Junior Social Media Specialist, Dynatech
It's not a secret that, with the emergence of Covid-19, socializing has drastically changed in all companies, including Dynatech. Our weekly team meetings have been substituted by online sessions, seasonal parties by online events, and the usual workspace in the center of Riga by a home office. However, now that vaccines are available and the restrictions are loosening, our teammates are slowly returning back to the office. It remains to be seen whether socializing will return to how it was before the pandemic, or whether we have reached the point where the new format of interaction among employees will prevail.
Even though we have adjusted to the new environment and adopted many ways to maintain the connection between our coworkers through online events and activities, there are still aspects that cannot be that easily replicated in the online world. For example, making connections over the coffee break or encountering a person in an elevator which before were opportunities to network. In terms of work performance, we have observed that the completion of individual and team tasks is not affected, however, projects that require cooperation with other teams or departments, brainstorming sessions or creative efforts are performed less efficiently. Even our IT people, who are known to be less sociable than others, have admitted that they miss interaction with their colleagues on site.
Now that our teammates are slowly getting back to the office, we are striving to offer more social activities but they will not be the same as before Covid-19. During the isolation, we had the time to rethink the interactive events and socializing opportunities that we provide to our team. We have changed our strategy from quantity of activities to their quality while prioritizing the types of interaction our colleagues really desire. We also provide a monthly budget to each team for their team-building activities.
Therefore, the answer to the question whether the socializing format will change is a yes, at least in our company. We also believe that companies should make additional efforts to create circumstances for employees to interact after working fully online. This is especially important to create the feeling of community for those teammates who joined us during the pandemic and might feel isolated from the rest of the company.