10 Simple Ideas to Improve Team Building for Remote Workers
In today’s climate, more and more businesses are offering opportunities for employees to work remotely, yielding higher productivity rates and access to a wider pool of talent. How do you build trust and a solid collaborative foundation if none of your team members work in the same office? Keep reading to find out!
According to recent studies conducted by Gallup, Harvard University, Stanford University, and Global Workforce Analytics, working remotely is not only beneficial to employees, but also to the company. Data shows that remote employees are more productive and produce higher quality work; while organizations experience less absenteeism, lower employee turnover, and an increase in profitability after instituting work from home programs.
There are some potential downsides of remote work. Decreases in collaboration and communication or an increase in feelings of isolation due to lack of face-to-face conversations. Fortunately, there are easy ways to fix this, namely through online team-building exercises. Team building is crucial to the success of your organization because when a team feels connected and trusting, morale and happiness increase, employees feel more comfortable contributing ideas, and in turn, their productivity skyrockets.
Here are ten virtual team-building strategies you can use to boost collaboration and comradery:
1. Schedule watercooler breaks
Your team doesn’t have access to a physical watercooler where they can take a break and chit chat with coworkers, so create one for them! Use a video chat platform and ask your employees to join a team meeting 10 minutes early or schedule a break for them during the day where they are encouraged to talk about anything other than work.
2. Set up ice breaker activities
People sometimes feel awkward making small talk with strangers, so encourage your team to participate in structured ice breaker activities where they can learn more about each other, such as:
match the fact to the colleague
would you rather
two truths and a lie
share videos of their home office space
match the baby picture to the colleague
You can find so many ideas like these on the internet through a simple search. So many, in fact, that you could include a small ice-breaking game at each meeting.
3. Remote office Live Stream
When everyone on your team signs on in the morning, encourage them to join a team video chat or a virtual meetup. This “live remote office” essentially mimics being in an office environment and taking your coffee while chatting with a colleague face-to-face. It will inspire your team to focus on urgent tasks and will remind them that working productively is their main priority.
4. Virtual Happy Hour
Want to reward your team for working hard and conquering their weekly goals? Schedule a virtual happy hour where team members are encouraged to join a video chat, enjoy a drink or treat of their choosing, and play a game together online. Some great employee team building games for remote workers include Catchphrase, Pictionary, Charades, Trivia, Family Feud, Jeopardy – really any game centered around communication.
5. Virtual Scavenger Hunt
6. Personality assessments for the workplace
7. Challenge remote employees
Another option is to organize a small weekly team competition. Divide your team and assign them weekly objectives. They can be focused on work productivity tasks or something else (steps made during the day, number of squats completed, or even glasses of water consumed). he direction you want to take and the results you want to accomplish are entirely up to you. But in any case, a positive team spirit is guaranteed. By discovering the strong and the weak spots of each other, they will learn how to collaborate better and to hold each other accountable for the success of the team.
8. Lunch and learn sessions
9. Workout, meditate or dance together over video
10. Virtual Movie Night
From a bigger perspective, the main reason to implement team building activities for your virtual team is to build a solid foundation around teamwork. Effective teamwork can be characterized by the following qualities: open communication, respect for all team members, collaboration, problem-solving, conflict management, and a shared mission/common goals. When implementing and creating new remote team building activities, make sure that your planned activities focus on building and improving these competencies.
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