WAYS TO BRING BACK SOCIAL CHIT CHATS AND VIDEO MEETS IN OFFICE
“Small talk was an art form, one of those things that made people’s eyes gloss over. Go silent, and they might start wondering why. But keep them talking about nothing at all, and they wouldn’t even blink.” ― Quote by V.E. Schwab, Vengeful.
Covid-19 pandemic and remote working gaining momentum are the two reasons for the explosion in video calls, conferencing, and tele-meetings. In fact, it is now a “new normal” and part of most companies' daily routine. Most people are doing it for hours on end besides doing their assigned tasks as per their work profile. There is fatigue and tiredness all around. The idle chit chat or small talk employees would indulge in the course of the day is now becoming a forgotten memory for most. Most people do not have the interest or scope to talk about inconsequential or mundane aspects of lives.
Earlier people would mingle in the garb of coffee or smoke breaks, lunches together, post lunch walks, or drinks after work. Well, the need for physical distancing is now a reality thanks to this rapidly spreading infectious virus. All these ways of informal team building are now like ancient relics we miss and long for.
However, it is important for the overall success and morale of the company to get people to make social chit, even if briefly, on these video calls. The success of companies depends on creating a culture of collaboration and camaraderie. Without these two vital Cs, companies struggle to get people to work united as a team. Everyone is in silos and interactions are limited. Every company management needs to focus on creating, bolstering, and strengthening personal & group relationships. Far sighted companies know that speedy amalgamation of recently joined employees into the existing department/company is more than background briefings. It involves the formulation of personal equations with others who are working for the organisation.
Here are some ways to bring back social chit-chat in your office video calls:
Social chit chat or small talk must be made part of the day’s meeting agenda, in the beginning or at the end of the session. It could be 15 minutes or 30 minutes; each company is free to decide its code. The moderator leads the session and gets everyone to participate in turn.
Begin meetings with an ice breaker activity or game. This is a time tested strategy that always pays dividends. In the universe of virtual meetings, starting with a meet with an icebreaker is a good initial step to bring back social chit chat. Alternatively, bring in the fun element into the meetings at the start.
Before winding up the call, leave some free time for people to chat or raise issues. This free time for people to make social chit chat acts as a major boost for company bonding and culture.
Has your company taken any steps while working remotely to bring back fun or chit chat into zoom calls? Let us know your steps so that others can benefit from the same and spread cheer in the age of pandemics.