How to Keep Up Company Morale in a Pandemic

Like many other companies, we are navigating the new world of a fully-remote, work-from-home team. Our commitment to the health and safety of our employees, customers, and community made that transition a straightforward decision. But it does come with its challenges.

Namely, we miss each other’s delightful presence. And we’ve had to get creative about adapting our happy work environment in order to cultivate multiple happy remote-work environments. We know that other companies are working hard to do the same for their teams, so we wanted to share some of our favorite tips and ideas for keeping up morale.

Keep communication lines open and intentional

A communication strategy is essential for remote teams for a lot of reasons, including its impact on morale. A lack of clarity in the objectives or boundaries for work communication creates anxiety. And we have plenty of that without also worrying about monitoring too many email threads well into the night. Figure out how you are going to communicate – what channels, what frequency – so there are clear expectations and the format fits the content. 

Another way to boost morale through solid communication: remember to check in with your team. Remote work can be isolating. And in the switch to all-digital communication, all those informal ways of communicating also need to be accounted for. Think of your post-meeting hallway debriefs or impromptu desk-side check-ins. These are important ways of keeping everyone on the same page that happen organically in the workplace – but can get lost in the WFH shuffle. Find ways to intentionally incorporate this type of communication so your team will feel supported and in the loop. 

Don’t forget the watercooler

And we don’t mean keep hydrated (though that is also good for health and wellbeing). We mean don’t forget the social aspects of work – the watercooler chats, the break room lunch groups, or when Bridgette in HR makes everyone go on a walk so she can “get her steps in.” These moments are important for morale too, and many companies are trying different ways to recreate them online. Here are a few examples:

  • Casual coffee breaks in video chat – no work talk, just catching up
  • Netflix streaming clubs with social media group forums for discussion
  • Watching a (previously aired) game or event together
  • Promoting virtual spaces for colleagues to connect about WFH challenges – like working while the kids are also home
  • Coordinating efforts to help colleagues who are sick or quarantined 
  • Creating shared learning experiences through upskilling platforms like LinkedIn Learning and Coursera – even opening up access to the corporate accounts to employee’s family and friends.
  • Virtual show and tell – what recipe, craft, or toilet paper substitute hacks would you like to share with your team?
The Shop4ties team in a Zoom meeting

The Shop4ties team in a Zoom meeting, wearing our custom Chicago Hawaiian shirts and scarves!

Create solidarity with the simple things

You know that feeling when you pull on your favorite team’s jersey on game day? Or when you’re rocking that much-loved concert tee at the band’s show? 

For us, one of the best parts of making our customized apparel is that the finished product is not just unique – it’s also unifying. Whether its custom ties for a Yale alumni group, custom scarves for the YWCA of Chicago, or a special gift of friendship between Channing Tatum and Gabrial Iglesias. No matter the customized apparel order, we are always excited to bring groups together with a one-of-a-kind design they love to wear. 

Now, more than ever, helping people stay connected in creative ways is important. For our part, we hope the real solidarity that can come from simply sharing customized apparel with your colleagues can bring some much-needed connection and delight. 

It’s true that, for now, you all won’t be able to hang out in your custom Hawaiian shirts in the same room. But you can bring them to your chat rooms, add a little levity, and think of it as a promise that, eventually, there is going to be a Hawaiian-themed company picnic. 

Shop4ties is a family-owned customized apparel company that has been providing custom scarves, ties, shirts, and more for over 37 years. Contact us for your company’s custom printed apparel and let us help you foster connection and keep up morale. 

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