Nothing compares to the power of a great team. The hard-working people, the camaraderie, the laughs; being a part of an exceptional team is an amazing experience. Unfortunately, that feeling is difficult to duplicate. With contrasting views getting in the way, not to mention team members who participate in activities far less than others, working in a team isn’t a top priority for many. But with the right tools and systems in place, being happier and successful as a team can be a lot easier to grasp.
As the challenges above relate to team-building activities anywhere, there are even more difficulties when working remotely. But as the world is starting to focus more on remote work, finding solutions to these teamwork inefficiencies is a top priority for many companies. And as more people are finding it difficult to stay productive in their office space while working from home, the need to find these solutions is higher than it has ever been. Luckily, there are many tips for team building for remote teams.
Keep reading to learn 18 tricks, tips, and insights on how to boost your remote team-building activities efforts for your online workspace.
1. VIRTUAL TEAM BUILDING ICEBREAKERS
Have you ever had a virtual meeting before? If so, then you might have thought it was a little awkward. From barking dogs to awkward pauses, a virtual team meeting can be a little weird. But to clear the air and make things comfortable for everyone, sometimes it takes a good icebreaker.
Virtual Icebreaker Questions
Many virtual teams will decide to participate in various icebreaker games. One of the leading activities involves asking your team members questions. Then, all team members take turns reading the answers out loud to the team. While this might be an approach that you saw in the third grade, it can be very effective at breaking the ice.
5 great work icebreaker questions:
What does your current role play to your strengths?
Who is someone that you admire?
What is going well outside of work?
How do you manage stress from work?
When working with another person, what do you value?
2. PLAY ONLINE GAMES
If you want to connect with your team remotely, then game activities can be a fun way for your company. There are many games to consider, so try to brainstorm the best games that are relevant to your team. Let’s now look at a few popular games to consider…
Everyone loves a good game of trivia. And this game can be a perfect way to engage with your team. Try Kahoot for an educated technology approach!
Two Truths and a Lie
For this fun game, team members will be asked to write down three statements about themselves. However, two of these statements should be true and one should be false. Other team members can then add a mark on which option they believe is the lie. After that, each team member will then go around and explain which statement was false.
Who doesn’t love a solid game of bingo? And what better way to bond with your team over one of the greatest team-building games ever made? And better yet, you can create a custom bingo game that is relevant to your company! One idea is to create a bingo board that includes several action items or accomplishments on it. For example, spaces on the bingo board could say: “big win recognized this week, random act of kindness, received client positive feedback, project completed before deadline.” Then you mark that spot on your board when a team member accomplishes each activity, BINGO!
3. SPEED TYPING RACE
If you want to get the friendly competition flowing with some fun and excitement, then have a typing speed race with your team members. And better yet, there are many tools out there that let you do these races for free! After the race is finished, the results can then be posted on a company message whiteboard or sent via email. To make things even more interesting, you can even set up teams that relay to different team members. This can help your team collaboration, and it just might add another level of excitement. This challenge may sound simple, but it can help to keep your team interested and focused on online team building.
4. COOKING CHALLENGE
As your team is working from home, chances are they cook up some bomb meals from time to time. Another tip for keeping employee engagement is to have a cooking challenge where team members whip up their favorite cuisine. To add an interesting twist, you could even make it themed where employees cook up a type of dish like Italian or Mexican. Then, you could have your team post a picture of their amazing creations on your company message board or send them to a company-wide email. Another way you can mix up this challenge would be to have others create recipes from other team members. This can work as a great team bonding effort, and it might even lead to learning some top-notch recipes to make yourself.
5. VIRTUAL HOUSE TOURS
Sometimes, remote team building is lacking because the team doesn’t know much about each other. Another one of the leading team-building activities involves home office tours from your workforce. Each employee can be assigned the task of walking around their home while connected to a video conference meeting. This can help to break the ice and it can do wonders for team bonding efforts. Before you know it, one of your team members might even invite everyone over to use their super awesome pool.
While this virtual event can be great for everyone to get to know each other, be sure to tell your team that showing their home is optional. Remember, this is their private space, so they don’t have to show it if they aren’t comfortable doing so. Ignoring these boundaries can be very bad for team building.
6. HAVE A CHANNEL FOR SOLELY DOG PICTURES
Who doesn’t love a great dog photo? And when you’re stuck at your virtual office slaving away at the job, a simple dog pic can give you the boost you need and encourage strong remote team building. That being said, another tactic is to have a process where everyone posts a picture of their dog, or even sends emojis or gifs of other pets. Since everyone loves dogs, this can create many non-work conversations with team members and it can bring the remote workers closer together.
If you love this dog picture idea, then you can get creative with it. One option is to have a different theme every week where you dress your dog up a certain way or get them to do something unique. This can give members of your team a good smile and laugh when they need it most — and that all work towards remote team building!
7. REMOTE TEAM COHESION ACTIVITIES
If you’re looking to build a stronger bond with your team, then you may work towards having more cohesion. Check out some of the leading team-building events for remote teams below.
Schedule Fun Online Meetings
Chances are that your team members have some stuff in common. To work on better cohesion among your remote employees, try to schedule events surrounding their interests. For example, you could start a book club or schedule weekly screenings of a popular TV show.
Remember how great Christmas felt as a kid? Now imagine if Christmas happened four times a year. For remote employees, that could be a reality! Having a Christmas celebration quarterly can create exceptionally strong team building and it can show appreciation towards your employees. Every quarter, send a Christmas care package to every team member that includes some funny gifts and some other super cool gifts. This can bring a breath of fresh air to remote operations that can sometimes feel mundane. You might even have your team open up their presents on a conference call with everyone so the remote team can see their reactions and start some conversation. This is one of those activities that is loved by businesses everywhere!
Virtual Happy Hour
Last but certainly not least, another team-building tactic for remote teams is to have a virtual happy hour. This typically involves everyone grabbing their favorite beverage (alcoholic or not), then hanging out and socializing together. Some employers even have fun games or exercises that everyone does together while sipping on a cold beverage. And unless you want spacey work, be sure to schedule this happy hour at the end of the shift.
What better way to mesh with the team than by running in a real-time race? Completing a race together and building cohesive accomplishments for the team can make everyone feel closer. Busting a sweat with your remote colleagues can help them socialize, get out of the house, and can help everyone get to know each other a little better. There are tons of fitness activities out there, so get moving with your remote team today.
Take Time to Stretch
Especially if you’re used to an in-office job, transitioning to a remote position takes a huge toll on your mind. In addition, working remotely also has an enormous effect on your body. As you might spend more than eight hours a day glued to the computer, that can be very damaging to your neck, back, and spine. To encourage more stretching, including boosting team-building efforts, it’s a good idea to frequently take time in your workday to stretch as a team. Maybe once a day or a few times a week, schedule a time where you and your workforce stretch together to release tight muscles and improve posture. This team-building exercise is a must.
8. URGE SOCIALIZATION ON OWN TERMS
If you have employees in an office environment, then one of their daily activities probably involves hanging around the water cooler from time to time and socializing often. But when remote life is the new norm, these moments are taken away from your team. To keep teamwork and socialization alive, do your best to encourage remote team members to collaborate and socialize on their terms aside from group meetings. If you foster a culture with this in mind, then you can create a remote workforce that stays close and stays passionate about working together.
9. PROMOTE ONE-ON-ONE VIDEO CONFERENCING
While there can be many causes for a disconnect between remote workers, one of the leading causes is that video calls typically consist of all remote team members at once. To boost efficiency, and make an easier transition from office to virtual, it’s wise to promote face-to-face, individual video conferencing. When other remote team members get together virtually other than in the group gathering, then that can help mimic an in-house environment and might just lead to greater efficiency.
Monitor Means of Communication
While you always trust your employees to get the job done and to communicate with team members in a way they see fit, try to encourage mixing up the means of communication. If some employees only communicate via email, try to enable them to hop on a phone call or video chat. Changing up these activities can go a long way towards establishing a great culture.
10. HAVE MEETINGS WITH EVERY TEAM MEMBER
If you’re in charge of managing a remote team, then another tip is to schedule one-on-one meetings or activities with each of your team members. Whether it’s every week or every other week, meeting with all of your team members to discuss concerns, needs, tasks, or anything else can do wonders for morale and the overall happiness of your team members. You might even choose to schedule this out ahead of time and meet with the same people on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. This tactic can help to keep everyone on the same page and focused on the right goals.
Especially if remote work is new for your employees, then you may have no idea how they’re adjusting. Maybe they still complete their work on time and seem to be doing just fine, but you should try to have a one-on-one discussion with them to learn how they’re feeling about the team. Here, they can voice any problems they have, discuss how management has been, and mention if anything needs to change.
11. SCHEDULE IN-PERSON MEET-UPS
While you can have amazing remote teams that excel at team building on a high level, activities for these remote teams only go so far. That being said, it’s very beneficial to schedule in-person meet-ups from time to time. Depending on your budget and the size of the company, you could schedule events such as dinners, laser tag, bowling, or karaoke. These events can work as rewards for a job well done, but they can also be an exceptional team-building solution!
Throw Something BIG
Of course, this might be impossible for some companies, but throwing your remote employees something HUGE can go a very long way for team building. If the budget allows for it, plan an all-inclusive trip somewhere with the team. Even just a two-day trip can create a team bond that can last a lifetime.
12. ENCOURAGE SOCIAL CONVERSATIONS
While you want to always get work done, team building virtually is a much different work environment compared to the standard office. And if your team is used to talking with one another daily, then it’s best to keep that chit-chat going if possible. That being said, never discourage extra conversations during virtual meetings — whether it’s over Slack channels or via telephone. As long as work is being completed, socializing is how employees stay sane in a remote environment. So as a manager who is in control of a virtual team, it’s up to you to kick-start conversations to boost remote team building. This can be done through basic small talk like asking them how their weekend went, what’s going on in their personal lives, etc. If you discourage personal conversations in a remote environment, then your employees can become unhappy very quickly.
13. MIX MEANS OF COMMUNICATION
If you’re on a remote team that only connects via phone, then team building may not be a focal point for you. To have the highest level of success as a team, it’s best to mix different types of communication channels. And with all of the technology we have at our fingertips, this should be easy! Try to incorporate an instant messaging tool, email, and video conferencing. This allows team members to step away from the mundane emails or phone calls and gives them a chance to socialize face-to-face — which can go a very long way for team building remotely.
14. SET UP COFFEE SHOP MEETINGS
While most people can go a little stir-crazy when locked up in the house all day, it can also have a huge impact on productivity and team building. And if your team meetings always happen on a boring telephone call, you’ll want to mix things up a bit to keep your team engaged. One tactic is to set up coffee shop meetings with your employees. Encourage them to travel to a local coffee shop where everyone can sit down and talk about team updates, progress, etc.
Share Beverage Choice
After your employees have purchased their beverage at the coffee shop, everyone should then share their drink choice. This can help to stir up some small talk and get the ball rolling for the meeting. While this may sound minor, this simple activity can create great team building.
15. SEND FREEBIES
Another strategy for remote team building is to send them freebies. If you’re a company that can budget for gift cards, then sending these to your remote employees can go a very long way. Even though a $5 gift card to a coffee shop is still only $5, it can show appreciation towards the employee and might even lead to stronger remote team building. Since remote employees don’t typically receive the perks of an in-house job, companies should compensate for that through gift cards for coffee, food, and more.
16. SHOW YOUR TEAM’S IMPACT
To create a great company culture with your remote team and form an amazing bond, then you should try to show the “why.” Give them proof that they’re doing exceptional work that is appreciated by tons of people. For example, if you have a web designer that just built a super awesome website for a client, show them the exact words that the client said about the project — assuming they’re happy about it. You always want to remind your team why they are putting in the hard work every day. Showing testimonials, published work, or videos showcasing your team’s work can drive team building through the roof!
18. BUILD THE TEAM OF YOUR DREAMS WITH CLOVERLEAF
If you’re looking for top-of-the-line team building for remote teams that help to build trust and top-notch communication, then you have to look into Cloverleaf today! We set out to recreate the best team you’ve ever been on by supplying sophisticated software that puts in the hard work for you. The Cloverleaf platform unlocks the mystery behind high-performing teams by delivering insights aimed at making your whole team better at their remote positions. Keep reading to learn more about us.
We Integrate with Your Tools
Unlike other platforms and tools that just throw a whole new confusing system at your team, Cloverleaf integrates with the tools your workforce uses every day. This helps to establish genuine relationships that boost collaboration, trust, and overall team building.
Say Goodbye to Trust Falls
Trust isn’t only built on in-person interactions — it is very possible to build trust in a virtual landscape. By using Cloverleaf, we’ll help to drip useful content to team members so everyone has a better understanding of tasks and projects as a whole. Also, this method allows team members to have a better understanding of where their strengths fit in the team’s dynamics. This creates fantastic team building through long-lasting trust — not a “big bang” that fades out over time.
Tools Everyone Can Use
When using Cloverleaf, everyone on your team has access to the amazing tools on the platform when they need them, which makes your remote workforce better equipped to work through conflict and problem-solving, take accountability, and do what’s needed for effective team building.