Virtual happy hours are only interesting for so long.
Here are a few practical tips on building culture / fostering connection remotely (try them if you're running a business remotely or talk to your boss if you're working remote).
They come from my interview with a remote company founder (she's been running the business remotely since 2001). But here's the highlights if you don't want to click out:
The team is allowed to submit any question anonymously, and the CEO will answer it publicly
If necessary, it will also be accompanied by action (like when she removed everyone's phone numbers from their website)
They do this company-wide conference call on Wednesdays (called "Walking Wednesdays"). They encourage everyone to take a walk and then the conversation is about something random, like your first car, and everyone shares a story
It's optional to attend, so no one feels forced
"We have a Slack channel called REDcognition, where we recognize members of our team for the good work they do for one another. We also post when good client feedback comes in because I want the team to know about it."
The company joined an initiative called Make Time To Vote, which is a pledge to give employees paid time on election day to go to the polls
They also added an "I Voted" channel to their Slack where people can show that they voted during primaries / on election day
They are planning a virtual talent show, since a lot of their staff are musicians
For kids at home during the summer cause of COVID, they are planning a virtual show and tell series (including a virtual bring your pet to work day where kids get to share their pets with everyone else via zoom)
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