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Should I add some fun after-hour Zoom events for my team?

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How do I keep my team engaged? As a manager, can I host Zoom cocktail parties after hours or bingo night, or some other fun activity until we can get back into the office?

“What I really need is another Zoom meeting, after normal work hours, with my colleagues, to play a game, to help make my day!” Said no one ever. Everyone was hailing Zoom as the savior in the beginning of this pandemic. People were creative and hosted all kinds of game nights, happy hours and cooking classes. Let’s just say that the novelty has worn off. Smart employers are dedicating certain hours or days as Zoom-free because we’re all burned out from sitting on our screens all day. Do you want to do something fun and helpful for your team?

Give them back the “after work” hours that have become blurred now that home and work have fused. And if you do want to host something fun via video, do it during work hours. The world was cautioning us to limit screen time for our kids — now working and learning full time while staring at a screen is acceptable. (And, my fellow New Yorkers, now that the city is opening up, I see you are still addicted to the phone screen, walking the streets like zombies with your heads down. Stop it!)


A member of my staff has succumbed to COVID-19 and the team is devastated. I’m a new manager. Should I grieve with them or be the source of strength? I don’t want to seem insensitive but we also need to get past this and move on. Any advice?

One of the biggest mistakes a leader can make is to give the impression that they are minimizing a tragic event and trying to force people to move on. Some fear showing too much emotion, but employees want to see their leaders, during challenging times especially, help set the tone and model how to act. They want leaders who demonstrate empathy and make it OK to not be OK. You don’t have to have the perfect words. A genuine expression of grief and vulnerability is comforting for the team to see in their leader. People grieve and then they want and need to move on, but it is a process. I’m sorry for your team’s loss.


Gregory Giangrande has over 25 years of experience as a chief human resources executive and is dedicated to helping New Yorkers get back to work. E-mail your questions to Follow Greg on Twitter: @greggiangrande and at


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