- Working remotely can lead to a shift in team dynamics, which requires a new approach to collaboration.
- A solid team connection is integral to enabling collaboration and building team spirit remotely.
- These 9 remote teambuilding activities will help teams re-connect with each other as well as the company culture.
Before 2020, less than 4% of companies had remote workers. Now, one in three companies is offering remote work, and many are looking to make the shift permanent.
This is a drastic change in a short period. Working remotely provides benefits that are uncommon in a traditional office, but it can also lead to a shift in team dynamics.
How can you increase collaboration and build team spirit remotely, and why is connection important to productivity and success?
The Importance of Connection
Telecommuting can lead to increased productivity, creativity and confidence. It can mean a better work-life balance for employees, and for employers, it can mean saving money and increasing employee retention rates.
The drawback is that remote workers experience social and professional isolation, which leads to less collaborative thinking. There is a decrease in information sharing and fewer opportunities to make meaningful connections. In an office, bonds are created between employees and a support network is established.
This support structure will be less obvious to individuals who work from home. The key is to use teambuilding activities to boost morale and reestablish critical connections between employees and management staff.
Here are 9 teambuilding activities that your company could implement today.
1. Monthly Icebreaker Events
Just because you work in an office doesn’t mean that you know much about your coworkers; introduce remote work, and the chance for personal connection becomes even slimmer. Change this pattern by introducing an icebreaker session each month. Post the question or theme for the event and encourage your employees to contribute.
An example might be, “What is your favorite workday beverage?” or “What’s your dream travel destination?” Numerous examples are listed online for free, including challenges, games and questions.
2. Lunch-and-Learn Sessions
This teambuilding exercise is educational and fun for employees. Every month, host a lunch-and-learn session. Ask a professional to give a virtual presentation on that month’s topic. Include a question-and-answer section at the end, so everyone has a chance to participate.
Your team learns something new, which increases their intrinsic value, and they get a paid interactive lunch break.
3. Socialize Using Group Chat
Imagine memes and gifs galore. To encourage regular interaction, create themed days that gives everyone a chance to share something fun. Examples might be #MotivationMonday, #TipTuesday or #WoofWednesday.
The group chat should be used as a place to socialize and discuss topics besides work. The only exceptions would be general tips or motivational quotes that may relate to employment.
4. Personality Assessments
Personality assessments can be a lighthearted method of learning about the workplace culture. Share assessment results and discuss whether employees feel like it’s an accurate representation of their personality. Myers-Briggs and other assessments are available online.
Just be sure to include a mix of quiz types, such as “What Disney character are you?” They may be meaningless, but it can still help team members learn fun facts about each other and chat about pop culture. That way, the quizzes are enjoyable rather than overwhelming.
5. Live Stream Exercise Classes
Offer virtual exercise classes for teleworkers to participate in at the end of the day. Ask your employees to volunteer if they feel comfortable leading a workout class.
Classes might include dance, yoga or bodyweight exercises. You’d be surprised by the number of hidden talents you discover. You can also keep things simple by hiring a professional for the first class, so everyone knows what to expect.
6. Virtual Movie Night
Host a virtual movie night every month. Livestream a popular movie for remote workers to enjoy. Remember to post the schedule in advance so everyone has a chance to make room on their calendar.
This is a great activity for including family members and friends, which can help teams connect with other families and create a strong social environment. Just be sure to post movie ratings in advance so parents will know if the film is age-appropriate.
7. Trivia Night
Many games can strengthen communication and build team connections. Start with basic trivia challenges, but feel free to expand into other games that encourage conversations.
Family Feud, Pictionary and Charades are all popular teambuilding games. Take some time to research and experiment to discover what games work best for your group. After you have established a few options, take an anonymous poll to choose a new game every week.
8. Annual Gift Exchange Game
Everyone loves receiving gifts. Encourage a virtual game of white elephant and help employees embrace the holiday season.
White elephant, also known as Dirty Santa, is a game that involves gift-giving and stealing. The game will end with a lot of laughter and everyone receiving a special present.
9. Peer-to-Peer Learning and Mentorship
Many people enjoy forming a mentoring relationship with co-workers. Send out an email to ask who might be interested in mentoring and connect the individuals who express enthusiasm.
Peer-to-peer learning is mutually beneficial and can be extremely educational for employees.
Fun Team Building Ideas for Remote Teams
Teambuilding activities will help to boost workplace morale. Transitioning from an office to working from home can be a substantial change, and leaders must steer their staff toward teleworking victory. Utilize these top 9 virtual activities to reestablish your workplace support network.