Working together in the same place presents serendipitous moments, where sharing an elevator can turn into grabbing a coffee together. Seeing each other on a daily basis builds trust and increases camaraderie. But when we’re remote, we have to work extra hard to feel we’re part of a team. Even though we can digitally connect with people all over the world at the click of a button, we have to find new ways of emotionally connecting as well. So how do we create closeness even though we’re far apart? How do we reach through the screens?
Team Building On Remote Teams
(You can DOWNLOAD THESE TIPS as a PDF)
BUILD SOCIAL TIME INTO YOUR REGULAR DAY
- Turn on the webcam or connect your offices via webcam
- Use group chats as a virtual water cooler. Channel ideas include
- pet photos
- cat lovers, dog lovers, pet lovers, etc.
- humblebrag (a place to post accomplishments)
- song of the day
- Build social time into your regular meetings
- Arrive early or stay later after meetings
- Use icebreakers, warm-ups, or check-ins in your meetings
- Use connection and energy activities in your meetings
- Learn each other’s language
- Fitness games/challenges
- Try virtual offices, telepresence, or virtual reality
SCHEDULE YOUR SERENDIPITY
- Celebrate regularly
- Virtual lunch, ice cream, coffee, adult beverages
- Get food delivered
- Quiz nights, treasure hunts (check out Dr. Clue)
- Do a virtual puzzle
- Play video games
- Play regular games
- Tabletopia – for online board games
- charades “guess the artist”
- everyone draws a picture and you guess who drew it
- three truths and a lie
- paint each other’s picture using MS Paint (or any tool)
- Pictionary (tip – use this random word generator)
- Chess – Peter Lee created a YouTube video to show how he created a chessboard in under 30mins. You can download his finished template for free HERE.
- Collaboration Superpowers facilitator, Tina Meckel, has an array of fun game suggestions on her website.
- *Tip: Try making the image of a board game the background image on a Google Jamboard. And then use the sticky notes as playing pieces.
- Team Keyboard Racing
- Try drawing personal maps
- High-Five Fridays, Get-to-Know-You Wednesdays
- Host dance parties – virtual or e-live!
- Present your hobby
- Watch movies together – Google Chrome has created an extension called Netflix Party, which allows you to simultaneously stream Netflix with anyone (plus equipped with a chat window and a play/pause button)
- Host a talent contest
DON’T FORGET SPECIAL OCCASIONS – Make sure you include all of your remote colleagues!
- Holidays are a great time to focus on building team spirit
- Create a holiday calendar and host holiday parties
- Ugly sweater contest
- Costume contests
- Gift exchange
- Gift delivery (flowers or food)
- Host a recipe exchange / TRY EACH OTHER’S RECIPES. Can even do in real-time. One team has a “cold bake dessert” event.
- Decorate your backgrounds
- Donate to a cause together
SPEND TIME TOGETHER IN PERSON
- Come together regularly to work together in person
- Office exchange
Podcast production by Podcast Monster
Graphic design by Alfred Boland