to an uncomplicated exchange, allows for spontaneous creative storming and reduces being alone in the home office.

Tip #2 for higher motivation when working from home: fair meeting times

The problem is not new, but the extent of it is. With the new home office options, people are working scattered all over the world. This makes it all the more important to keep an eye on employees’ time zones and contexts. Fair meeting times are those where all team members have equal meetings at pleasant and less pleasant times. Particularly for companies where the headquarters are in one location and only a few employees are distributed globally, the business hours of the headquarters should not (only) be followed. All team members should equally feel that their needs are being recognized and met – as best as possible. So it's a great sign from the team when most of them work a night shift so that a few can sleep in.

Tip #3: Buffer times, rituals & the choc'o'clock

When do colleagues have the opportunity to exchange information informally? At company parties, events and shortly before the next meeting. At least that's how it was in the past. Instead of accepting the lack of these options, you should try to create digital versions. Especially with larger teams, it often makes sense to open the digital meeting room a few moments earlier. So everyone arrives leisurely and still has some time for small talk, to maintain old contacts or make new ones. You can do a similar thing at the end of the meeting. It's best to plan so that there is still some time to say goodbye after the meeting ends. Maybe one or the other wants to stay a little longer until the next meeting starts.

Tip #4: Rituals help keep motivation high when working from home

Rituals are just as effective as buffer times. Both at the beginning and at the end of a meeting. You can and should definitely create small, fine team rituals. How about a 'Thank God It's Monday meme' that all team members share in the chat on Mondays? A 'Fuck-Up Friday' is also exciting, where all employees can share something that went really wrong during the week. Or a short anecdote as a check-in before every meeting? Does your team have many new team members? Maybe you can use these games to incorporate a getting-to-know-you routine into your meetings. Every seemingly small action contributes to creating shared experiences, involving everyone and strengthening the bond between the team.

Many of our chocolate customers use our tastings as a tool to enjoy a nice Choc'o'clock together. Whether led by one of our chocolate experts or as a “self-guided” chocolate trip – a chocolatey team event is always a good idea! By the way: our boxes contain complete chocolates. So you could either taste them together in a kind of tasting or, for example, come together as a team for a quick chocolate every day for a week! In both cases, we can also recommend incorporating a chocolate meditation. There are no limits to your creativity when it comes to designing a successful Choc'o'clock. If you have further ideas , please contact us !

Conclusion: Strengthening motivation in the home office is not rocket science!

Practices such as the virtual office, motivational kicks for meetings or adjusting working hours are simply ways to bring your employees closer together despite geographical distance. Given that working from home is now a permanent part of the “new normal,” these types of virtual interactions are becoming an increasingly important part of many companies’ everyday work lives. Experiment until you find a mode that all team members feel comfortable with. The sooner you face the challenges, the faster you will find suitable solutions. And what if nothing works anymore? Chocolate always works :-D

FAQ on the topic of motivation in the home office

How do I motivate myself in the home office?

Logically, the first person you have to motivate to work is yourself. If you work from your home office, this can seem much more difficult. Fixed routines and break times can help here. For example, instead of facing an 8-hour day, it could be 4 work blocks of 2 hours each. A fixed spatial separation between private life and work can also help to increase motivation. Specifically, this means don't work from the kitchen table, but rather set up a "work corner" if you don't already have an office that you can use for work.

What are the reasons for working from home?

Even though social interaction between colleagues is often neglected when working from home, there are still numerous reasons for working from home. This means that (long) commutes are eliminated and working hours can usually be made more flexible. The latter has a particularly positive effect on parents, who can manage childcare more easily. For companies, the home office also has the obvious advantage that fixed costs such as rent and additional costs for office space are eliminated.

What helps in the home office?

Tip #1, at least from our experience, is to make your home office as “office-like” as possible. Set yourself fixed working and break times, ensure regular communication with colleagues and do not take any work with you after work.

Header photo by Yasmina H on Unsplash

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