You might have thought that working from home was a temporary solution during a crazy time in our world, however, for many people it is the new normal. There are many pros to working remotely, but it is definitely a “you get out what you put into it” type of situation, and working remotely during the holidays can be a whole new ball game. One downside that many people struggle with while working remotely is the social aspect of it. As a remote worker or employer, you might be missing the holiday office parties and the cold weather might make you feel even more isolated within your daily routines.

Our New Normal 

If you’re reading this, you are most likely a remote worker or employer who is looking to find a way to make work feel a little more normal, and avoid the cabin fever feeling you might be experiencing as the weather changes. Just because you are no longer in an office does not mean you can’t do “normal office things” such as socializing and celebrating with coworkers, brainstorming together, and learning from one another. It might take a different way of planning or look a little different than being in person, but getting connected virtually has been made easier now more than ever!

Making Real Connections Can Be Done Online

The holidays usually make people think of family. You most likely spend 40 hours a week working so in some ways your coworkers are family to you as well. While working remotely it can feel difficult to make those connections we all crave. Do your best to encourage your employees to reach out to one another. Having a coworker with whom you can share not only your work life wins but the positives in other aspects of your life makes working remotely feel a lot less isolated. Asking about someone’s holiday plans or even sending a Christmas card is a small gesture that could leave you feeling a lot more connected to the people who you share your work goals with. 

Staying Focused During the Holidays 

Between the holiday lights hung throughout the house, your children off from school, and a whole list of things you need to get done before the holidays, it can be hard to stay focused on work. When working from home you can encounter many distractions, so it is important for you as the employee, to keep yourself focused and productive. As an employer, you know about the importance of keeping your employees motivated and on track during this time of the year. Daily conversations and deeper connections are as important for an employee as it is for an employer. There are many ways to keep employees engaged as a manager or employer, you just have to be creative and willing to try something new! 

Don’t Let Your Mental Health Suffer

Make sure you are thinking about your employee's mental health during the holidays. Due to working remotely, there may be some socialization gaps created which can leave you feeling isolated and depressed. Between being cooped up in your house and the weather getting colder, seasonal depression is something you will want to watch out for. Along with that, for many people, the holidays can bring up a lot of emotions depending on their personal lives and relationships with the holiday. Make sure you are taking the time to touch base with your employees and your mental health. Educate yourselves on understanding the signs of depression. You can look out for the symptoms and learn how to cope by educating yourself or seeking mental health treatment. With the proper treatment, this overwhelming feeling of socializing can get easier. Remember that seasonal depression and social anxiety are common and everyone is adapting to their new normal.

Don’t Forget Your Employee’s Health

As you address your own and your employees’ mental health it is also important to promote good physical health as well. In the winter, getting out of the house and staying active can be difficult. Research local events and see if there are any holiday-themed walks or activities your company could do together! Even encouraging people to get away from their computers and take 10 minutes to go outside and shovel will help them feel more energized and less likely to experience burnout. 

It Shouldn't Be All Business, Especially During This Time of Year

Take time as a company to meet, laugh, and make memories. Everyone is jonesing for some holiday fun so lean into that. Not all meetings should be about work, it is important to have team bonding activities and time to get to know each other. This will bridge the gap between the community in the workplace and being just a face behind a screen. Maybe have a meeting once a week where you discuss things besides work, or take some time at the beginning of each meeting to check in on each other. For more inspiration on fun team activities over zoom check out these team-building ideas

Working remotely has many benefits and drawbacks and we are seeing both as we approach the holiday season. Make sure you prioritize socializing and working together, you can still come together in the holiday spirit even if it isn’t in the same room. We hope some of these tips and ideas help you and your team to have a happy, healthy holiday season. 

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