Homeworking has changed the way businesses work and structure themselves. Although this is not an entirely new concept, with the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) at the start of 2020, working from home or hybrid working is now the new norm!

This transition to remote working has been and is a necessity for many office-based companies and businesses that want to maintain operations. However, along the way, many of these same companies have seen the benefits of working from home and more are adopting hybrid work models, regardless of whether this is to follow government guidance or not.

As stated in this article “In May 2021, a Mercer study found that 70% of companies said they were planning to adopt the hybrid model. Many companies have already made the switch, including prominent brands such as Adobe, Salesforce, Spotify, and Twitter. And Microsoft’s Work Trend Index (published in March 2021) found that 66% of employers around the world are redesigning their workplaces to accommodate hybrid work arrangements.”

Working from home, remote working or Hybrid Working is now the new normal – so with that, it’s very important for companies to focus on staff mental health and ensure staff morale is kept at a high as this can be compromised from staff feeling isolated. Staff no longer have the in-person morning catch-ups and conversations in the office which has an impact on this.


What Are The Benefits Of Working From Home, Hybrid Working, Remote Working?

That being said, there are a lot of benefits to home working. It improves flexibility in terms of working hours. Generally, staff are better placed and more willing to work flexible hours to suit your needs. And for staff, it’s much easier for them to fit their work around their personal life. For example, staff can meet childcare needs from home, rather than paying for childcare.

As a company, you can recruit worldwide rather than just your local – because staff can work remotely, they can, effectively, be based anywhere around the world! This opens you up to talent around the globe instead of within a certain radius of your business or office.

Homeworking has also been shown to increase productivity: less interruptions=more focus=more productivity. In fact, you may find due to employees saving time by not having to commute – they may actually be more willing to do overtime or increase their contractual hours!

Financially, working from home can be beneficial: reduced or no office space cost, office supplies, utility bills and other facilities. For staff, they are able to claim tax relief from the HMRC for working from home.

All sounds good, right? Let’s take a look at the other side of the coin; the disadvantages of working from home.

Collage drawing of staff working from home.

What Are The Disadvantages of Working From Home?

Working from home is not for everyone. Some employees can struggle with finding routine and structure whilst working from home, which is what working in an office space/environment would traditionally provide for them.

Some staff find personal (in-person) interaction is very important for not only their work performance but their general mood and aiding their motivation to get their work done.

For some, working from home can actually be more stressful. For example, some staff may have young children, pets or other at-home responsibilities that make it difficult to focus during the working day. Especially if they do not have a dedicated working space at home, such as a spare room, dedicated office or other.

It can also lead to potential burnout – working from home can make it hard for some to find the distinction between work and home life, making it hard for staff to ‘switch-off’ and come back the next day refreshed.

A big one is, for some, working from home can make staff feel isolated. Staff may feel disconnected from their colleagues and even the company as a whole as a result of not having regular in-person contact with colleagues or being in an office environment. This is something we’ll get into as the post goes on.

Looking for more guidance? See the NHS guidance on maintaining mental health whilst working from home.

I found this video very useful for some tips for working from home / how to set up your workspace at home (it also covers a lot of the pros and cons of working from home):


How To Maintain Staff Morale Whilst Working From Home

As an events company, we’ve been leading the way in virtual events and experiences as we realised the needs of our clients changed whilst COVID restrictions are in place. Clients are after online, virtual experiences to continue enjoying unique experiences. Whether it be Virtual Corporate Events and Experiences, Virtual Parties, Virtual Conferences or our ever-popular Virtual Entertainers, Virtual Workshops and Interactive Online Games.

Since COVID restrictions eased on the 19th July 2021, we saw a rise in traditional LIVE, in-person events, making it a real balance between LIVE and Virtual Events.

However, due to the rise in working from home and hybrid working, there is still a need for Virtual, Online Events and Experiences for companies to connect with employees. This is where Virtual Experiences, such as Virtual Entertainment, Virtual Craft Workshops and Interactive Online Games come into play.

Collage of different emotions staff can go through whilst working from home.

We’ve had to find out what works best for our clients, including companies and businesses that go to us to create unique Virtual Team Building Experiences to boost and maintain morale, motivation and general mindfulness of their staff.


So what specifically can companies do to maintain staff morale whilst working from home?

  1. Stay Connected…Virtually
  2. Recognise Staff For Their Work/Make Sure It’s Not ‘All Work and No Play’
  3. Learning and Development of Staff

1) Stay Connected Virtually

Now that we can’t catch up in the Office kitchen to check in on each other, we need to look at how we can get this back whilst working from home. It’s a lot more important than it may sound.

“Home working is having an impact on people’s mental health, with 67% saying they felt less connected to their colleagues and 56% saying they found it harder to switch off. However only a third of respondents had been offered support with their mental health (34%) from their employer.” From RSPH.org

Because there is a physical distance between colleagues, managers and others, it’s very important for employees to know their colleagues, managers and senior leaders are there for them. Whether they are having specific issues or just need to ask a question.

Drawing showing people interacting virtually online.

The good news – staying connected whilst working remotely is easy. You can have regular 1-2-1s with staff on Zoom to catch-up with staff and create a space where they can raise any issues, ask questions or simply catch-up with you about how they are getting on with everything. If you can make a set amount of time, be it weekly or every couple of days, to have a virtual catch-up with your staff, you’ll help to keep morale high.

However, be sure to keep this interesting! If you’re working from home, you’ve more than likely had your fair share of zoom meetings. What better way of keeping things fresh and exciting by bringing some Virtual Entertainment and Experiences to your Virtual Catch-Ups?

You’ll be surprised by how much of a difference it can make to general staff morale by just bringing something different into the mix, such as a Virtual Magician or a Motivational Speaker to bring into a Zoom call.

2) Recognise Staff For Their Work and Contributions

We all like to get recognised for our hard work and contributions. And it’s especially important when working remotely. We can’t say a quick thank you in person, which can result in staff feeling like their efforts have gone unnoticed.

It goes without saying; always make a conscientious effort to recognise staff for their efforts!

Many of our clients have come to us for ideas for a virtual experience to thank their staff. Our most popular options are our Virtual Socials and Virtual Craft Workshops. Our clients have found these virtual experiences really sky-rocket staff morale and are a great way of recognising staff for their efforts by rewarding them with an informal online get-together or a unique craft workshop, such as a Virtual Wreath Workshop whilst in the festive season.

Having a clear reward system like this is always going to improve staff morale.

Make Sure It’s Not ‘All Work and No Play’

Offices often have a break room or a kitchen, dining area or even a games area where staff can de-compress. Of course, whilst working from home, this all goes out the window – it’s very easy to miss the important element of ‘fun’ at work, which of course keeps us focussed and motivated on our jobs – it’s all a balance. Unfortunately, without this. it can have a negative impact on staff wellbeing and general morale.

Illustration of recognising others for their work.

Social activities, catch-ups and general letting of the hair down should be encouraged amongst remote teams. Staff can meet up virtually to compete head-to-head in Virtual Interactive Games or you can simply have a virtual call to catch up informally.

3) Learning and Development of Staff

Whilst working from home, it’s common for staff to feel a bit stagnant and lose sight of the ability to climb up the ranks within a company. Because of the unpredictable ups and downs, the instability, caused by changes in restrictions and more, it can be difficult to fit in things like virtual learning and development.

Be conscious of creating opportunities for staff and look at E-learning as a great way of developing staff and progressing.

Illustration of learning and development between colleagues.

Some Of Our Favourite Virtual Experiences For Boosting Staff Morale

We’ve mentioned Virtual Entertainment and Experiences a few times throughout. So here are some of our personal favourite Virtual Experiences you can book today if you’re looking for a way to boost staff morale whilst working from home.

  1. Virtual Murder Mystery
  2. Virtual Escape Room
  3. Virtual Race Nights

1) Virtual Murder Mystery

This unique experience is a fun and exciting way to get your staff together to let loose. Our Virtual Murder Mystery Party is probably our most popular virtual experience at the moment with all types of businesses booking it for their virtual work socials!

Overview:

  • No Maximum Number of Participants
  • 90 minutes
  • Characters Played By Professional Actors
  • Interactive, Immersive
  • Encourages Group Participation
  • Boosts Team Morale!

Staff get dressed up and get fully immersed in the experience, playing characters alongside our professional actors.

There are lots of options to choose from too, including the Downton Abbey inspired ‘Murder at the Manor’ and ‘Death and the Maiden Voyage’ and even a Christmas Themed Murder Mystery!

There are also add-ons available for this unique experience if required, including:

  • Cocktail Kits, Gift Baskets, Food and Drink Kits (sent directly to participants)
  • Additional Virtual Entertainment
  • Virtual Party Host
  • and more

The likes of Dior, Starbucks, Unilever, Mercedes and even Google have booked this experience and it’s a proven way to boost staff morale whilst working from home.

Read More


2) Virtual Escape Room

Our ultimate virtual escape room is another fantastic team-building activity for your remote team. It’s highly interactive, fun and a real mood-booster for all involved!

The host of the experience sets the scene with a tense ‘virtual briefing’ detailing why the team must escape. The team go around the virtual room finding and inspecting objects to work out clues in order to escape from our virtual escape room, with the aim being to solve the clues and crack the puzzle in the quickest time possible in order to break free!

This unique Virtual Escape Room is a fantastic tool for getting teams to work together to reach a collective goal. These sorts of activities are especially important if your staff are still working from home or remotely.

Read More


3) Virtual Race Night

Our Virtual Race Night is a fantastic online experience to book for remote teams, whether you’re hybrid working of working from home full time!

This unique experience is highly interactive and includes break out rooms, on-screen displays, whole group rooms and a fantastic host. We can also brand and theme the experience if required!

Jockeys racing horses on a race track virtually on Zoom as part of our Virtual Horse Racing experience.

Don’t worry, you bet with fake money (not real gambling)! We offer two unique Virtual Race Night experiences, our Virtual Horse Racing Experience and Virtual Greyhound Racing Experience. However, we can accommodate specific Virtual Race Night options, creating a bespoke experience to you.

Groups split into teams to compete against each other and it’s a real morale booster for all involved.

How Does A Zoom Race Night Work?

Hosted by our amazing Compere, every player involved has a choice of three actions throughout the game which can be used to put rivals at a disadvantage or put your team at an advantage.

The trick is to know when to play these as you only get 3!

Each group splits into teams, training horses, sabotaging rival team’s horses and backing their favourite horse to win. Each enter bets between 6-8 races using an in-game currency (don’t worry, it’s not real money!)

Teams have to strategize whether to show interest early for a good payout. Or wait till the last minute to see other teams show their tactics.


To create a truly immersive experience, we also send out bespoke Kits to all participants including the likes of cocktail kits, treats and more. We can also combine some unique Virtual Experiences such as cocktail making, virtual magicians and more with your Virtual Race Night to make it a truly special occasion!

Our event managers can set up everything, including the game itself and the Zoom invitations. Once all your attendees have joined the call you can go onto the app to access the first race.

We have had some amazing feedback from clients who have booked this virtual experience and find it especially popular with corporate clients looking to boost staff morale whilst working hybrid working or working full time from home.

Read More

We hope you found this helpful and if you require more ideas and inspiration for some Virtual Team Games to play to boost staff morale, take a look at our Virtual Team Games!

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