August was a busy month. We saw doors popping open and a flurry of people coming back from furlough. But in amongst the welcome backs there have been many goodbyes and there is still a lot of anxiety about the future. You may have thought that if we can get through August, September will feel more normal. But is it? Well, it's close. It's hard to feel welcomed back when you can't even shake hands.
Fatigue is plaguing a lot of teams right now. Some have been ploughing on all through the summer from kitchen tables and back-to-back zoom calls while others have been on tender hooks wondering if they'll have a job or even an industry to return to when furlough ends. Both situations are stressful, exhausting and have the potential to cause division within your teams.
So how do you ease this tension? How do you energise your team and get them to integrate, especially when some may still be working from home? Online improv workshops are a great way to keep everyone feeling involved without compromising Covid safety.
I recently hosted an online improv workshop which involved half of the staff working in offices in London and Zurich and the other half working from home in various cities. I also facilitated a workshop with employees spread across different states in America - that was a lot of time differences! And yet, in both of these workshops, once people started playing you forgot all about how far away we were.
"People returning to work are being overloaded with new information. Taking a moment to focus on communication and play allows everyone to proceed with a healthier mindset."
My online workshops seek to ease people back into not just communicating with their corporate team but also socialising with them. Playing improv games can help everyone shake off inhibitions and also a lot of the angst they may still be carrying. The pandemic is not over and we must bear in mind that it can be hard for members of your team to let go of that stress in order to focus on their work.
People returning to the office are being overloaded with new information: Covid restrictions, new commutes, different targets etc. Taking a moment to focus on communication and play allows everyone to proceed with a healthier mindset.
I still hope one day to return to hosting improv workshops in person but for now I'm enjoying the surprising benefits of online teaching. I look forward to working with your team from my London flat whether you are in an office in Zurich, a ranch in Texas or even next door!
Stay safe. x