Use of virtual workshops in hybrid working environments

Remote and hybrid workforces have become the new norm in the workplace. With this new normal comes a new challenge for HR managers and business leaders:

How to involve remote staff in the corporate culture?

One of the positive aspects of working in a pandemic is that it has integrated the existing remote workforce more than ever into the corporate culture and brought to the fore the need for strong employee engagement. . HR Directors and HR Managers now have a well-deserved place at the table next to the CEO, with many companies now firmly recognizing the importance of the well-being of their employees to the overall success of the business.

However, a larger remote workforce or hybrid workforce can make it difficult to develop effective exercises and events for all teams. Bringing all employees together in person becomes a major drain on resources, with remote employees needing travel and accommodations. This may be fine for once-a-year in-person events, but they’re not true drivers of sustainable culture. It’s now necessary to create meaningful moments with employees, remotely and in person, throughout the year, whether you’re celebrating wins or just focusing on building a team. This can easily take place in a virtual setting through virtual workshops.

The remote workforce has grown dramatically, and now is not the time to revert to an office hub mentality that leaves remote employees on the outside. Rather, it is a unique opportunity to redefine the way we build corporate culture.

What are virtual workshops?

A virtual workshop is an interactive online workshop conducted via videoconference. These workshops can be used for a variety of purposes, ranging from education and/or training to health and wellness. The digital and online nature of virtual workshops makes these workshops, along with the various specialized tools offered by videoconferencing programs, a more accessible, inclusive and interactive experience for all employees.

Virtual workshops are a great way to build a positive work culture within a hybrid workforce.

The flexibility of virtual workshops allows for more fun, engaging, and frequent activities compared to hard-to-implement in-person events. Pick activities that employees are interested in, like a monthly book club or cooking classes, and your work event will start to become something employees really look forward to.

Speaking of being a part of things, it’s also a great way to get the whole house involved — kids, pets, and partners — and introduce your employees to each other as real people, not just as colleagues.

Virtual workshops are more cost effective than in-person events.

Most virtual workshops are quick and easy to implement, often designed to fit the size of the team. Therefore, sometimes the total cost of a virtual event is nothing more than the cost of some materials and the workshop facilitator. Couple that with the elimination of travel and accommodation requirements and the costs that come with it, and you can host multiple virtual team building events for the same cost as an in-person event that employees can attend much more easily.

You will also see emotional ROIs which will lead to higher financial ROIs.

The percentage of employees suffering from burnout and mental health issues is at an all-time high, making mental well-being a key indicator of a positive employee experience. Providing fun, engaging, and accessible activities that help employees take care of themselves, while connecting more personally with their co-workers, allows them to reach a better place all around, which helps them become more creative, more productive and even take care of them. others.

Virtual events also reduce the stress on your employees, as they no longer have to worry about most stressful aspects in-person events such as being on time, travelling, rearranging schedules and dressing up.

What kind of virtual workshops can I do?

The options are virtually limitless. You can do a monthly book club, craft classes, and beer tastings.

Gardening also makes for a great virtual workshop, which we offer to businesses of all sizes. Whether you’re learning to plant herbs or vegetables, or just tending to an office plant, gardening is a wonderful way to build community and cultivate relationships within an organization. Gardening has also been scientifically proven to support overall well-being, helping to improve cognitive and physical performance when combined with good nutrition, sleep and movement.

How can I start?

Make sure you choose the right activity and/or the right topics for your workshops. The best way to do this is to get feedback from your employees, either through surveys or by talking to them directly. Learning what interests your employees is the best way to ensure that you create events that they want to to attend and even to look forward to – and this allows you to better connect with them on a more individual level. You can also check out previous workshops that got people excited, attended, and continue to talk about after they’re done.

Try talking to other companies about the kind of virtual events they’ve had success with. While these ideas might not be exactly right for your team, it’s a great way to see what other industry leaders are doing to facilitate employee engagement and growth, and it might inspire you to come up with something new.

Be sure to try all kinds of ideas. Tap into the wide array of vendors, local and international, to see what resonates with people. And remember, it’s okay to fail – trial and error is the best way to weed out ideas that don’t work to find the right ones for your specific team.

In short, virtual workshops are a great first step to cultivating a stronger company culture.

In a world where the modern workplace is redefining itself, there’s no better time to try something new and better incorporate practices that help improve the well-being of your employees. Virtual workshops are a perfect way to foster a more sustainable work environment and ensure your teams are engaged, connected and communicating, even if they’re not all in one place.

Start planting the seeds of a healthier, more sustainable workplace today.

Norma A. Roth