5 Ways We Keep Our Remote-First Team Connected
At Sumo Leamington, we’re a proudly remote-first studio. We believe the flexibility of remote working empowers our people to do their best work and encourages a healthier work-life balance. But working remotely isn’t without its challenges – one of the biggest challenges is making sure that our team continue to feel connected to each other.
Human connection is an important part of individual wellbeing and encouraging good mental health. It’s also vital to ensuring that our people can work together as a cohesive team, who encourage, support and bring out the best in each other. We’ve been consulting with health and wellbeing expert, Tyler Lowe, who’s been giving us advice and guidance to help us better support our people – wherever they are! Together, we’ve put together a list of 5 ways we keep our remote working team connected.
Weekly Wellness Meetings
It’s common to have regular online meetings for remote teams. These can involve daily tasks and stand-ups, sprint planning, studio updates and more - but what about the individuals who make up the team?
Our wellbeing is important, and it’s vital that we don’t forget this. At Sumo Leamington, we host weekly drop-in wellness meetings where staff can come and have a chat.
Each week we look at a different mental wellness technique and discuss how we might utilise this in our own lives. We have tried mini meditations, looked at habit locking systems and have even written haiku poetry! Group members share their own experience and offer mental health management tips.
These meetings encourage open dialogue and help colleagues to bond while they support each other. There’s no pressure for everyone to attend every week, but having the option to attend is one of the ways we help to keep everyone feel supported.
Annual Activity Days
While remote teams don’t often meet their colleagues in person at work, having an annual event provides us an opportunity to do just that.
Organising a yearly event gives employees enough time to prepare and plan for the event as well as gives them something to look forward to. The event could be a fun outdoor activity, a meet-up at an awards night, or just throwing a big party!
Whatever is organised, it should be paid for by the company and should be tailored towards the needs and wants of the employees.
Most recently, our team connected over a BBQ, live karaoke band and a photo booth in a fun-filled Big Day Out. As a studio with lots of parents on our team, we chose a family-friendly location with a play area, a “Kidzebo” chill-out tent and plenty of space to run around, followed by music, dancing, drinks and card games for the grown-ups who wanted to stay out later.
A wellbeing webinar is designed to provide information, tips, and methods to help remote employees support their health and wellbeing.
Wellbeing webinars can help to support remote workers by providing useful information, creating a sense of engagement, as well as creating talking points to discuss with colleagues.
Companies like Loving Life provide a range of informative, educational, interactive and engaging topics to help keep staff motivated, happy and healthy.
Topics can range from things like; “Coping with Stress” to “Creating Life-Changing Habits”.
Webinars are a fantastic way to give remote workers a boost of encouragement, and motivation and show that they’re part of a studio that takes all aspects of their health seriously.
Out of Hours Bonding
Bonding outside of work hours can help remote workers build on existing friendships and create great relationships. This could be in the form of phone calls, online chats, and even virtual activities or events.
We recommend companies like Wildgoose, who provide online activities and virtual events to help keep teams connected. We enjoy a huge range of virtual activities, such as online roleplay adventures, team quizzes, virtual away days, and more!
It’s all about finding fun ways for our team to bond as friends, not just colleagues.
Mental Health First Aiders
Mental health is just as important as physical health, and just as you might need someone to help apply a bandage after you injure your arm, sometimes you might need someone who can give you useful advice when you’re struggling emotionally.
These are what our Mental Health First Aiders are for. Every studio across Sumo Group has Mental Health First Aiders, and they’re trained to support people who need their help just as physical First Aiders complete first aid training.
Our Mental Health First Aiders are always there to reach out to when our people need support, advice or just a sympathetic ear. If someone does find themselves struggling with loneliness or feelings of isolation, our MHFAs are only a call away.
If you’re interested in joining the team at Sumo Leamington, check out our careers page.