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!

10 Simple Ideas to Improve Team Building for Remote Workers

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 10 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:

  • sharing favorite foods/vacation spots/books
  • 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.

 

Virtual Happy Hour USA Team at LumApps

5. Virtual Scavenger Hunt

Have each member of your team make a list of 5-10 things they want a colleague to accomplish (like finding a leaf, drawing a self-portrait, making a cup of tea), share their lists, and encourage each team member to complete these challenges and take a picture of their finished product. Then schedule a virtual meetup where everyone shares the list they were tasked with and their results.

6. Personality assessments for the workplace

Personality assessments like DISC or MBTI are great tools for your team to learn more about themselves and their teammates. Provide your employees with the opportunity to make these tests and then schedule a team video call to review everyone’s results and discuss interesting trends, findings, and takeaways. By completing these assessments, your team will learn how to collaborate and communicate more effectively with each other.

7. Challenge remote employees

Who doesn’t like a little challenge? Have everyone on your team share one goal (work-related or personal) that they would like to accomplish that day or make a challenge to another colleague. Check-in at the end of the day to see if they completed their goals. By sharing common purposes, your employees will learn more about each other and their drives.

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

If someone on your team is passionate about a specific topic, ask if they would speak about it during a team meeting, or invite an external expert to present. It can be over a breakfast or lunch meeting, it’s up to your organization, but the important factor is the interaction between the team. You can add a quick quiz at the end and provide small awards for the winners, depending on your budget.

9. Workout, meditate or dance together over video

When working from home, it’s incredibly important to get regular exercise (not only for your physical health, but mental health as well). Find an exercise video online and stream it, have one of your team members lead a group workout, or play an upbeat song for everyone on your team to dance to over a video chat platform. Many people see exercise as a social activity, so encourage your team to socialize and joke around with teammates during their group workout to bond.

 

Video Meditation at Home

10. Virtual Movie Night

Encouraging your team to spend time together outside of work enables them to bond and open up with ease. How can you do this while everyone works remotely? Simple! Stream a movie through a video conference call platform and invite everyone on your team to join.

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.

While remote teams may not have access to regular in-person communication, that doesn’t mean they need to feel detached from one another. Virtual team building helps remote staff feel more valued by and connected to each other, which ultimately increases collaboration, efficiency, and productivity.

Author

Asya Stamenova
Brand Content Writer

Category

Employee Engagement

Employee Experience

Human Resources

Remote Working

Published on

April 10, 2020