Kelly Valdes has been dressing up in costumes for her work video meetings for nearly four weeks. She’s also a contributor to the Osprey Observer and Christian Voice Monthly.

So, it happened. A few weeks after I was sent home to work remotely, my boss tells our team he wants us to participate in daily video meetings and the problem is, well, I didn’t want to. Most of the male coworkers didn’t have a problem with it because, after all, they can roll out of bed and throw on a ball cap. While working from home, I hadn’t put on makeup for weeks, I’d been wearing yoga outfits and my hair was always in a ponytail. What in the world was I going to do?

I complained to my husband and he jokingly replied, “Why don’t you wear a costume?” And that’s when the ball started rolling. Luckily, we had a few old Halloween costumes in our closets, so I pulled out the costume for the first meeting—none other than the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley.

When the camera came on the next day, my teammates seemed slightly amused by my costume. At least I hoped so. Apparently, it was unexpected to have Elvis attend the meeting. The next day was Janis Joplin, followed by Elton John. Now, the co-workers were zooming to see who would be at the meeting each day. I started getting text messages with suggestions of costumes and ideas.

I kept thinking my boss would soon stop the daily meetings and maybe have a weekly meeting instead; however, it appeared he was continuing the meetings to see how long I could continue to find costumes. We are now entering week four and I’ve somehow managed to find a costume every day, mostly putting together things I can find around the house.

My co-workers have now been in meetings with Richard Simmons, Hulk Hogan, Flo from Progressive, Audrey Hepburn, Bob Ross, Princess Leia and the Grinch, just to name a few. Quarantine can certainly stir creativity.

But, dressing up in full-costume isn’t necessary to create comradery for a video meeting. After speaking to other people looking for fun things to do during this time of separation, I’ve seen people becoming creative in ways that just didn’t happen while in the office.

Some examples of fun things to consider: crazy socks day, funny coffee mug day, favorite sports team day, show-off-your-pet day, share a picture of your favorite vacation, funny hat day, concert T-shirt day and crazy hair day. I even heard that one team shared how many toilet paper rolls they had left in the house.

Virtual team bonding increases employee motivation and collaboration. During this time of separation, having virtual fun activities makes employees feel connected and valued, and ultimately makes them highly dedicated to their organization.

To quote author Steve Goodier from his book, One Minute Can Change A Life, “Humor can make a serious difference. In the workplace, at home, in all areas of life – looking for a reason to laugh is necessary. A sense of humor helps us to get through the dull times, cope with the difficult times, enjoy the good times and manage the scary times.”

If you are looking for some fun ideas, visit https://blog.zoom.us/wordpress/2020/03/16/.