One of the best kindlings for innovation is collaboration. Getting people from different departments talking and interacting on a regular basis leads to out-of-the-box thinking. When your team members are exposed to different perspectives they find new solutions to push your company in the future of your industry. But how are you supposed to facilitate collaboration when each employee is sequestered to their respective homes?
With COVID-19 separating companies down to the individual, the new challenge is creating natural collaboration. Unlike a shared break room or cafeteria where all employees can chat freely, Zoom conferences only offer structured meetings that feel stiff and forced.
One solution companies have turned to is creating time in the workday for creativity. With creative geniuses filling their time at home with exploring their virtual presence, the average joe has more access to experts than ever before.
Matthew Luhn, former lead storyteller, and animator at Pixar Studios has opened up his experience in the world of animation to anyone looking to better themselves. He is virtually teaching a hands-on drawing experience in which he shares the basics of animation and cartoon drawing. In his course, participants will learn how to draw cartoons based on his experience working on The Simpsons TV show. In the end, the new cartoonists will even be able to draw themselves as Simpsons characters.
Starting your team off with an hour of drawing class to close out a busy workday will get them started on a creative path. Once they have the basic drawing skills you can offer your team an hour for creative expression within a shared Zoom conference call. This free time will open up natural discussion while getting the creative juices flowing.
Even though we are separated, it’s important to remember that we still need our coworkers. Work isn’t always crunching numbers and pulling reports. There’s water cooler talk, happy hour, and lunch-time chit-chats. These might not feel essential, but they are a vehicle for collaboration. Finding productive ways to facilitate togetherness is key.