Keep Your Teams Engaged While Working From Home

Nathaniel Jewell


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Please, not another article about COVID-19! Not to worry — in this piece, we focus on how to live your best life and engage with your awesome teammates in our “new normal” world. While COVID-19 will likely have unforeseeable implications on our day to day lives, it’s not all doom and gloom; we believe it presents an opportunity to create new healthy habits and build camaraderie like never before.

In many ways, COVID is expediting a trend that was already in-flight. Gone are the days of working a nine-to-five, Monday through Friday. While we shelter-in-place, technology has allowed us to stay connected and engaged with our work around the clock; our basic needs now must meet our ever-changing schedules, not the other way around. Increased connectivity has driven us to be more productive than ever but the lack of seeing friendly faces in the office, while chatting at the watercooler, plus the move to conducting 99% of our communications over Slack and email, have caused a loss of true human connection as well as increased levels of stress and burnout.

Companies need to rethink team bonding and activities. How do you replace happy hours, rock climbing outings, or bowling events? Enter virtual fitness. Not surprisingly, fitness is an age-old vehicle for increasing team engagement while improving the overall health of individual employees. Those who have access to fitness via their employers experience measurable mental and physical health benefits:

Source from Marketwatch and Health.gov

So where does this leave the business of fitness? Trust me, as a professional in this space, it’s like the wild west with hundreds of operators. Everyone is spinning up virtual offerings — and the quality of the content runs a full spectrum from on point and engaging to downright horrifying.

We are going to try and provide some clarity on the state of digital fitness, and of course, show you how Dryft is here to help. This space can be viewed along two axes and then grouped into four delivery types.

Content Libraries

  • More comprehensive focus on programming, inclusive of nutrition and mental health
  • Do not allow for team-building
  • Difficult to stay engaged, motivated, and accountable when you’re watching pre-recorded content
  • Seriously, it’s like going back to VHS-powered Zumba classes in the 80’s. Jazzercise anyone?

Live Streaming

  • More polished classes, frictionless user experience
  • Limited interaction with instructor is often disingenuous and not constructive
  • Classes are too cookie-cutter; not personalized to the needs of the individual or group
  • Personal training can fall in this bucket

“Group” Live Stream

  • Instructor is live and talking to the customers
  • Customers generally cannot talk back nor engage with each other
  • Zoom classes: customer muted, video is not encouraged, creating a 1 way “live stream” like Youtube or Instagram live/IGTV
  • Music is often left to the participant to play

Group Live Stream — Interactive

  • Interaction with instructor creates a sense of community, creates accountability, and generates measurable results
  • Instructor sees participants
  • Participants see each other
  • Live dialogue, cheering, and engagement during the class
  • Virtual fist bumps, high fives, and camaraderie building

Keisha — one of our amazing instructors who will be sure to make you sweat!

At Dryft, our (obviously) unbiased view is that no one in the virtual fitness industry has done a great job of creating the community experience that has made Soulcycle, Barry’s, and others massive successes. We have taken our pre-COVID-19 world-class programming and instructors and made them available to you and your friends, families, and colleagues from the comfort of your home.

Everyone smiling and sweaty post-class!

Each class has the production quality of a live TV show; behind the scenes, there is a team ensuring the utmost quality and engagement. You don’t have just one instructor, you have a team of people making sure you get the most out of every workout. From the programming of each workout to the audiovisual setup, we are creating truly personalized experiences for you and your squad to work up a sweat and kick that quarantine cabin fever.

Let’s be honest, when COVID-19 is behind us, the way we work will be forever changed. The companies that act now to create resilient, lasting cultures and take care of their people are the ones that will endure. Virtual fitness is more accessible, and people who develop habits now will carry those over to when things return to “normal”. Virtual fitness is here for good (it will be an “and”, not an “or”), serving as a supplement to “IRL” experiences. It’s time to create recurring team-building experiences that replicate those non-working touchpoints that build trust and collaboration.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s Dryft!

Thanks to the entire Dryft team for helping write this article!

Originally published on Medium. 

Nate is the Founder and CEO of Dryft. He has a passion for creating and building new things, love to break the mold, and see what's possible.

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