The workplace has changed over the years. More than 50% of workers in the U.S. say they will work remotely at least part-time, and 25% say they will quit their jobs if they have to return to the office full-time.

Many firms with remote and hybrid team members still have an issue with people missing out on the feeling of connectedness. Without sharing the same space for hours each day coworkers don’t get to know one another well They don’t feel like they’ve made genuine friends at work, go above and beyond to help one another, or are dedicated to the team because of this.

Digital experiences: a solution to the disconnect

The Josh Bersin Company predicts that the metaverse will be a solution to this problem. There is a lot of hype around the idea of the metaverse, but it may not be as futuristic as it seems. A metaverse is a digital space represented by digital representations of people, places and things.

We used the metaverse for the Boomer Technology Circles Summit in 2020 at Boomer consulting, Inc. When meeting in person was impossible, our members and sponsors had fun creating their avatars and exploring the virtual expo hall.

Every day you visit a type of metaverse when you meet with clients or coworkers over Microsoft Teams. A live video or static profile picture is a representation of you in a virtual space.

Creating digital experiences

Most people who have been working remotely for the past two years know how mentally taxing it can be to be stuck in a dull virtual conference that feels like an eight hour webinars. It’s important to be thoughtful about how you bring in-person meetings and events virtual and focus on creating a positive digital experience

Virtual reality can be used to make meetings, events and even training more engaging. There are things that your firm can do today to improve the digital experience and thus the connection between your team members, even if you are not ready to buy a virtual reality headset for every member of your team.

Start with a vision

What do you want the experience to look like for your employees? How will it work for people in the office and at home? Taking some time to think about what kind of experience you want to create will help you pick solutions that will execute your vision.

Fully leverage video

If you don’t already use video in internal meetings, try to use it with your clients. Everyone has their camera with them! Making video meetings more interactive is one of the tips.

  • Present content or information as succinctly as possible. The human brain can’t maintain attention for long stretches of time — especially while staring at a computer monitor. So avoid long monologues during virtual meetings.
  • Use interactive features. Many video conferencing platforms include interactive elements such as in-meeting chat, polling, and breakout rooms. These tools help to break up long sessions and keep participants engaged.
  • Plan some social time. It’s tempting to launch right into the day’s business, but plan for some non-work-related chat at the beginning of each meeting. Come prepared with an ice-breaker question if you’re worried that the conversation won’t flow organically.

Think beyond Zoom

There are other ways to elevate your team’s online experience, despite the fact that tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Slack are great. We aren’t testing what it would look like to recreate our “Boomer offices” in this virtual space after using Virbela for our largest conference. Our distributed team feels more connected with the use of Sococo and Workplace. In the months and years to come there will be many more solutions like these. Don’t give up if you don’t find what you’re looking for when you try one

Sharing experiences are a great way to bond with your team members. Even if your entire team is working from home, you can still create digital experiences that engage people wherever they are. A cohesive team will be more motivated to meet organizational and client needs when you do that.