7 Ways to stay connected (and entertained) with coworkers and colleagues

As we settle into a new way of working together, Longhorns are looking for creative ways to stay connected beyond the day-to-day work.  Below are some of the innovative ways teams are working to keep each other entertained, connected, and feeling like a part of the Longhorn community, whether they are teleworking from home or arriving to campus for core duties.

  1. Form a Book Club – Take up reading for fun as part of a book club. Book choices could focus on professional development, continuing education, or mindfulness. Human Resources new Learning and Development department has a list of recommended books in their physical library. While the library is not currently open, many of these books can be found online.
  2. Remind each other to disconnect – Encourage each other to disconnect at the end of the day, take a weekend day to avoid email and instant messages, and logoff of social media and news pages periodically to recharge.
  3. 15-minute Coffee Chats – Managers are scheduling short coffee chat meetings in the mornings to help team members catch up socially before the workday begins.
  4. UT Shout Outs - Nominate a coworker or team member who has been working on UT campus to keep the university property clean, safe and functioning properly for one of Texas Connect’s daily UT Shout Outs.
  5. Check-in Challenges – Challenge your coworkers to check-in on someone else on the team at least once per week just to say hi.  Try to avoid talking about work, but instead inquire about loved ones, what they are doing to stay entertained at home, and any creative recipes they may making at home, as examples.
  6. Virtual Birthdays and Retirements – Continue to celebrate personal milestones using telework technologies such as hosting a short birthday celebration or a virtual retirement party.
  7. Run a Teams or Zoom Scavenger Hunt – With the goal of helping people become more familiar with the functionality of the system, some managers are creating a game out of finding settings, searching for channels, and posting content. This is a great way to help others learn tools in a low risk way that is high on fun.

Share your team’s ideas for staying connected on social media using #ConnectingUT or email FAS Communications at fascomm@austin.utexas.edu. Download and share social media graphics for each of the 7 ways to stay connected.

Homes with speech bubbles implying digital communication
April 15, 2020