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    You're probably reading this from the comfort of your home office — like many millions of other people; you are working from home.

    We are lucky to live in a time when technology brings people together despite their physical distance. It feels like we have never left the office with tools such as chat, video calls, and project management software.

    Barriers to building connections

    However, when workers are alone in their homes, there are several challenges to maintaining a healthy team culture. 

    For example: 

    • Lack of spontaneous human connection.
    • Fewer possibilities for positive interactions and experiences.
    • Neglecting of social connections and relationship-building.

    With all that said, the impact on company culture and employee engagement is a concern for many businesses. But If digital communities (built of people who have never met) can thrive online, so can your company's culture.

    Working from home should not undermine the culture you worked hard to build. FindingRecognition-HeroImg the right tools is instrumental in supporting a distributed workforce.

    Applauz works to break down barriers

    Applauz is designed with a remote workforce in mind. The app supports cultural growth and strengthens relationships while teams work apart.

    With Applauz, remote teams can foster team culture and establish social bonds.

    Here's how:

    • Applauz creates a space for positive experiences to happen.
    • Applauz keeps recognition and appreciation top of mind.
    • Applauz offers a platform for getting to know each other.
    • Applauz enables virtual activities and challenges.

    In this article, we'll show you how to accomplish each Goal and provide more detail about how to use the app's features to make it happen!

    Let's dive in!

    How Applauz Can Help You Boost Remote Team Engagement

    Applauz creates a space for positive experiences

    Employee engagement is often misunderstood. Many people mistakenly believe that top-down corporate initiatives or fancy tangible perks are the keys to "unlocking" engagement. While those things do help, they are often secondary to the more important internal, psychological motivators -- namely, the experience of having happy moments at work.

    Simply put, intangible factors drive employee engagement. Think about the positive emotions that employees experience at work. 

    • For example, when an employee feels a deep sense of pride and fulfillment from receiving public recognition for their work. In turn, this positive feeling inspires them to be more engaged and productive.

    The ability to create such positive moments is vital in the workplace. Applauz is a powerful tool for facilitating and creating these positive moments in remote teams.

    Here are some ways Applauz fosters positive moments among coworkers:

    • Getting public recognition from a manager or coworker is a great feeling and instantly evokes positive emotions.

    • The Newsfeed can be used to share life updates with other colleagues, such as the birth of a new baby, allowing for positive words of support can be exchanged.

    • Posting an interesting thought, article, or idea to the Newsfeed creates an opportunity for coworkers to have an engaging intellectual debate.

    Bottom line: Business needs to pay attention to intangible and tangible factors if it wishes to improve engagement, such as increasing the frequency of positive experiences for your employees.

    Applauz helps keep recognition and appreciation top of mind

    In a remote setting, recognition and appreciation are often overlooked. Appreciation, however, is essential to employee engagement. When companies choose to go remote, they will need to develop a way to create a virtual space for recognition to take place.

    There are a few ways in which Applauz grows appreciation among teams:

    • The peer recognition function effectively takes the pressure off of managers. This way, the responsibility of giving recognition can be shared amongst the entire team. 

    • The platform provides a "safe space" for anyone to share their appreciation. People who might be shy to give face-to-face recognition become more comfortable sharing their thoughts. This platform is a dedicated space for appreciation.

    • Recognition can be made visible to everyone. Respect and praise from peers can be potent motivators for employees. Knowing everyone can see the great job you did can feel energizing to the person receiving the attention.

    We wrote a more in-depth article on how Applauz can help your company build greater appreciation. Check out this article to learn how a peer recognition system is key to creating a culture of appreciation and recognition.

    Applauz creates a space for people to get to know each other

    One of the major disadvantages of remote work is that spontaneous moments do not happen naturally. They need to be planned, for instance, by scheduling activity sessions designed to foster social interactions.

    However, your employees' calendars are probably already packed. Early on in the pandemic, virtual social gatherings probably worked well, but attendance rates are likely declining. 

    With Applauz, companies have a dedicated virtual platform for socializing. Think of it as a space where social connections are continually being fostered in between your virtual activity sessions.  

    The best part about Applauz is people can participate in discussions on their own time. This way, it doesn't feel imposed or forced, like a mandated team-building session. 

    On Applauz, interactions are more natural and spontaneous, similar to how real-life interactions take place. 

    Here are a few examples of how Applauz helps build social connections:

    • Employees can post personal stories and pictures on the Applauz Newsfeed. For example, announcing big milestones like a new home or a new baby and posting pictures of their latest vacation. The team can comment on these posts and create a conversation.

    • Engaging in a friendly conversation or debate about an article or idea. In our Newsfeed at Applauz, one of our developers writes a weekly Newsfeed post he calls "The Mig Weekly," in which he shares a fascinating topic or idea about science. As a result, Applauz's team members share their opinion on the topic, which often leads to interesting discussions.

    • The Newsfeed can be used to share motivational and encouraging messages. For example, Applauz's CEO frequently posts positive motivational quotes on the Newsfeed every Monday. In addition to generating conversation, these quotes energize the team for the upcoming week.

    Applauz enables virtual activities and challenges

    In March 2021, Applauz held a wellness scavenger hunt for its employees. Employees were encouraged to participate in any wellness activity. It could be running, yoga, skiing, hiking, cooking, drawing -- it was entirely up to them. Each activity earned them a point.

    Every week, participants posted pictures of the activities they completed on the Newsfeed for everyone to see. This helped the hosts keep track of the activities and sparked conversations as people found out more about each other's interests and hobbies.

    At the end of the month, the hosts tallied up the points to see which people performed the most activities. Prizes were awarded to the winners!

    You can see how the Applauz platform can be used to support virtual activities and challenges in various ways. 

    For example:

    • The Newsfeed acts as a central hub to post and share photos and videos. 
    • Using Applauz Goals to easily reward participants and encourage them to participate. 
    • Using Applauz Points keeps the stakes high and motivates participation as a real reward awaits the winners (or those who participate in the activity).

    For example, at the start of our wellness challenge, the host set up a Goal for each employee to "participate in the wellness challenge." At the end of the month, anyone who participated, their Goal was marked as "achieved." Which automatically rewarded them with Applauz Points.

    Additional Points were awarded to those who achieved first, second and third place. With those points, the winners could shop the Applauz Rewards Marketplace for real tangible gifts they could have shipped straight to their homes.

    How Applauz Can Support Your Distributed Workforce Download PDF Now

    All You Need to Know

    Applauz is a virtual social hub for your company. In this way, Applauz can help managers and their teams stay connected in a variety of ways.

    • Applauz creates a space for positive experiences to happen.
    • Applauz keeps recognition and appreciation top of mind.
    • Applauz creates a space for people to get to know each other.
    • Applauz enables virtual activities and challenges.

    By reaching these goals, remote teams can remain connected despite common obstacles. As well as build and maintain strong work relationships and team cultures.

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