How Better Social Connections Bring Out The Best In Our Team
Employee engagement continues to be a hot topic in the workplace today. A big part of this conversation is the impact of social connections on employee wellbeing and company culture.
According to a study, employees with strong social bonds with their coworkers are more motivated to perform their work. Another report from McKinsey also shows that “improved communication and collaboration through social technologies could raise the productivity of interaction among workers by 20% to 25%.”
These stats show that creating healthy social connections leads to higher levels of creativity and productivity. And it’s especially important for hyper-flexible organisations with a remote global team.
How we do it at Ooze
For many employees, a hyper-flexible work environment can lead to a great deal of freedom and flexibility in their schedules. However, this type of arrangement can also often trigger feelings of isolation, and disconnection from the company’s culture.
Businesses need to create a working environment that fosters strong human connections. This can be done through team-building exercises, regular employee check-ins, and by encouraging employees to socialise outside work.
Our team has seen firsthand how investing in these activities can bring out the best in our team members.
So how do we do it at Ooze Studios? Here are some programs that help us cultivate strong relationships within the team.
Daily Question of the Day
Each morning, before our team workflow huddles, the whole organisation jumps into a call with excitement. Someone sets the QOTD (Question of the Day), and we all answer it individually. The QOTD is an open-ended, fun question that nurtures better team relationships. It can range from our favourite dish to cook to thought-provoking ones like “If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?”
While the QOTD may seem like a minor addition to the workday, it significantly impacts social connections at work. Allowing us to get to know each other better and become more confident speaking in group settings. By starting the huddles with a light topic, team members also feel more comfortable and less anxious about the day ahead.
Question Burst Exercise
We believe that asking better questions is the key to unlocking better answers. This is why we created the Question Burst Exercise, a new program that allows team members to dissect challenge areas as a team.
During this session, we all have an opportunity to consult the team about a specific hurdle we want to overcome. For instance, a team member will share a challenge they are facing with a current task or project. We will then set a timer and spend the next four minutes collectively generating as many questions as possible about the challenge.
Having many questions from different points of view usually leads to new ways of framing the problem. This exercise has also helped team members become more confident in asking questions. They are more proactive about reaching out to the team when they encounter challenges, which allows us to develop more innovative solutions as digital pioneers.
At Ooze Studios, we’re passionate about helping our team improve their mental and emotional wellbeing through different exercises. This includes group meditations which we conduct every now and then, or if team members request them.
We also give them access to Insight Timer @ Work. This meditation and well-being app has over 100,000 guided meditation practices, music tracks, and group meditation tools.
More team members have started doing individual guided meditations through Insight Timer during their free time. Some even shared that this has helped them sleep better, and reduce stress and anxiety.
Social Fun Time
We have a dedicated social fun time each week where we play board games, and compete in team member-led quizzes.
We also take part in online group workshops and virtual experiences every quarter. These group experiences are hosted by inspiring people around the world. Some of the activities we’ve tried so far are:
- Learning about the Italian culture through fun Italian gestures and language games
- Surviving a virtual escape room based in Ukraine
- Solving a murder mystery in Kraków, Poland
Enjoyable activities like these allow us to end the week on a positive note whilst providing a regular time and space for us to interact with each other on a more personal level. As a result, team members form strong social bonds, creating a more supportive and positive work environment.
Social Learning Lunch
Learning is vital to our culture, and we’ve made it fun and engaging through various social learning activities.
Every week, we dedicate 30 minutes to a masterclass or workshop to help develop our soft skills. Some classes we’ve completed are The Power of Empathy featuring Pharrell Williams and Scientific Thinking & Communication by Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Learning remotely or online can sometimes lead to isolation. Our social learning lunch sessions allow us to bridge that gap. Helping us create more meaningful experiences not only at work but even in our personal lives.
Everyone wins at Ooze
Aside from the individual personal growth our team members experienced, our Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) and Employee Engagement Score are consistently at 100%.
This motivates us to continue driving towards our vision of being the best digital agency to work with in the world.
Want to learn more about the Ooze culture? Read here.
We are always looking for talented people to join our team. If you would like to learn more about how you can grow your career at Ooze Studios, click here.