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Virtual working: keeping the creative juices flowing

How to stay creative when your team is working remotely is the burning question facing today’s internal communicators. We’re missing those naturally occurring moments of inspiration: Gone are the water cooler chats that kept our finger on the pulse, and don’t we miss those great ideas that would emerge organically sitting alongside teammates?

Here at Fresh, we’re based around the globe and so have always been virtual. Yes, it is a challenge, but the good news is you can still be very creative, even if it now needs to be in a more planned way if you’re not working in an office.

Here are our top three tips to maintaining creativity as a virtual team:

1. Stay connected

  • Take part in team chats and Yammer conversations, even if you’ve only got time for an emoji – it’s the virtual equivalent of the water cooler! Keep amusing content to a minimum. The trick is to keep the channels open and fun, but relevant, not clogged and wasteful.
  • Set up time in the diary to discuss your ideas with the people who inspire you – and make time for their ideas in return.
  • Share a creative challenge with colleagues outside of the communications team! Sometimes the best creative ideas come from the accounts department, and you’d never have known that in the office.
  • Have virtual coffee breaks together. There’s no pressure to use video – a bad hair day shouldn’t mean you’re isolated!

2. Step away

  • We all know the perils of “always on” and creativity is its first victim. Make time to actively not work and schedule breaks in your calendar.
  • Don’t sweat over a challenge! Frame the task in your head – what is it you need to achieve? When you’re clear on that, put it to one side.
  • Walk away from your desk, turn off your “left brain” and do something else – a walk, a book, the gardening, hanging up the washing. You’re more likely to come back mentally refreshed, when creative juices will flow.

3. Use the tech

  • Embrace any technology that helps recreate the feeling of brainstorming in one room or sitting round a table chatting.
  • MS Teams Whiteboard is great for collaborating and getting feedback.
  • Screen sharing is another tool that can help inspire creative chats – why not create a mood board for inspiration.

If you have any other ideas on how to stay creative when your team is working remotely, we’d love to hear them so drop us a line!