We’re all finding new ways to adjust since working from home has gone from something most of us do rarely or occasionally, to a new daily norm.

With no shortage of advice circulating from seasoned WFH pros, we’ve gathered some of our favourite light-hearted, simple ideas to boost spirits and connectivity while colleagues are dispersed far and wide.

Go retro

Now more than ever, it’s important to work towards team goals. Outside of your daily WIPs and task lists, hold a Retro (short for ‘retrospective’) at 4pm on Fridays – BYO drink.

Allocate a host who’ll kick off with an icebreaker. After that, it’s a chance to reflect on what worked and what didn’t for the week, with suggested improvements taken down as action items to review at the next Retro. These short sessions help build a remote team’s effectiveness and engagement. The Fun Retro tool provides a great template and offers a free basic account. We suggest adding a ‘Thank you’ column for people to add their shout-outs to prior to the meeting. You could also award an MVP of the week to keep a focus on recognition.

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Wacky Wednesday

If your team is holding daily dial-ins, introduce Wacky Wednesday. Designate a theme and have everyone activate video to see how you did. A hat party, and dare we say it a pyjama party, are good starting points, and you can get creative from there.

Jump around

Take the opportunity to walk around or stand up for phone calls and meetings.

Get quizzical

Missing getting your quiz on in the kitchen? Try Instagram accounts like ‘Melbourne Quiz’ which regularly posts newspaper quizzes. Schedule virtual quiz time with colleagues at the start of your lunch break. (Also schedule your lunch break – it helps bring routine to the day and lets others know when you’ll be away from your computer.)

Word games

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  • Play a spot of conference call bingo.
  • A bonus game for those indoors with a partner or flatmates – listen for the business buzzwords you’d never have known they use. Are they a ‘take this offline’ or a ‘moving forward’ person?
  • This one is a little more adventurous, designed for those who feel the need to liven up their meetings. Challenge a colleague with a relatively unusual word that they need to work in seamlessly when they’re presenting. Words we’ve seen tried before include ‘bongos’ and ‘stir-fry’.

Join the club

Start a book or movie club with colleagues. There’s nothing like a deep discussion on the themes and merits of writing or filmmaking to get to know one another better.

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