More and more companies are voluntarily or mandatorily allowing their employees to work from home due to the on-going coronavirus pandemic.
Needless to say, remote working is often considered as a win-win working arrangement for both employers and employees. But not all employees are comfortable working remotely. In fact, 20% of remote employees feel isolated, which can affect their productivity.
So you need to go the extra mile to boost your remote team’s morale. Only then, you can build a successful remote team and maximize the success of your remote team.
In today’s, we will explore #14 ways that can help you make your remote team feel connected.
Without further ado, let’s dive in:
Ask your team to click photos of their working desks, and share them with others. They can do so in a Slack channel, WhatsApp group, or any other communication channel the team uses.
This activity allows your remote employees to know how everyone works and get the motivation to work better. The items on the desk too can prompt everyone to initiate conversation and build relationships.
Such impromptu chats help remote teammates break the ice, know each other more personally, and be more comfortable working together. This will eventually boost the productivity of your remote team.
Create a group to begin discussions around books. Monthly, you can suggest a book or two, or ask your teammates for recommendations. And the entire team will read the book(s) and discuss their perspectives about the book (s).
This book club activity can help your team bond over their common favorite books. And they will also know about more books they would like to read. Just make sure the suggested books are light-read, and the discussions are friendly.
The book club activity will bring your team together. And a mix of short fiction and insightful business books will also help them broaden their horizon.
Stir some chitchat with a weekly “favorite thing” session. You can ask your remote team members to share what they like about the work or an on-going project. The discussion can even be around off-work topics like favorite ice-cream or a tourist destination to lighten the mood.
Such icebreaker questions allow people to de-stress from the daily hustle and open to their virtual peers.
The more they know each other, the higher would be mutual trust. And a remote team built on trust performs better.
Create a list of questions hovering around personal interests and hobbies. And share the list with everyone in your team. Give them some time to outline their answers and share them.
These questions act as icebreakers, encourage quick-thinking, and allow your team to begin interaction. And as they learn about others’ personalities, they will get better at communication and collaboration.
Activities that improve team communication help build a strong team. And when they communicate better, the flow of work is smooth.
Virtual charades game is another popular team building activity. Decide on a theme to play the games, books, movies, or something industry-specific. And then, create multiple charades cards. Now, gather everyone on a video call.
Split the team, and let them act out the answer, competing against one another.
Each member gets to do a role play for a situation as per the theme. And this activity proves to be a great way for everyone in your distributed team to be involved.
Virtual charades make team members root for their partners, help them win, and bond with everyone.
Similar to virtual charades, virtual bingo is a fun activity with team members. Think about a theme for your game, and create bingo cards with the list of statements.
When the game is on, call out the statements one by one, for the team members to cross.
Bingo is a quick game to play, and you can design it on various themes. You can even create a professional bingo game like customer service bingo or website error bingo. And it sure would refresh the team after a tiring day.
Whatever is the theme, bingo turns out to be an engaging activity and gets everyone involved.
Questions like – cats or dogs, mountain or beach, tea or coffee – can be brought forward any time you want to lighten the mood. Initiate with a question on your internal Slack channel or a shared whiteboard, and see everyone joining it for a break.
Such X or Y questions can get everyone talking and know each other’s preferences without being intrusive.
And as your team bonds more often, you will notice an improvement in performance too.
Sign up your remote team for a health-tracking app. And set up small everyday challenges or weekly goals. And they will share their individual progress during the period. You can even schedule weekly fitness-training video calls where everyone will train together.
Such fitness challenges and progress sharing will help remote employees connect with their co-workers while maintaining their health.
As the team gets along, they’ll cheer each other. And they will be more enthusiastic while working together. Moreover, with such group activities, every remote team member will be motivated to stay healthy.
Divide your team into two or more small groups. Now, ask them to brainstorm and create a list of 10 things that they share with each other. It may be a list of professional skills, personal favorites, hobbies, or anything else.
As the team reflects and figures out the similarities, they can realize how similar everyone else is. Not only will it help your team bond with each other, but also fuel their creativity.
Virtual coffee breaks can be another way to e-meet everyone and discuss their day-to-day activities.
Schedule 15-minute video conferences when your team will get together with their cup of tea/coffee.
Such breaks will allow everyone to freshen up and get back to work with more energy. And these quick chats also make everyone feel connected. You can even take these as informal meetings to get a brief about the project’s progress.
These chats over coffee will improve professional relationships. And as the team members open with others, they’ll understand their teammates better.
Ask your team members to bake their favorite cake or dessert, and share the pictures. You can also extend this activity to new recipes they’re trying or traditional dishes of their area.
Your team can even challenge each other or collaborate over a video call to recreate the recipes in different styles.
Such cooking/baking activities will engage your team around food. And everyone will get to know and try new recipes too. It could be like a virtual food club.
These DIY food-related activities make everyone be a part of a community and boost morale. And such activities also improve team communication and bonding among remote team members.
Schedule a video call with your team to get everyone to show their office space. And ask them for a quick walkthrough.
It gets team members to know each other better and learn what is everyone’s preferred setup. And they might also learn a few productivity hacks from each other.
Team members can even record and share their off-work creative DIY projects.
Such discussion and orientation sessions make people feel inclusive and keep their morale high.
Get your remote team members to play a movie on their devices separately. Through a group chat or Slack channel, they can share and discuss their favorite moments.
You can also have a virtual “happy hour” hangout before the movie.
Such activities will keep boredom away while sharing the joy of being together as a team.
Movie nights are fun times to relax the team members and allow them to open with their co-workers. The more connected they feel, the higher is their zeal to work.
And one of the best team-building activities will be to include your team in planning the activities.
Set up a dedicated Slack channel or a group conversation where people can suggest things they’d like to do. Do it for every weekly/quarterly/monthly activity and pick the best ideas for the next session. You can even ask people to vote for their favorites.
When people get to participate in the planning process, they’ll feel more involved, and carry on the activities with more enthusiasm.
And as they find their opinions heard, they’ll be more comfortable to share their creative ideas.
Remote working is going to stay. And it can be a win-win arrangement if you go the extra mile to make your remote connected. The above-mentioned virtual team building activities will certainly boost the morale of your remote employees.
What about you? Do you want to share any other virtual team building activities to boost the morale of a remote team?
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