How do you build and maintain relationships with your co-workers when you work remotely? In this article, you’ll see the top team building ideas for remote teams.
The pandemic has forced many of us to work remotely, leaving some team members feeling isolated. But team building doesn’t need to be confined to in-person activities. With technology, it’s possible to strengthen working relationships online with people you may have never met in person.
Virtual team building uses employee management software to enable teams to stay connected when they cannot be together physically within the same space. It’s a valuable tool for building rapport, getting to know one another, improving communication, and increasing understanding. It can also reduce feelings of isolation by providing a platform for shared understanding and connection.
Here are five team building and bonding activity ideas you can use to help your remote team feel connected.
Take the virtual happy hour idea to the next level by including food. Add team members to share a meal as part of your virtual hangout session. Company lunches and dinners are all great opportunities to connect over video chat. You can chair the meeting by having people take turns showcasing the things they are eating and even share cooking tips and recipes.
Icebreakers: Remote Team Building Ideas
Virtual icebreakers can be a fun way to help your team build rapport remotely. Set up a virtual hangout group and prepare a list of icebreaker questions to use if any awkward silences appear. These types of questions can be a useful way to ensure the group conversation continues to flow smoothly. You could even consider turning those icebreaker questions into a virtual trivia session. Play guessing games, where employees share 2 truths and 1 lie, then uncover the correct answers. Develop some icebreaker questions, then share the answers anonymously on a group sheet. Then each team member must guess who the answers belong to.
Virtual Happy Hours
After work drinks are mostly a thing of the past and have been increasingly replaced with virtual happy hours. These are online social events, usually held over video meeting platforms like Zoom. These events usually include icebreakers, simple games and activities, and drinks. It can be fun to adopt a theme for virtual happy hours, such as the 80s, Sci-Fi, favorite film characters, etc.
Virtual cocktail parties and happy hours can still enable social interaction with your colleagues over drinks but just at a distance using video group chat. Spice up your events by adding a karaoke or lip sync battle or a virtual Pictionary contest. And if you are looking for non-alcohol alternatives, you could arrange a mocktail party or afternoon tea party.
Digital Games: Remote Team Building Ideas
Nothing brings out the fun and competitiveness in a team, like playing games. Virtual board games are a great replacement to traditional board games, and different apps offer online play, such as Board Game Arena and Tabletopia. They offer a vast selection of board games that can be played in your team members’ browsers. Add in video chat to make communication easier and let the games begin!
What can you do when you want to host a large virtual party or event with 20 or more participants? Host a breakout session. So, they are a useful way to manage large audiences and break them into smaller groups. Video conferencing tools can create breakout sessions instantly.
You can coordinate your party as usual and assign groups of attendees to their own virtual rooms to enjoy the food and festivities planned for the party. You might choose to randomly assign the tables, mixing up the attendees every 15 minutes so that they get to meet more people at the party. Or use a spreadsheet to allow attendees to sign up for virtual tables in advance.
Remote team building and socializing has never been easier thanks to video conferencing, employee engagement platforms, and specially designed apps to support virtual teams and meetings. The “new normal” dictates that we have to operate within a social distancing paradigm, but that doesn’t mean workers need to feel socially isolated. With the right tools, companies can strengthen connections amongst their employees and ensure their human resources feel valued and part of a team.