The pandemic has impacted every sector of the global economy. Businesses are quickly adapting their processes in line with government guidelines and health advice, and are focusing on keeping employees and clients safe. Most notably, an increasing number of employees are now working from home.

However, even the most eager remote workers are suffering during this time. Employees are missing out on the crucial aspect of workplace socialization. It may seem like an impossible activity during COVID-19, but employers have adapted their enterprises to allow work social events to continue. All of these activities can be enjoyed from the safety of home — no office required.

Organizations are beginning to realize that this new way of working can be just as productive as being present in the office and some are making the change permanent, offering more flexibility to their employees. Despite this, workers can still experience a negative impact on their job satisfaction and even their mental health if business owners neglect the all-important social aspect of the workplace.

Workplace friendships can make or break an employee’s decision to remain loyal to the business or to move onto somewhere new. The pandemic is affecting these relationships more than many predicted. Below, we look into why coworking events are even more important than ever during 2020 and how they can help boost staff morale.

Company culture
Company culture plays a huge element in job satisfaction. The reputation of a company’s culture can entice or repel the best candidates for new roles.

Employees enjoy seeing colleagues as a second family. This aids in elevating a love for the role, as well as making the workplace feel more lively, welcoming, and friendly.

A consistent social calendar can heighten a company’s culture and make an organization more appealing to potential clients, too. By providing regular social events, a business can portray itself as valuing a good work-life balance.

Reward achievements
This could be anything from Friday afternoon drinks when goals have been achieved to large end-of-year parties honoring the hard work over the last 12 months.

Recognizing individual milestones can undoubtedly boost morale. For example, a colleague may have completed an industry-specific qualification or finally encouraged that tricky prospective client to sign a deal.

By including the whole team in the celebration, this individual can really feel valued, while also inspiring others to achieve the same as they can personally witness the rewards in the way of a social event.

Special occasions
By acknowledging not just professional achievements but also personal ones, staff can feel more valued and workplace morale is increased.

Birthdays, engagements, or any other milestone should be acknowledged and celebrated. But it isn’t just conventional events that can be observed. Perhaps a colleague recently achieved highly in a sport or other hobby or finally completed a personal task that had been particularly challenging for them.

While the celebrations don’t have to be elaborate, simply extending a lunch break and providing cakes and treats can show staff they are appreciated and their personal life is deemed just as important as their work one. This will always keep spirits high in the office.

Bringing teams together
Especially in large businesses, creating workplace friendships between all colleagues can be seemingly impossible. With teams spaced throughout a building or even in different locations, without work socials, large numbers of colleagues may never meet.

Getting everyone together in one place, even if this is socially distant and in a virtual space, can help these departments meet and build a bond. This boosts morale in the obvious sense that these colleagues can form new friendships, but it can also make daily work life easier. Calling and emailing departments that are unknown can seem daunting and some may feel reluctant to do so. By connecting during social events, this can make things easier.

Social events don’t have to exclusively include those on the payroll. Suppliers, clients, and even friendly competition within the sector can be invited. This provides these other participants with a taste of the company culture. Employees who may not usually deal with these other parties can feel valued and be given a sense of importance as they aid to represent the business.

Networking with these individuals can help to provide essential contacts to help with career progression, both in and out of the workplace. This helps to heighten morale, especially for those staff who aren’t used to networking, it can give a sense of pride and value.

Maintaining staff morale is more important than ever before. Even the most hard-working, passionate, and dedicated employees are feeling the strain during the recent months and the uncertainty of the pandemic has many worried for the future.

Not only are professional lives affected, but many who live alone are shielding or having to self-isolate and are thus missing out on interacting with others, an essential part of being human.

Mental health can quickly deteriorate without the right support and simply a friendly face and an hour or two to take the focus away from the busy working day can change things for the better.