Belonging in a virtual world
We may be working from home at the moment, but that doesn’t mean our regular team activities have to stop! In March we were delighted to have Nadya Powell, Co-founder of Utopia host a lunchtime webinar discussing the importance of belonging in a virtual world.
The live lunch provided the perfect opportunity for our team to catch up and share their thoughts and experiences of belonging while continuing our commitment to wellbeing.
To get things started, Nadya explained how feeling like we belong is critical for people to thrive, something which is much easier to achieve through social interactions or when we are in a physical space such as our offices.
Following an open discussion on the topic, Nadya shared a quote from Gustav Soderstrom, head of R&D at Spotify, who said ‘belonging is having a home’, and explained how as humans we crave a sense of belonging.
So how can we create a sense of belonging for ourselves and our teams even during this time when we’re apart?
Nadya set out three key points to help foster belonging while working & socializing in a virtual world:
Create team rules: Now that many of us are working in new environments and adjusting to a new style of working. It’s important to agree how to work together while continuing to promote productivity and wellbeing. The structures that are put in place should incorporate people’s daily routines, maintain internal communication channels and allow for individuality, for example, there are now many people also home-schooling their children and juggling multiple conference calls!
Foster connections: Find ways to incorporate social moments into your daily routine, you might find that this is an opportunity to get to know your team and reach out and have those coffee-machine chats with people you’re missing in the office. Having collective experiences are vital for promoting belonging, health and wellbeing. Nadya recommended using the Donut app which can plug in to Microsoft Teams and Slack. Donut’s mission is to help people ‘be happy and engaged at work’. Each week, Donut randomly pairs up the team and suggests you go for coffee (virtual) or get together for a video chat!
Value each other: According to Nadya, this is much harder to do remotely because we don’t have those important face to face interactions. In a virtual world we have to reconsider how we listen, how we feedback and how we share thoughts. The team suggested a number of great ways to do this, including setting aside time each day to say thank you, and having reflections meetings where people can share formal feedback, thoughts and feelings or ‘little moments of care’ as Nadya described.
It’s been wonderful to see that our team have already been putting a lot of these ideas into practice! Just a few that the team shared during the call included; daily check ins, scheduling meetings to celebrate achievements, and virtual drinks over video calls.
We see the workspace as a service and our amazing innovation teams are constantly putting new ideas to the test, including at our UK headquarters in 33 Central and Bloom Clerkenwell!
Through implementing smart building technology by Symbiosy in our own office, we can see first-hand what solutions will work best for our own occupiers. Why not take a virtual stroll through our UK office and see how these solutions are being delivered in order to enhance employee wellbeing and performance?
You can also catch up on our latest working from home wellbeing tips here!
Discover more webinars from Utopia here.