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?

 


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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
    • books
    • cooking
    • 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)
    • Taboo
    • Monopoly
    • Risk
    • 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
  • Costume contests
  • Gift exchange
  • Birthdays
  • 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

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More resources

44 – Icebreakers For Remote Teams

214 – Spice Up Your Meetings And Hack Your Culture With Meeting Spicer

Work Together Anywhere Handbook

122 – Holiday Parties For Virtual Teams

104 – Virtual Team Celebrations

53 – Perks And Gifts For Remote Colleagues

Original transcript

Coming soon!

 

Work Together Anywhere Workshop by Collaboration Superpowers