Tips for Working @ Home
With so many of us working from home today and needing to connect through video conferencing, we’ve been asked by many of you how to make these virtual meetings more fun. We love the word fun, but when we hear it, we don’t think of just silly jokes and sight gags. We instead think of all the health benefits of laughter and engagement and how it makes us feel more connected as a team and more productive in the process.
So with these outcomes in mind, here are a few suggestions for your future video calls.
- Change Your Profile Photo – Pick a funny photo to put in your profile. Maybe a celebrity or a cartoon character. Consider a baby picture, a sports photo or one from a high school dance. Poking fun at ourselves shows we don’t take ourselves too seriously – plus it’s hilarious to see how styles change.
- Have a “Theme” Attire For Your Video Conference – Ask participants to wear shirts or caps that reflect a different theme for each call. These can include: Company logos, favorite sports team, favorite musical group, silly hats, favorite colors, etc. Not only is it fun to pick these out and see what others choose, the conversations that come from your selections help you get to know your co-workers in a different light.
- Find the Garden Gnome – Ask a different meeting participant each week to “hide” a selected item somewhere in their workspace background. This will help sharpen observation skills as you begin a meeting.
- Match The Human To The Pet – Get photos of participants pets and ask attendees to match them to their owner. Allow time for some conversation as we all love our pets.
- Team, Please Meet Judith and Moose – A good follow-up to the “Human/Pet Match Game” is a chance for attendees to introduce their beloved pets to the team. While this may have already happened spontaneously, it’s a more “formalized” way for people to share a big part of their lives.
- What’s Your Background – Collect photos of team member’s pets, kids, grandkids, etc. and create a collage that people can use as wallpaper/background on their computers.
- What’s Your Hobby – Ask teammates to share photos or stories of what they like to do outside of work. This helps us learn more about what makes our co-workers happy. We may also find some common interests with people we didn’t know well before.
- Look Where Our Mascot Has Been – Agree on a team mascot (maybe a figurine that each team member can get) and then share photos of the mascot in interesting locations. This provides an opportunity to share places you like to visit.
- I Can Name That Tune – Ask attendees to rotate starting each call with a song they like.
- World’s Funniest (Tasteful) Videos – Invite attendees to share fun short videos they’ve seen lately. They can be about a particular theme or random ones that bring a smile to the session.
Note: Of course, showing respect for your co-workers drives any use of humor in the workplace. If you’re questioning whether something is appropriate, it likely isn’t. Also, participation is voluntary.