Welcome to the new year! As 2021 begins, many of us start off with some new resolutions. If you are in charge of a team within an organization or an educator of some sort, you may have adjusted to a remote work lifestyle with your team in 2020. This adjustment may have made it harder to engage with your teams and students. Here are three resolutions you can set for 2021 to have a better work from home (WFH) experience with your teams and students.

Run effective meetings.

As people have adjusted to working remotely throughout the pandemic, many have noticed that the average workday looks a lot different now. A study of 3.1 million people working at over 21,000 companies across North America, Europe and the Middle East examines how employee behaviour changed after the COVID-19 lockdowns. The average workday lasted 48.5 minutes longer and the number of meetings increased about 13%.

With more meetings and longer workdays, it can be easy for people to become overwhelmed, stressed and unproductive. For educators and students, their entire curriculum went online and lectures were conducted over virtual meetings. For those students and teachers that are not accustomed to online learning, this can also get overwhelming and stressful as well. How can we run more effective virtual meetings?

  • Run smaller meetings by only inviting people that are crucial to the discussion.
  • Encourage attendees to share their video to reduce the virtual barrier among the attendees and allow people to see each others facial expressions and body language.
  • Allow attendees to join via audio if they cannot join by video. Sharing video relies on a strong internet connection that may not always be available to all of your attendees.
  • Maintain a schedule. This means starting on time and finishing on time.
  • Have a structured agenda for what you will be discussing in the meeting. Unstructured meetings can easily overflow and waste time.
  • Allocate time within the meeting to reflect on the insights and takeaways from the meeting.
  • Take notes on the meeting or have an AI take notes for you.

Protect the work-life balance.

Adjusting to the COVID-19 lockdowns meant that we had to work and attend school virtually from our homes. Previously our homes were a place to spend time with our loved ones and escape from our everyday work life. Students have to manage a balance between school-related work and their personal lives but with school shifting completely online, it can disrupt the balance they are normally accustomed to. Furthermore, this new work from home protocol makes it easier to have work or school seep into our personal lives and disrupt our work-life balance. This is why it is important to remind ourselves that we have a responsibility to manage our work-life balance amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some ways you can protect your work-life balance:

  • Build a routine of starting and ending work around the same time every working day. Consistency will allow for a better work-life balance.
  • Create a space within your home that is dedicated to only doing work.
  • Ensure you are taking care of your physical well-being while being at home most of the time. Eg: exercise, meditation, yoga.

Engage with your teams and students through better social events.

People are finding that the more we have to do our communications online for school and work, the more exhausted they are at the end of their days. In 2020, “Zoom fatigue” popped up as a term on social media to describe this draining effect that the increase in video calls for school and work had on people. While video call meetings are getting a bad reputation for being boring and unproductive, CrowdParty is a solution that aims to bring the fun back to these video calls. Social events often tend to help coworkers bond but now that these social events are online and factoring in “Zoom fatigue”, it can be easy for people to skip out on these social events which can have a big impact on the culture at a company.

CrowdParty focuses on engaging everyone on the video call in fun games that build camaraderie. Building camaraderie among employees and students can be great for improving overall happiness which can translate into more productivity. A University of Warwick study shows that as people get happier, they’re roughly 12% more productive. Productivity and happiness should be something we all strive to get more of, especially during these times.

To kick off 2021, we have added CrowdParty's first exclusive game, With-Draw. Express your creative side with this fun team drawing game for free today at https://crowdparty.app

We hope you have a great year in 2021 and find these resolutions useful. Happy New Years from the team at CrowdParty!