Maintaining Team Cohesion at a Distance

July 8, 2020
A group of people on a laptop using a video conference.

COVID-19 has presented any number of challenges to businesses across the globe. From safety protocols to adapting day-to-day operations, companies have adjusted to keep their firms afloat.

For us, one of the challenges we’ve faced is maintaining VP’s fun and team-centered company culture. When there’s a lack of regular face-time, whether it’s popping by a co-worker’s desk for a quick chat or putting in long hours on a complex project, it’s difficult to preserve that same level of comraderie we all enjoyed pre-COVID.

To combat this, our team implemented several measures over the past few months that have not only proven successful, but enjoyable as well:

  • We asked our employees download Discord, a text and chat app. While Discord’s creators originally intended to bring people together over games, we found its free text and chat features allow us to converse more easily in real-time: A great way to keep our team connected and up-to-date.
  • We established a standing virtual Happy Hour meeting every Friday with our management team. Team members join via ZOOM and chat on any number of topics from work to when they hope professional sports will be allowed to play again. It’s a good opportunity to check items off their work list, but also uphold the connections that were built pre-COVID.
  • We also instituted weekly golf-outings on Fridays as well for our employees. These excursions allows for that much-needed face-to-face time while also maintaining social distancing.

There’s plenty of other options to help maintain your own company’s connectivity. Check out these tips to see if they’re a good fit for you:

  • Celebrate one another. Just because you aren’t together in proximity, doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate birthdays, anniversaries or any other professional accolades. Have cupcakes, lunch, flowers, etc. delivered to those marking these events or accomplishments to remind them they are valued.
  • Find a shared purpose. Working toward a common goal always brings people together, in-person or virtually. Identifying a cause to raise awareness or money for is a good way to unite your team. In that same vein, create a contest where employees break into teams to compete against one another. Competition can bring out the best in people!
  • Start a conversation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employed men and women spend 7.9 hours working on average as compared to 2.9 hours with their friends and families. It can be draining to spend those nearly 8 hours discussing only work related matters. Change the conversation with a “Question of the Day/Week”. From “Where is your favorite vacation spot?” to “What’s the best spot for local craft beer?”, these questions can help get the convo flowing.

We hope you find these tips helpful. We truly believe that our firm’s success comes not merely from our expertise as MEP consultants, but from the people that make up our organization. It is why we developed a fun company-culture 15+ years ago and why we’ve implemented the measures we have now, so that when we return to our new normal, we’ll be stronger than ever as a company together.


About VP Engineering

VP Engineering is a top Charlotte MEP design firm offering engineering expertise in senior living, multi-family, hospitality, and retail/commercial markets worldwide. With experience in a wide range of building types, our MEP engineering services help keep projects on budget and achieve your goals. Learn more at