Your New Workout Partner and Team Builder: A Bot

Image by Jonathan Borba via Unsplash

As the pandemic continues to rage across the globe, the entire routine of daily life has changed. Instead of going to work each morning and returning home in the evening, many workers have been working remotely, being forced to create makeshift offices in dining rooms, basements, and even bedrooms.

With so much time at home, clearly people are getting stir-crazy, and flummoxed about how to hang on to old habits and routines while dealing with the “new normal.” The remote company culture is just not the same as hanging out by the water cooler, and team bonding during this time is even more important than ever to maintain a robust community.

One way that companies can create bonds for their work from home employees is through team exercise activities and counting on technology to help is the perfect solution.

Quarantine Changes: When Your Routine Isn’t Routine

For most people, the quarantine has changed everything. Millions of people across the nation who used to commute are now working from home. People have created new quarantine hobbies to pass the time, since they can’t really go anywhere safely.

These hobbies run the gamut from cooking to crafting, and everything in between. Health.com recommends baking bread, jumping rope, kayaking and knitting. With more time on their hands, people who have the interest now have the time to spend exploring their passions.

Shopping patterns have also changed, time with friends has been curtailed and even people’s exercise patterns are different.

Besides a select few who have managed to maintain their pre-pandemic daily lives, most people can fit into one of two buckets: those who have started to exercise more because they have extra time on their hands, or those who have fallen off the exercise wagon because it is too difficult for them to be motivated in their vastly different new world. And with all this bread baking and sitting around knitting, exercise is more important than ever!

No matter how different the world of exercise currently is, 30minutes a day of exercise can be the perfect way to refresh your mind to make you more productive for your work and family.

The Tree House Society suggests that you “Practice doing yoga, basic exercises, or you can even dance to stay fit. Physical activities can help you sleep better and lift your mood .” With the world upside down, hanging onto (or starting from scratch) a new routine of physical fitness will help you in every aspect of your life.

How Technology Can Change Exercise

Technology has already infiltrated the world of exercise. Whether you count your 10,000 steps a day via Fitbit or time your running splits on an Apple watch, people enjoy the pick-me-up and accountability that technology provides to exercise.

In this time of pandemic, people are taking their health more seriously, and have the time to slow down and do that, with the help of tech gadgets.

For instance, heart rate monitors including the Polar OH1, “have excellent tools for finding your heart rate zones as well as feedback screens you’ll see after a workout that explain the benefits of that particular activity for your heart and body.” Taking the time to see how exercise affects your heart rate can set you up for future success, and the feedback screens and explanation of benefits help you to understand what you are seeing and trying to accomplish.

Teambuilding and Communication

At the heart of the matter for teambuilding is communication. A good place to start when looking at remote work communication is Zipboard . This shows the importance of both asynchronous and synchronous communication, and will give you many ideas for how to engage your group.

Beyond a personal exercise or quarantine hobby, technology can also create bonds and energy in your work environment. Lucid Chart has many ideas for building a remote team environment, including utilizing fun chat channels like Slack, enjoying virtual happy hours, and experiencing lunchbreak wellness where workers can join together and enjoy yoga or pilates.

In addition to exercise, there are other team building activities that you can enjoy. TeamBonding.com boasts a slew of activities meant to bring people together in the pandemic, even if they cannot physically be together. They have a Sherlock Holmes Virtual Escape Room and Escape the Blizzard game that will get your team working together and having fun, as well as many other activities.

Combining exercise and team building is a great way to get your colleagues working together and living a healthier lifestyle. To maintain a remote company culture, Roots Automation has created a Slack bot and a workout Slack culture. The bot encourages workers to do a series of exercises — that can easily be accomplished in front of a desk — such as 60 seconds of lunges, then push-ups, then squats, and keeps them motivated. The team bonding activity rolls out the exercises in a relay fashion, so each individual can be part of a team, competing against themselves but also working cohesively as a group.

Bots can improve situations, even a lockdown caused by a pandemic, and offer a way for technology and humanity to intermingle, bringing the best traits of each to the table. A friendly reminder from a bot to get up and stretch or take a few minutes for mindfulness, tends to be taken better than a human co-worker expressing the same information. Using technology as a positive game changer, to keep track of an exercise challenge, is a perfect way to bring bots into your business.

The sky’s the limit for teambuilding activities and problem solving in a pandemic. Bots offer the perfect solution for a workout partner, whether for you as an individual, or to motivate your entire team. With so many technological avenues to choose from, whether escape rooms, slack bots, or personalized workout stats, using technology will help you maintain your health while being part of a team.

Originally published at https://www.rootsautomation.com.

Co-Founder & CEO, Roots Automation. Helping organizations free their people to focus on customers and other high-value tasks that build careers and experiences.